I am not one to sit and cry over spilled milk–let alone regret the past. This year I realized that 25 years passed since I graduated from Wellesley College. So I thought about the past and what I wish I had been told when I graduated that long ago summer. For young people just starting our their post-college lives, here is a list:
1. Your first job out of college is just that–a job. It may turn out to be your passion and your future, or it may be just a landing place and the jumping spot for the next great thing. Use it to build skills and credibility.
2. Keep track of all the people who touch you–today it’s easy to keep them all in the loop with LINKEDIN. Do it while it’s happening…so you will not forget them! You never know when they might come in handy or how you might want to recognize them later.
3. Start an old fashioned folder with all the stuff that relates to your career-put in it your resumes as they evolve, letters of recommendation, assessment results, accolades, lists of skills…and why not, records of your rejections and obstacles if need be. It seems impossible that you would forget the chronology of your own life, but you will. A record in paper that is easily accessible will come in handy when you need it later (and you will).
4. Stay open to the possibilities and be flexible. The one thing I had not planned (falling in love with the guy who became and still is my husband) turned my life upside down but also made it beautiful. Plans are important, but they are not everything.
5. Take calculated risks and be willing to make sacrifices–they will pay off in the most unexpected ways.
6. Be daring and be bold–the world does not belong to those who are timid. And fear is not a guide.
7. When you make from a mistake (and you will), learn from it!!
8. Be persistent: do not give up at the first obstacle!
9. Be intentional about your life.
10. Learn to think for yourself–and challenge yourself to aspire to more.
I wonder in 25 years what I will add to the list…and I am sure yours will be different!
Life is Amazing! Live well.