No one really told us what adulthood would be like when it came time to face the music. If they did, maybe I envisioned it differently, or I just wasn’t paying attention because I was too busy dreaming about my Carrie Bradshaw closet. My friends will be the first to tell you that I believe aging is a gift and I love getting older, but at the same time, being an adult can be really annoying and lame too. But, in order to get where you want to be in your career and life, you need to work hard to pay the bills that accumulate during the month, while striving for a dream that still dances in your head. Essentially, you need to act like an adult, but dream like a child to be truly successful in life.
College graduation brings up a multitude of emotions and questions, with answers that are nowhere to be found- or at least any time soon (if you’ve discovered the answer, then God bless you). The only phrase that can somewhat fulfill the bewilderment of a 20-something year old is, “Welcome to the Real World.” Our elders tell us to keep dreaming and find passion in what you do, but don’t forget; you still have to be financially independent during this quest. It’s a conundrum that few figure out early on, but just a few.
Post-college days, adulthood, the “Real World,” or whatever you want to call it, brings on so many new issues and situations that we thought were only in the movies. Believe it or not, this shit happens to us all. We take the first job we come across thinking we’ll set the world on fire, only to find out that we might be making just over minimum wage, and we have to do all the grunt work. It’s okay… the position isn’t permanent (hopefully), and you’ll probably learn more from pushing papers at that job than running webinars from your corner office you’ll have in the future.
Our dreams of our perfect career will keep us going during the days that we would rather drive off the side of the highway, than continue driving to our office. Trust me, you’re not alone so lean on your friends because they’re supposed to be your guardrail at every moment in life. Let your imagination go crazy a little and envision yourself in your perfect career situation, instead of the cubicle you’re about to sit in for hours to help you get through the tough days. Occupy your mind with enticing career options, but make sure you master your current role. Remember, you still have to put food on the table, even if it’s just for yourself.
Our generation has been labeled “entitled” and impatient. Yes, my mindset has been guilty of falling suit in this perception, as well. We’re accustomed to having everything we could ever desire right at our fingertips. Even our hook-ups are just a swipe away. I get it… it’s difficult to wait for anything, I know this all too well. But knowing that you already did the bitch-work will make you appreciate your dream career even more. Steve Jobs had it right, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” Building your resume takes time. Making money and saving it (2 different things) requires good decisions. But living out your career dreams takes the imagination of your 5-year-old self, and the determination of your adult self. So stay foolish when you can and I promise you’ll be able to taste the success you always desired.