We all go to college in the hopes of landing a good job. Graduate and, voila, there’s a career. However, that’s rarely how it works. Getting a job straight out of college is the goal for many of us, but there’s a major misconception going around. One cannot simply attend college and expect to land a job straight out of senior year. Meaning this: minimal effort is not going to cut it. You need to work for it. However, the biggest obstacle in between you and that post-college job is attitude. The wrong attitude will almost certainly put you in a bad place. Follow these three steps and start changing the way approach your college experience.
Learn to Master Time Management
Knowing where to spend your time is a skill. Literally. It takes a lot of practice and tons of self-discipline. Those who snag internships or jobs after college typically have good time management skills. The way to look at it is like this: is what I’m currently doing adding to my life or taking away from it? Yes, it is good to blow off steam on a night out every once and a while with your friends but engaging in this type of behavior multiple times a week, every week, is detrimental to personal progress. Employers want to hire individuals who have invested their time well throughout college. This shows you’re responsible enough to work for and represent their company. If you find yourself with lots of free time throughout the week, do what you can to get yourself involved on campus. Getting involved in college is an excellent way to expand your network and create contacts that may prove to be helpful in the future.
Time management also spills into media usage. Facebook, YouTube, and Netflix are great for entertainment, but far too often platforms like these are abused. Instead, find a way to create a time management regimen that works for you. For example, if you have a massive load of assignments, dedicate two hours to working on them and reward yourself with an hour or so of media time. Go back to working and continue this process until you’re done. Developing strategies for time management will maximize your personal efficiency increase your odds of attracting employers.
Stop Viewing Mistakes the Wrong Way
We’re human and, therefore, we make mistakes. It’s part of who we are, but mistakes are far to often viewed in a negative lens. Whether big or small, occur often or rarely, it is poisonous to view mistakes as a negative experience. Allow me to set the record straight and officially (or unofficially?) declare mistakes as positive experiences. Mistakes are instrumental to personal growth and without growth you’re destined to not become much of anything. Viewing mistakes positively develops a positive mental attitude and “P.M.A.” is essential in college. Getting down on your mistakes will erode that positivity until depression and self-hatred sets in. Sometimes this has the potential to derail your progress and set you on the wrong path.
For example, did you receive an atrocious grade on a particular assignment you worked really hard on? Did the scenario hurt your passion and make you consider a different, easier path of study? It’s important to know that one grade is a miniscule segment in the massive timeline of your life. Take the grade in stride, understand what you did wrong, use that knowledge to prevent further mistakes, and move on. Life is essentially a series of incremental mistakes that shape you as a person. The next time you make a mistake of any kind, smile, and know that you are a better person because of it.
Stop Being Controlled by Fear
Allowing fear to dictate your decisions is perhaps the worst possible way to approach college. It’s also the best way to squander your own potential. The college experience should be one of limitless possibilities. Succumbing to fear puts a ceiling on that experience. Yes, fear is a natural response to new situations, but how does one know what they can achieve if they aren’t open to new things?
Let me put forth a multi-verse thought experiment to put this into perspective. In “Universe A” Billy sees a posting for an internship near his current residence. The internship is relevant to his major, but the description sounds intimidating. The qualifications list is long and Billy is afraid that he’ll fail to meet expectations. Billy decides not to apply. In “Universe B” Billy sees the posting for the same exact internship. It seems intimidating but he needs the experience so he applies. He’s called in for an interview and gets the job on the spot. He does the internship, kills it, and is hired out of college. What’s the lesson here? Billy let fear dictate his actions in “Universe A” and missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime. Never be afraid to take new opportunities because you’ll never know where they’ll take you. Get out there and be fearless!