Did you get what you wanted from College?

I Love College

Each year millions of young adults go off to college, to have the experience of a lifetime.  AND, to prepare for the “real world.”  But is everyone really getting what they wanted out of their college careers?  It’s a great time to explore, and find your passions and what drives you, but when you leave college do you have the skills or knowledge of how to pursue a meaningful career, especially in this volatile job environment?

When I first started college, I only worried about a couple things.

1.  What should I major in?

2.  What were my friends doing tonight?

That’s it.  I think college does a good job of helping us grow up.  We need that time in our lives to explore and grow as people.  That first time away from home can be challenging, but it can also be the best time of your life.  Finally out on your own, not having to report in to mom or dad at all hours.

While we learn how to survive on our own at college and meet new friends, I think the education part of it has some major flaws.  Seth Godin says in his book Linchpin that college should teach us two things.

1. Problem Solving

2. How to Lead

I couldn’t agree more with this.  I also believe there is one more thing that every college should teach.

3. Marketing Ourselves

If every student was required to pass a marketing course their final semester involving pursuing meaningful work or their passions, I know that a lot more young adults would leave college with the skills that they need to be successful in the real world.  This course could involve the exact process of pursuing companies to work for, identifying passions, and realizing each students calling in life. 

Colleges do a decent job with career fairs, internship placement, things along those lines.  But what if none of the companies involved are of interest to you?  Where do you turn?  That’s why we need this last course taught at every College and University in the United States.

Got it Figured Out?

I understand that a lot of students graduating with degrees in Teaching, Architecture, Dentistry, or Law are already going to know what they want to do, which is great!  That is a large battle just figuring out what you want to do.  Now how do you pursue a potential employer or start your own business?  This is what needs taught.

Floaters

If you’re like me, I’d consider you a floater.  Someone who had a generic degree (Business, Communications, Philosophy, Psychology) and isn’t really sure what they can do with it.  It looks good on a resume, but doesn’t really define us.  We try a bunch of different things after college, trying to find something we’re interested in where we can make a difference.  Let me tell you that this is just fine!  I think this gives us a better perspective on work and how much is out there.  Trying a few different jobs after college is good, even if you don’t stay in a position very long because you’re learning.  You’re learning that a particular job that you may have wanted isn’t really what you want, and that will lead you to the next door of opportunity.

So…

College should be considered a great time in our lives, and hopefully prepare us for finding a purpose driven life.  But if you’re still not sure after college, that’s okay.  It’s admirable to have it all figured out, but it may be more fun to bounce around a little bit and see what’s out there.  I take a lot of inspiration from entrepreneurs and those who are taken the less driven path to success. 

If you’re struggling after college because college didn’t teach you how to find work that is a true fit for you, get some coaching.  It will help a lot, and be a lot less expensive than going back to school.

Cheers to LAUNCHING success after college!

Dan 6/2/11

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About danholterhaus

I explore creative strategies to help others achieve success
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