In May the top influencers on LinkedIn made these awesome posts targeting the Class of 2013. The concept was amazing as the top minds in the world came together to give their two cents about being a professional and experiencing career success. I mean, if you want to be successful, surely the person who has achieved it should be advising you. But then again, is that advice really applicable considering that these people graduates decades ago? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the gentle comedy that T. Boone Pickens was going for in his post Class of 2013: Here’s What I’d Give Up to be You, and the excellent tips that Dave Kerpen offered in his article Class of 2013: Master These 15 Simple Skills – but the article that really spoke to me as a graduate of 2011 was the post by Richard Branson Class of 2013: You’ll Never Again Be so Unburdened; Do Something Bold.
Why? Because it actually gave advice that was achievable. Yes – all guidance is great but sometimes the CEOs, Founders and Chairmen forget that being a graduate is literally the best part of a professionals life. Giving advice about being great and mighty works, but more than half of the graduates of 2013 will not be entering jobs until 2014 – a result of the unfriendly economy – but nevertheless, it is the brutal reality. So giving advice about how their degree means squat, and what the secrets to success are, means nothing to someone who just stumbled out of university to entire the big world with nothing but a paper to their name.
Yes – it is scary.
I’ve been there.
It does get better. I promise.
Personally, the best advice I got upon graduating was: This is the youngest you will ever be in your life – make the most of it.
Wise, wise words. And they stuck. We all have to confront the reality of the world at one point or another, but how about delaying it a bit while you wonder across the world? Or take the biggest risk you can think of? Or just get the job of your dreams to realize it was just that – a dream?
My advice is to follow this annoyingly true saying: YOLO – you only live one. Yes, I did swear never to use this on my blog, but it seemed appropriate advice for the class of 2013. Hang in there – it all works out in the end, just enjoy the journey until there!