So you are on your way to graduation. And while you are trying to savour each moment left on your undergrad years, chances are you’re also multitasking—job hunting, booking job interviews, seeking for a new apartment as well as attempting to make sense of what you need to do with your life next. Yes, it can be a bit emotional and looking for some semblance of direction is all but a natural thing to do especially during this time of transition (well, almost). And by fact, the more people you ask, the more opinions you get.
When it comes to heeding advice, it is suffice to say to take it from the best of the best; the crème de la crème—people who have excelled in their own chosen fields of profession/expertise and actually reached the top. These are the people that you’d wish to be like one day; someone to look up to and emulate. So for all the confused newly (or soon to-be) graduates out there, here are some helpful insights from some of the most successful people around who were just as confused like you before but managed to rise above all the challenges that life has thrown at them post-graduation.
1. Sheryl Sandberg (Chief Operating Officer–Facebook) : Get on a rocket ship
Sandberg was a Harvard alumna and in her 2012 commencement speech, she mentioned her story of how she first moved to Silicon Valley to look for a job. She eventually received an offer from Google and became the company’s first business unit general manager which at that time wasn’t as appealing as now. The advice that she got from Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt was the driving force that swayed her into taking the job post. “So if you’ve been offered a position at a rocket ship, just get on and don’t ask what seat”. It’s a simple yet powerful advice to heed especially when making decisions regarding your first job.
2. Conan O’ Brien (Comedian/TV Host): Do not be afraid of failure.
O’Brien could never have said it better; failure is what makes people stronger and more resilient. Own up to your mistakes and learn from it. Don’t be afraid to try and fail, just make sure that every time you fall, you’ll have the guts to get back up once more.
3. Carol Bartz (Business Executive; former CEO of Yahoo!): The economy is cyclical, and you have a long career ahead of you.
By this, Bartz meant that you should look past all the gloom and doom headlines that you see every day on TV or read on the tabloids. The economy is always changing, it may be down now, but it will pick up for sure. Plus, you are still young and you have a lot of time to experiment and discover new things that can help shape your future.
4. Maria Shriver (Journalist, Author and Activist): Be present now.
Shriver points out that people are always getting caught up with “what’s next” and tend to forget the “now”. Being in the present simply means enjoying what you’re doing now.
5. David Foster Wallace (American Author and novelist): Construct Your Own Reality
In his commencement speech, he imparted the idea of learning how to think by way of exercising control over your thoughts. It means choosing the things you pay attention to and you choosing how to derive meaning from all your experiences.
6. Stephen Colbert (American political satirist, producer, writer, TV host and comedian): Just say yes.
Colbert said that in life, just like being in screen comedies, it takes a lot of “improvisations”. On the TV screens, you say “yes” to your scene partner and you do the improv. Life on the other hand, does not come with any scripts; you’ll have no idea of what’s going to happen next. So just say “yes”, and if you’re lucky, you’ll come across people who’ll say the same to you and you’ll gain knowledge from them and all your experiences.
7. Jennifer Lee (film writer director): Don’t doubt yourself
Pretty self-explanatory. You are your own best friend and doubting yourself is self-destructing and will just lead you nowhere.
8. Robert Krulwich (American radio and TV journalist): Don’t just send your resume and then wait.
What he means? Be hungry and passionate. Never be satisfied with waiting. Seek for what you want and be your own driving force.