What Graduating From College Taught Me – More Than a Credential

What Graduating From College Taught Me – More Than a Credential
  • Opening Intro -

    My only advice:

    Don't expect to go past entry-level if you don't rise above an entry-level mentality.


A story from a college graduate friend of mine:

I assure you if you aspire to wake up early daily, survive on scraps from the cafeteria or leftovers from your roommate’s fridge – none of it will seem worthwhile, once you graduate. That is if you’re looking to validate your college experience with at least a median income.

College is more than just a credential.

It is more than just your liberal-arts-crammed knowledge stuffed onto parchment paper. It is more than just a career to be delivered to you after commencement. After you’ve taken that walk across the stage, draped in your prestigious chords (if you’ve earned them) you feel alive with accomplishment. However here’s what they didn’t tell you about what’s to come of your post-commencement journey:

1. You have to work twice as hard.

As crazy as it sounds, you can’t take your foot off of the gas now. You have a few years to get your feet wet in your chosen industry. After that, say hello to the next wave of college graduates, also known as, your competition. Remember this new class is coming out with newly developed skills. Often times those skills have already been updated by the new curriculum offered in the course catalog. There’s no way you can compete with that besides with your on-the-job experience.

2. You will have to start at entry level.

We get it. You’re qualified. Remember that there are a lot of qualified people out there these days. Why you ask? That is because a Bachelors degree is the new high school diploma. Glassdoor reports 35% of jobs will require at least a Bachelors degree by the year 2020. Furthermore, you have to understand that to make the big bucks; you’ll first have to climb the ladder. It’s simple mathematics. Don’t go chasing waterfalls – especially not if that means six figure incomes, pension, and full benefits.

3. Entrepreneurship Isn’t for Everyone.

It can be a struggle trying to pull out of the entry-level realm and move up the ranks in responsibility as well as financially. However, in time, you may find your niche. Being too quick to jump ship may prove your inconsistency and inability to withstand the storm of growing responsibilities. Be sure to embrace the challenges and responsibilities at every level, including entry level. Entrepreneurship is dually challenging and not for the weak-hearted or those with a slight work ethic. If you’re thinking about giving entrepreneurship a try stray out of college, a mentor is essential – as well as plenty of disposable income.

4. You Are Ahead of the Game. No matter how hard it seems.

No matter how much the odds may appear to be against you, you are indeed the early bird, getting the worm. For clarity: you have skills that others may never obtain. They’re still sleeping, for lack of better words. If you embrace your education and allow the universe to pay it forward, you will see that in due time, you will receive your return on your investment. Find comfort in knowing that your degree was not earned in vain. However, you must be willing to make it work for you.

I say all this, not to discourage you, but in hopes that you can identify with my perspective and that it may enlighten you. With all the critical thinking, statistics, and logistics around our curriculum, we forget to discuss the facts of life. Going through the motions of college, we often rush to a finish line of graduation and sit dumbfounded when we cross that finish line.

Job offers turn into the graduate’s feeling of entitlement; believing you’ve earned a seat in the C-Suite or on the executive board somewhere, making six figures. Just humble yourself a bit. Move through the ranks at a speed that allows you to absorb, resolve, and analyze conflict. Trust, there will be tons of conflict in working world.

College is a time to grow your knowledge, sure, but don’t let your logic get stuck in college.

Be smart about the career choices you make once you have graduated. Keep your foot on the gas even when it seems like you’re not moving forward. Don’t take your degree for granted and continue to grow your skills and empower others. Then, you will find the value in your alma mater and the matching success to gloat about.

Career Planning reference:

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Last update on 2020-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Categories: Featured, Graduation