From Campus to Career: Essential Tips for New Grads (Part 2)

In the first blog of our “Campus to Career” series, we explored the importance of leaving behind college excesses, nurturing relationships, managing finances wisely, and embracing discomfort for growth. These insights lay the groundwork for a successful transition from college to the real world. Now, in part two, I’m sharing five more pieces of advice to further strengthen your personal development journey. My goal is to help you navigate this pivotal time in your life with confidence and purpose. So, let’s dive into a few more keys to achieving lasting success!

  1. Focus on what matters most  
    If you can figure this one out, you will accomplish your dreams. If you can minimize distractions and drama in your life, you will have time for what matters most. Here is the key in the form of an acronym I created. Be FIERCE. Focus Intentional Energy Regarding Controllable Events. Spend less time worrying about the things where you have no control or influence. It’s important to understand what is going on in the world and with the weather, but I know many who spend way too much time watching and fretting over national news and the weather channel. Negative talk about others (gossip) is a time and energy drain. Worrying about tomorrow or regretting the past is useless. Invest your time in areas you influence. Here’s a short list: Your attitude, your actions, your aptitude, your adjustments, your answers (how you react to external stimuli).

  1. Pay close attention to your “self-talk” 
    Over time our subconscious brain builds the program that runs our lives. It’s true, you can research it. If you imagine your whole self as an iceberg, your subconscious is the size relative to the part beneath the surface. This is influenced over time by how our parents and teachers spoke to us, as well as other influential adults and friends. Bullies. Doctors and nurses. Therapists. Principals. Other authority figures. It is also influenced by events, especially those with high emotion attached, which is why trauma can stay with us forever and really impact life if we allow it. The same goes for joyful experiences and successes. It all builds the program. If we want to grow and have big success in life, we need to begin or continue to influence this part of our brain in a positive way. The way we treat our brain health through fitness and nutrition is a great start. Then, we need to address any self-worthiness or mindset issues. One way to do this is through making and keeping commitments to ourselves through responsible and courageous action. Another is to get serious about how we talk to ourselves and look into journaling, gratitudes, and affirmations. There is science that proves effectiveness here.

  1. Manage time AND energy
    There is much in the way of advice when it comes to time management. One simple and great technique I learned years ago is to plan your ideal week before the week begins. Take 20 minutes at the end of the day on Friday to plan your ideal following week. And then, take 10 minutes at the close of each day to plan and modify your next day’s plan. Then, stick with your calendar as best you can. This allows for more focused attention when you hit the day running, and minimizes decision fatigue. The other part of this is managing your energy. What you eat, your fitness, your mindfulness and breathing practice, and the quality sleep you get. This is serious, if you manage time well but are showing up tired and distracted, the outcomes generally aren’t good.

  1. Take ownership and squash the excuses
    I was the king of excuses and self-limiting beliefs through my 20s. I had many reasons I wasn’t able to accomplish something, a task, a promotion, asking the girl out, getting myself in shape, stopping habits that weren’t serving me, and they were mostly ridiculous. Take ownership of your health, your career, your growth, your attitude, your responses. We all have the ability to improve our mindset, our aptitude, our level of responsibility.

  1. Be intentional about personal development
    All of this content, this list of 10…these are all works in progress for me and the most successful people I know. We are lifelong learners. We are curious. We ask questions. We are coachable.

I hope you’ll take these lessons to heart and apply them early in life; they will give you a BIG head start on your personal development journey. Stay tuned for the last part of the “Campus to Career” series where I’ll share advice from highly successful people in my network on navigating the transition from college to the real world.

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