I was asked to speak with students who were about to graduate and take the steps as they embark on their career. In my curiosity to find out how to deal with their needs, I followed up with the enquiry to ascertain the major challenges they face as I spoke on the topic of Burst The Fear. I took the opportunity to share my own personal journey in the hopes that the graduating class would gain some inspiration of my own fears and how I countered them. Sky Dive anyone?
Here I share the top 10 challenges as gleaned and brief insights on how students and graduates can address them.
1.Lack of Money For Tuition
Lack of money is a common concern for students and graduates who wish to pursue further studies. There are many opportunities to combat this hurdle in order to move ahead . 5 include:
- Applying for Scholarships
- Seek Grants
- Use Savings
- Apply for Federal loans
- Seek Private loans only as a last resort
2.Unavailable Jobs in Their Field
First of all, it is best to research the job market to ensure that you are investing the time and effort into a field that still exists. We are in an everchanging environment and some jobs have become obsolete. In other cases job titles have evolved over time. That said, ensure you look before you leap.
3.Income Levels not Enough to Meet Needs
One great thing that has happened in our changing environment is diversification. That said, job seekers can have a ‘day job’ while simultaneously working on their own to supplement their income. Hobbies anyone?
Separately, it is also very important that students live within their means. For example, if studying full-time, it makes no sense for students to sign up for off-campus housing if they are unable to afford the rent and associated bills. If studying part-time while living at home with parents, this makes things more affordable especially when studying remotely. Can’t afford something? Save towards it until you can have it or do without it until you can afford it. Again, it is very important to live within your means.
4.Uncertainty About What To Study
If you are not sure of what to study, do your research. Speak with your college Career Services. Do assessments. Make it important to check the market to understand what careers exist. Careers are everchanging and besides that you may not like the job if you tried it. So it is best to test the market. This can be done through signing up for:
- Part-time jobs
- Summer vacation jobs
- Volunteering is an excellent way to get experience since employers do not have to worry about paying you. It’s unfortunate but it’s a real situation within the current economic climate
5.Inadequate Role Models To Emulate
It is always good to get a mentor in the area that you are interested in working. There are mentorship organizations that exist that will assist students in providing direction. In addition, your college Career Services has the necessary resources to assist your progress.
You may also find it useful to search for groups online that have discussions based on your area of interest. These exist for any employment or interest area that you can think of. All you need to do is search. Once you find the group you like, become engaged in garnering advice on the forum.
6.Eradicate The False Ideas Of Success
What is success? There are many false ideas of success that exist. Be careful what you follow. Overnight success is hard to reach and may not be lasting or it might be something conjured up by those who choose to defraud. Be very careful who you follow. Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers shared stories of what seems like overnight success in high achievers which turned out to be more than 10K hours of practice over time.
Additionally, Success is not an accident. We must create it on purpose. My research on Success detailed in book Success Strategies share steps to success for those in need of guidance. Similarly, the book titled Ditch It shares the steps for those interested in switching their miserable job that they are engaged in or ditching it for entrepreneurship if they so desire. The book provides information based on research conducted with successful leaders as they shared the commonalities that drove them to achieve success as they defined it.
So be informed. Read. Gather information and Ditch the idea of leaping into ‘quick’ success.
7.Poor Attitude Towards Money
Spend wisely. As discussed in lack of money to invest in studies, be certain to live within your means. There will be times when you have to forego a desire/want in order to achieve your long-term goals. I cannot help but emphasize the quote, “if planning is important, execution is everything“.
8.Lack Of Self-Confidence. What Do Others Think?
Success must be created on purpose. It is in the very act of taking the necessary steps to build your success. Essentially, you take the steps to build your self-confidence. This means a sense of self-esteem and self-assurance when you believe that you can make a difference in the career path you take. To build your self-esteem you should:
- Reflect. Look at what you have achieved
- Set Goals
- Create a plan to take the steps to achieving your goals
- Consider your strengths. Write down what you are good at
- Motivate yourself. Do this everyday especially when the going gets rough. That’s how you stay focused
- Don’t give up
- Forget what others think. Focus on you, where you want to go and how to get there.
9.Unaware Of How To Adapt to the Changing Environment
Change is constant. That is one thing we can be sure of. Nothing remains the same forever. Bust the Fear. In order to succeed we must create that resilience to adapt, learn and grow. One of my favorite sayings is to do it afraid. Things change and with that we become fearful. Here are 5 things you can do:
- Be flexible and adapt
- Try new things which will help boost your confidence and creativity
- Embrace Technology
- Seek guidance and support from others
- Build your skills and keep learning
10.Lack of Self-Awareness
Seek to understand yourself. What are your talents? What are you good at? Step forward, take the leap, and discover triumphs in your abilities that you never knew existed.
Motivate yourself. Motivation comes from within. The more you believe in yourself and your abilities the more you are able to accomplish. Learn how to exert control over your own motivation, behavior and your social environment.
Avoid negative people and situations. If your friends are not going in the same direction you are, find new friends. Those with whom you can strive to accomplish your best.