A short course in adult life

How to build a successful career and still get the most out of life.

Neither school nor university has a “preparation for adulthood” subject. After graduation, many students find themselves facing challenges that no one warned them about.

Don’t get hung up on hobbies alone

Many people like to advise: “Do what you feel like doing. Of course, this approach is not unreasonable, but try different fields first to see what you are really good at. As a young person you are unlikely to dream of a career in finance, reading The Wall Street Journal at your leisure. But an interest in investing and the financial markets may come with the years. In any case, it will not be worse if you do try. In addition, work in this area can bring a good income.

Study psychology

You need to understand how various factors influence our actions. Human psychology is an amazing science, and it’s a shame that so few people take the time to study it. Being able to understand your own weaknesses and analyze the behavior of others will really help you understand how the world works.

Don’t send out multiple resumes

Sending out hundreds of resumes for every possible job opportunity you can find is a terrible job hunting strategy. You’ll never get noticed that way. Create different resumes with cover letters for several companies you are interested in. It is not unreasonable to seek advice from people who are already working in the field you are interested in. They can share with you the secrets of employment in a particular firm. By making useful contacts, you might learn about job openings that do not appear in the public domain.

Never give up

Don’t listen to those who say you’ll never get a good job in this state of the labor market. Or that student loans are a burden on the shoulders of young people. These stereotypes shouldn’t ruin your life and take away your ability to make your own decisions. Don’t think about what others are doing. Work on yourself and avoid those who whine forever.

Don’t focus on the end goal, think systemically

First, choose a goal. It can be anything, like making a million dollars in a year. Then think about how to fix the process so that over time to become richer (this is a systematic approach). If you only care about the end goal, you will feel like a failure if for some reason you do not fully realize it. It is impossible to control everything that happens, so it is important to develop a system of rules that you will follow, so that in the end the successes will outweigh the failures. Then, even if you fail somewhere, you won’t give up, but will challenge fate again, because you have a plan of action.

Once you find a job, do not throw money away

Even after graduation it is worthwhile to lead a modest student lifestyle – at least another couple of years until you learn how to properly manage money. At least do not go to all sorts of trouble immediately after the first adult paycheck. Otherwise you will have a hard time getting out of the habit of spending a lot. Be sure to read some books on how to make a personal budget. This is one of the most important aspects of adult life – and one of the most underrated.

Keep learning

If you want to become smarter, read as many books as possible on a variety of subjects. Being well-read will help you make up for your lack of experience when you are young. People who read a lot do better in life than those who are born with good abilities. By the way, reading is one of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s favorite pastimes.

Sitting at work and being productive are not the same thing

You can work 70-80 hours a week and still not be very productive. But if you want to be productive in your profession and have time to do more than just work, learn how to organize your time.

Ask questions

Sometimes you’ll look like an idiot, but you’ll be a fast learner. Ask questions every time you doubt something. Not only will this help you figure out what’s going on around you faster, but it will also show others your interest in your work.

Take care of your health

Students can eat fast food alone, party until 3 a.m., and show up at lectures in the morning refreshed as a cucumber. As you get older, you lose that ability. Eat healthy foods, exercise, and get enough sleep. This will give you energy, and you will also feel better.

Learn the art of selling

We all make sales in one way or another, even if we don’t realize it ourselves. You need to learn how to sell yourself, your ideas, your product, your company or your concept of work.

Take a risk

Move to another city. Plunge headlong into a risky venture. Do not sit around with your pants down at a job you hate. No need to plan your life for the years after graduation. Take a risk-you have plenty of time to turn things around if the risk doesn’t pay off. Everyone will advise you to choose solid options, but there is no need to go that route just because it is the easiest.

Enjoy life

And don’t take yourself too seriously. Before you settle down and responsibly enter adulthood, devote a couple of years to traveling. Enjoy life while you’re young and full of energy.