For New Graduates (or Parents of New Graduates): There is a gift in this pandemic.Aimee M
if you are graduating now from high school or college (or your kids are graduating) in the next year or so in these unprecedented times of a pandemic, my message to you is to stop worrying about what the future holds...you are going to be ok. In fact, you are going to more than o.k. All you need to do on your first day after graduation is to simply put your best foot forward...one step at a time.
The gift hiding in the black cloud of the pandemic.
Many of us have been hit in some way by this pandemic. We might have lost our day jobs, our community, our economic stability, and even loved ones. It has been difficult to be in, to watch others suffer, and to have to wait...wait for the unknown with patience and resilience. We have to also remember that adversity has been with humans over time, and it is our human right to suffer a bit, right? No change or growth can happen without adversity.
"Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny."-C.S. Lewis
But on the other side of a crisis is always an opportunity. This pandemic has simultaneously been a gift to wake us up from the strange hamster wheel we have all been on for decades. The world has stopped just enough to allow us to either truly see and/or focus on the economic disparities, the inequalities of diversity, and the political chess games that have been occurring on a daily basis that adversely affect the masses. It is time to make change, and the hardships of the pandemic will be the impetus for it.
"The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger--but recognize the opportunity."― John F. Kennedy
It's time to rid yourself of mediocrity and make room for transformation...one step at a time.
So what does this mean for graduates? Yes, you are going to feel challenged. Yes, it might be harder to figure out your career path or get a job after you graduate, but you are actually learning at an early stage that you have to be adaptable and pivot when needed. No transformation can happen unless you rid yourself of mediocrity and step up your game to a whole new level...to accept the challenge that life has put before you. This is what "truly living" feels like. And the first place to start your transformation is by just simply taking one step forward. Sign up for college courses or join the military if it calls to you (H.S. graduates), get your resume together, start networking of work on LinkedIn (college graduates)...just one step forward every day.
There is no wrong choice in that first step as long as you are making a decision based on growth and not fear.
That means, for example, to choose a career path that truly fits the strengths and value you want to offer in order to make a positive impact with your own personal growth, your family, humanity, etc....not a decision based purely on earning potential only if that is seated in fear. For new high school graduates that are going to college, don't get overwhelmed by failing out. You made it day-by-day to through 12+ years of education...you are just continuing down the path to the next level. Remember... make decisions based on growth- not fear. Fear is never a good driver for decision-making.
"Everything you want is on the other side of fear." - George Addair
There will always be jobs for graduates. Maybe not a dream job, but there are jobs.
For people just starting in their careers...good news for you...there will be jobs because you will be the lowest paid person in your profession because you are just starting out 😉 ...you are the cheapest form of educated labor. I know that hurts, but you will have work. There are DEFINITELY jobs out there for you. You just need to learn how to market and network yourself out well to get it. It is that simple. If it is not your dream job, that is ok. Position yourself for your dream job so that when the pandemic ends, you will be the first in line for it. Prove yourself in the current job until that happens. Most successful people started in an entry-level boring job where their strengths and talents were not being fully utilized. It is called "paying your dues".
The pandemic will end and life will continue on.
When my husband died in my mid 30s, it felt like the whole world had stopped for myself and my son, but the one strange epiphany I had was at a traffic light near my house 3 days after. The whole world had not stopped for everyone else. Yes, bad things happen. People die. But life continues on. I was tested in all ways when that happened to us, but I learned how resilient I was, how strong I could be. I had no idea I had it in me. It changed me strangely for the better, though I wish that had never happened to my husband.
Accept the opportunity that comes out of this pandemic.
Transformation happens in adversity if you just accept it and pull strength from it. Yes- it might take a bit longer because there is a pandemic, and you might have to put your career path on hold or go for a graduate degree if your field is not hiring. But pandemics do not last forever. And people at the highest economic level can not continue to make substantial money unless you are working, so there will be a strong push to get the market going again once the economy starts to recover.
"It's not about perfect. It's about effort. And when you implement that effort into your life. Every single day, that's where transformation happens. That's how change occurs. Keep going. Remember why you started." Jillian Michaels
Day-by-day. Step-by-step. Breathe. I promise. As long as you are truly putting your best foot forward, you will not only be ok, you will be stronger and more resilient. And if you fail, learn, pivot, and start over. EVERY successful person has had failures. Accept that failures again are often the catalyst for transformation, if you allow for it...if you keep looking forward...taking it one step at a time.
Accept what life has brought to you with this pandemic...clarity, awareness, and the ability to reconnect with your inner strength. You are going to build the resilience and adaptability needed to survive well in general in life and to start your professional lives with this mindset from the beginning of it. Opportunity will be the rainbow that falls out of a dark cloud of the passing storm of the pandemic. You will look back someday and relish the beauty of it.