Graduation is around the corner, and, for many college seniors, the pressure to find a job is an overwhelming addition to the semester stresses you’re already dealing with. Realizing you might not land in the career field you trained for is terrifying, but so is the idea of not getting a job at all.
Too many people end up in career fields they’re not passionate about and get stuck. Check out these tips from established leaders on avoiding the dreaded career drain.
Buffett: Follow Your Passion
“Follow your passion. I always tell college students to take the job that you would take if you were independently wealthy. You’re going to do well at it.” – Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
The allure of a steady paycheck is not easily turned away, but don’t forget the career goals you had when you graduated. Too many people sacrifice what they love to bring home a bigger salary. Don’t settle for having more money; go for the job you’ve always wanted. When you look back at your life, you don’t want to regret abandoning your career dreams.
Welch: Make Your Own Decision
“Don’t take a job because your mother wants you to. Don’t be a victim. You own your decision.” – Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric
Another career drain is working toward a career to appease your mom or dad. Parents want their children to be successful, and they can sometimes become too overpowering about making career choices because of this. It’s not that they’ll hate the career field you want to enter, it’s just that they don’t want you to struggle.
The best way to handle this situation is to explain to your parents why you want to go into a certain career field. Have three or four reasons and be prepared to defend them. Once your mom and dad understand how much you love your future field, they’ll be more understanding of your career choices and less likely to try to change your mind.
Amanpour: Put in Legwork for What You Want
“Have a dream. Have a passion. Know that there’s no such thing as an overnight success. It comes with enormous hard work and commitment and sacrifice. And know that the only way to be good at something is to love what you do and to really put in that legwork. Because in the end, your credibility is built on your experience and on the trust with which others view you.” – Christiane Amanpour, ABC Global Affairs Anchor, CNN Anchor and Chief International Correspondent
Finally, don’t expect your entire career to be a field of sunshine and daisies. You’re going to experience setbacks and outright failures, especially early in your career. Don’t let this dissuade you from your goals. Accepting a fallback job when your career plans aren’t quite working out could cause you to give up too soon. Fair or not, some people must wait years, or even decades, to reap the rewards of their hard work.
If you find yourself wanting to give up, remember your dream. Remember what you wanted to achieve when you started out. If you don’t have those same goals, then, and only then, is when you can start considering other options.