By Dr. Latanya Hughes
Assistant Professor, School of Business at American Public University
Finishing college can feel like being on the precipice of a new terrain. It’s scary, but it will be alright. I can’t promise you roses and champagne, but I can tell you some things (in no particular order) I wish I knew then.
- Not all jobs are about money. Your reward may be more in serving others or in following a passion. Am I saying you can’t make money? Absolutely not. Don’t think you are getting your degree and instantly you are making a six figure salary.
- Set SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely) goals for yourself and stick to them. Keep them in front of you, so they can encourage you to press on.
- Don’t limit your opportunities. You may need to be open to relocation or other changes to your current life routine.
- Network! Network! Network! Position yourself to meet industry representatives and leaders. Don’t be afraid to go to industry events, workshops, seminars, and trade shows.
- Arm yourself with information. Knowledge is power! Keep yourself abreast of industry trends. Subscribe to magazines, publications, and reports.
- Get a mentor. You are never too old to have a mentor. Mentors help guide you and hold you accountable to achieve your goals. They develop you and, in turn, show you how to mentor others.
[Related: Be a Mentor, Find a Mentor]
- Stay focused. Don’t lose sight of your goals.
- Keep your eyes open for opportunities. They can be literally around the corner.
- Think big! Don’t limit yourself. The world is a big place and there is a place for you to carve for yourself.
- KISS–keep it simple Sally/Sam. Don’t overcomplicate things. Some of the most successful people kept it simple. Often, the answer to your problems is right in front of you and it’s not hard.
[Related: It’s Time to Finish Your Degree]
About the Author: Dr. Latanya Hughes is a full-time faculty member at American Public University. She received a bachelor’s degree (Hospitality Management) from Tuskegee University and a master’s degree (MBA) from Strayer University. She received the Doctor of Strategic Leadership in Global Consulting from Regent University in the School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship.
Ready When You Are
At American Public University, students are priority one. We are committed to providing quality education, superior student resources, and affordable tuition. In fact, while post-secondary tuition has risen sharply nationwide, the university continues to offer affordable tuition without sacrificing academic quality.