This is a Young Professional Advice from Friends post written by Emma Warren at Experienced Required. YPAF is a collection of voices from different ages, places and industries to share advice on starting off and being twenty.
As a 20somthing, you are constantly in a state of change. This decade of life is a giant transition period. However, it doesn’t always flow nicely from college to career like we hope. It makes the educational and professional journey of your 20’s full of the unknown. That’s the scariest thing to me.
In college, it’s easy to daydream about what you are going to do when you graduate: Am I going to go to grad school right away, travel, or find an awesome job? The possibility of none of those things happening doesn’t become a reality until you are turning in your graduation application and everyone is asking what you’ve done to prepare for the “real world.” In my mind, going to college and getting some part-time work experience was preparing for the “real world.” There wasn’t much else that I could do at that point.
During my last semester of college, I realized that, although I had done a lot, I did not have the experience needed to get the type of job I wanted. So, I started applying for everything. To any job that I felt like I had a chance at getting, I submitted an application. After many trials and errors, I finally landed a job as an intern at a marketing company. This interview was the catalyst I needed to begin my career.
The internship was great because it created a smooth transition from student to professional. In the US, we go to school for about 18 years straight, graduate, and then are expected to function like a normal adult. There isn’t usually a buffer period. The internship was my buffer. I was able to gain experience, while attending seminars and learning from the professionals around me.
Being a 20 something is so much fun, but incredibly stressful! There are so many changes, good and bad. In the span of one month I graduated from college, got engaged, and was hired for an internship. During that time I also struggled with finding a position, didn’t get to move where I wanted (but I will!), and constantly questioned my professional worth.
The biggest lesson I learned through this whole “growing up” process is that you should never give up on your dreams. However, it helps to reevaluate them. Make sure your goal timeline is feasible, and that you look at all factors in getting there (finances (ugh), experience, location, relationships, health, etc.) because everything in your life effects everything else.
About the Author:
My name is Emma Warren!
I graduated in May of 2012 with my BA from the University of North Texas, where I specialized in Anthropology, Marketing, and Italian. I have worked as a marketing intern, and now work as a full-time Internal Operations Coordinator at a third-party marketing firm.
About my blog, Experience Required:
In a world where professional experience is required in order to gain experience, many doors are closed to recent graduates. My blog is my recollection of various experiences since I entered the work force: experiences with family, love, responsibility, and the infamous work force.