I am 27 years old, smack in the middle of what people call the “Millennial Generation”. One of the characteristics of the Millennials is that we desire to make an impact, and make it quick. Because of this, some of us see graduation as a deadline for learning and a start line for a career. Some of us make career choices like we choose a restaurant to eat based on yelp: $$ signs and peer reviews. We are also pressured to take a job as soon as we can to pay for ever-increasing debts. We believe ‘full-time job is always better than a part-time one’, and that ‘non-paid internship is a thing of the past’. But, I want to give you something else to think about. Don’t take a job right away. Consider taking a part-time job or doing an internship. Here’s why you should at least consider this option:
If you have been working in the corporate world or in any professional field, you would agree with me that there are many skills that schools don’t teach us to be successful. Some of these include soft skills like “dealing with conflicts,” “taking a feedback,” and “appreciating people over work”. I learned the importance of asking these questions during an internship. It was a non-paid internship, and it was for about 15 months. It wasn’t easy to make my ends meet during this time, but the skills I acquired and attitudes I developed during the internship are far more valuable than any monetary compensation.
One of the advantages of doing an internships or taking a part-time job is that it allows for more flexible time. I took on this opportunity and went on a 2-week Road Trip from Southern California to Texas. What was crazy about this trip was that I slept in my car during those 2 weeks. I did this because I knew I would gain new insights from being uncomfortable (stretched). And I instinctively knew that I wouldn’t be able to do something like this in the future.
There are things that you can do only while you are young. Learning from traveling is one of them.
If you are a millennial, there is another word that you like: significance. We like to do significant things. So, instead of writing a list of companies you would like to work for, write a list of things you would like to achieve before entering work. Your list can include things like: “running a half/full-marathon,” “reading X number of books,” “volunteering at an organization.” Allow yourself some time to take part in activities and experiences that will give you new insights. New and wild experiences like these will give you invaluable tools that you can bring to the table when you reach a formal employment.
I am not trying to pull you out of getting your dream job. But I do want to tell you “it’s okay” if you haven’t succeeded in finding a job right after school. You don’t have to hit the panic button just because you don’t have a company or a recruiter you are talking to. Use it for your advantage. Use this time to learn the invaluable lessons from life, experiences, and exploration that will take you further faster in the long run.