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Never Mind Reaching For The Stars: Practical Advice For Graduates

Whenever the subject of graduation comes up, it seems that many people are so quick to dispense “universal truths” and arcane bits of wisdom that border on the clichéd. Do a quick search on the Internet for “advice for new graduates” and you’ll see what I mean. Advice about “soaring high”, “keeping your spirits up”, and yes, ”reaching for the stars”…it seems we have heard to all before. What so many articles fail to address however is the need for solid, practical advice that can be helpful in the real world of post graduation.

Regardless of whether you are set to enter the corporate world or you are armed with all the education a basketball scholarship you can give you, there are a few things that can help you navigate the treacherous waters that lie ahead as a fresh graduate. Here then are a few words of advice that you may find useful when “aiming high” simply won’t cut it.

Clean up your act
A harsh realization that so many fresh graduates face is that it is a whole new world out there with a completely different set of rules. Unfairly or not, how you look is a large part of that. We’re not saying that you should undergo cosmetic surgery or a radical image makeover. However, it may benefit you to clean up your personal image a bit and discard the questionable wardrobe and personal hygiene habits that have served you so well in all those years of college. Dressing the part is something that is likely to pay off in dividends for the rest of your life, and you should resist the urge to come to work in your sweats and with a 5-day old growth of beard.

Keep your spending in check
The first time you bring home a paycheck is a glorious day indeed, and it is very tempting to splurge on things that you simply couldn’t afford when you were a starving college kid. Unless you want to go back to being a starving-but-older person however, it would be wise to reign in those buying impulses. Add a credit card to the equation, and things could quickly spiral out of control. If you cant afford to pay for something by the end of the month, keep that plastic in your pocket. Give in to the urge to spend beyond your financial means to pay for it and you will be faced with interest charges that will have you screaming back to your nice, cozy dorm room.

Don’t take things too personally
It would help you to realize early on that many people in the real world simply aren’t “nice”. The business and corporate world has little sympathy or patience for hurt feelings or wilting flowers, and if you don’t have thick skin, you will be eaten up alive. Don’t lose the youthful optimism and openness that you have by any means, but temper it with a strong will and determination to deal with whatever comes your way in a gracious manner, and you’ll go places!

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