Dear College Graduate:
Congratulations on your graduation and welcome to the “real world,” as everyone seems to say. I was both excited and nervous when those words were articulated to me 25 years ago. Excited because the future always holds possibility. Anxious because there seemed to be some negative connotation attached to the “real world.” I had no choice but to dive in and tackle what came next. Oh, how I wish I could have given my 22-year-old self the perspective I have now. What advice would the me-of-today share with the me-of-then?
- Find Your Purpose. Try to articulate to yourself what motivates you and pursue a career that feeds that purpose. You don’t have to be wildly specific, but you do need to be honest. Do you want a career that is geared to making a difference in other people’s lives? Or do you crave travel, or competition or opportunities for learning? There is no wrong answer here.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment. Think outside the obvious career choices and choose an industry that provides ample opportunity to try on different roles. Seldom is the best fit found right away. Keep exploring until you discover what works for you at the time. And remember that you may outgrow or tire of one role, and it’s okay to try another area of interest later down the line.
- Stack the Odds in Your Favor. Work in an industry with inherent “tailwinds.” Research the job growth, stability (particularly during economic downturns) and work-life balance the industry you’re considering offers. Think about what might be important in the future as well. Do you want to work in a large urban market or a small rural community? Is either an option? How about continuing education or remote work options? Is your personal growth supported?
- Banish Monotony. Does the industry path you’re considering offer long-term reward? Does the industry fuel change? Can it expand to fit the you-of-the-future?
Here’s what I didn’t know back when I was 22 that I want to make sure you know now: those points above matter—and for me, a career in insurance has delivered against all of them. I was lucky to find insurance. And I want to share that with today’s graduates. Insurance is a great option almost regardless of your interests. It offers variety, opportunity and tremendous growth potential.
So dive headlong into the real world. Find your purpose. Experiment. Stack the odds in your favor. Banish monotony.
How? By considering insurance. You won’t regret the decision.
President & COO, MJ Insurance