By Sharon Jeon
Post-college, the real world awaits. As an accomplished young woman with one or two well-paid-for degrees under her belt, you may feel overwhelmed. Between perfecting cover letters, paying off thousands in debt, and readjusting your circadian rhythms, your twenties could feel like a tumultuous roller coaster ride where everything is frustratingly in flux. You are forced to make life-altering decisions, find your lifelong passions, and oh yes, perhaps find The One since your biological clock has been ticking for some time now. Instead of crawling back under the covers, you may find that this quarter-life crisis can be a period of evaluation and readjustment. Think of this as a chance to:
You knew that you weren’t going to be at college forever, right? At some point, a day of reckoning would have arrived. For you, it just happens to be right now. Instead of wallowing in the good times of the past, take constructive action. Understand that changing is inevitable. Look at it as an opportunity to try new things.
Do you realize the wealth of your experience? Do you acknowledge your achievements so far? If not, to boost your confidence, get honest with yourself. Really look at your strengths and the things you need to improve upon. Actually make a list and share it with a friend. Ask for her honest feedback. And then listen—take in what she’s saying—the good and the bad. By seeing what you can change, you are setting yourself up to grow and succeed.
Make Your Action Plan
What are your options? You might not think you have many—but you do. Go to networking events. Contact relatives, parents of friends, neighbors—anyone and everyone that may either become a career contact or refer you to one. They can help you discover your passions, gain job opportunities, and be a source of whatever advice you need at the moment! Your support buddies are there to provide encouragement.
The more smart risks you take, the more likely you will find work you enjoy.
Don’t worry about accomplishing your entire life’s agenda in a certain time period—that will result in bouts of self-loathing. There will be a job, a family, and a non sub-prime mortgage in your future! Trust the experiences of countless women who once stood in the same scared shoes and who are now fabulous successes.
Keep at It
As long as you are working towards a goal, putting in dedicated effort, and embracing opportunities, you will succeed. Think of starting from scratch as a gift. It is a chance to create your own slate. Keep a planner and jot down actions to take and appointments to keep on a daily basis. Be sure to cross them off if completed—that should give you a small sense of accomplishment. Be sure to keep your contact list in a separate place. Those names will be invaluable to you.