What do you say to graduates entering the worst economy in decades? Your perfect job is out there it's just hiding in Witness Protection Program?
During these lean times, graduates will have to be careful distinguishing between what they can afford and what they can't afford. What they can't afford is self-pity. It's an indulgence everyone is better off without.
A little pain and suffering is often a precursor to success.
At age 30, Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, a company he helped start 10 years earlier in his parents' garage. Everything he worked for had come crashing down. He was publicly humiliated. On the heels of that devastating loss, he created NeXT (a company which Apple later purchased) and Pixar, the world's finest animation studio.
John Grisham went through a dozen agents and a dozen publishing houses trying to get "A Time to Kill" published. Grisham says he never got depressed or thought of quitting. His attitude was: "What the heck, let's have some fun."
The legends of false starts and failures are legion:
The drawings Charles Schultz submitted to his high school yearbook were not included for publication.
Erma Bombeck was turned away by her college newspaper and told she couldn't write.
Julia Roberts auditioned for "All My Children" and didn't get the part.
Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team for "lack of skill."
Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade and, for a time, Albert Einstein's parents thought he was "slow."
The most successful motion picture director of all time dropped out of school in junior high. It was a detour Steven Spielberg managed to overcome.
For those of you who haven't been able to find jobs, you need to know that the world is still your oyster, but you may have to work harder to pry open the shell.
Consider this borrowed time, when you are "between opportunities," as a time to get organized and ready to go.
Clean out your car, your wallet, your closet, your dresser drawers and your Facebook account.
Find an on-line budgeting spread sheet and start planning for when that first paycheck comes.
Get in the habit of working out. It's good for your body and your mind.
Invest in friendships -- not for the purpose of networking, but because relationships are the only lasting source of genuine wealth.
Start learning the things you wanted to learn in college but couldn't because someone else wrote the syllabus. Study a new language, pick up a paint brush, pursue your passion.
Work whatever job you can wherever you can to pay the bills and, if you can, volunteer. Many of the things we do now have a way of opening doors years down the road.
The future might not be unfolding like you planned, so why not go with it? Challenge yourself to do the unexpected and venture out of the box.
All of life is a risk take it.
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