Planning for success after college part 3: Walking the path to success

Now that you can see it and feel a sense of what it is that you could be doing to enjoy your professional life after graduation, enjoy it and embrace that Map to Success. Remember, however, that your paths can change over time. I thought I wanted to be a dentist and then one day I realized I didn’t. That’s okay. The pursuit of happiness has its turns and bends, which helps us learn! Take a change of course as a lesson that change can be a good thing (and pass on that lesson to those with less experience.)

As you complete your final few laps and highlight a few more paths on your road to happiness, you’ll need to start prioritizing some things over others. It’s impossible to multitask and get the greatest results, therefore, we must remove what doesn’t matter and add in what does in order to get closer and closer to success!

Below are 10 actions you can do today to put your dreams first:

  1. Take things off your schedule that won’t get you closer to your goals. No reason to go to a Biology Club meeting if you really want to be a director of cinematics. If you’re doing it for a resume booster, then find something else that you can replace it with, such as a cine-club or after school acting lessons.
  2. Add things to your schedule that will help you learn more about your dream path. I want to be a photographer, so I plan to start taking photos and start a portfolio for myself.
  3. Understand that there are two currencies in this world: time and money. Time is your happiness, money is your cash flow. Understand the difference.
  4. Ask people for advice. EVERYONE wants to tell their story. Your friend, the guy on the subway, and even your idol – they all seek to proudly tell their story. So? So ask them to tell their story. The advice you need lies in the trials and errors of people who are there and who have been there.
  5. Practice. Practice. Do everything you can to master your craft, whatever it may be. Set out time for yourself every week to keep practicing in order to get better.
  6. Start reading and digging into work from people who are there and who have been there. It may be by reading articles or watching film documentaries on YouTube. You can also find great videos on TED Talks or documentaries. I have found it helpful to creep-search on LinkedIn, which is when I look at peoples’ profiles endlessly in the field that I’m pursuing, looking at what they’ve done and the projects they’ve been involved with.
  7. Put yourself out there. I have a funny, yet serious, one liner that I keep coming across in life. “It’s not about the grades you make, but the hands you shake.” Now, grades are extremely important and will help you progress through your educational journey, but who you know is equally, if not more, important. Get out there and bump shoulders. Meet new people and grow in the community.
  8. Sell yourself online. Your personal brand is huge! Make sure that you curate your online brand to match who you are and who you want to be. If you want to study law, make sure people can see that when they look at your profile. From your picture to the blogs your write, sell it! I’m a huge advocate for personal branding and believe that branding is in everyone, we just have to dust it off and polish it in order to find value in it.
  9. Learn from failure. Pursue something you’ve always wanted to pursue and try as hard as you can to make it successful. From a friendship, to a project in an organization, to a start-up, learn to accept failure as a lesson, not an endpoint. It’s okay to fail, but it’s not okay to fail and give up. Learn lessons in everything you do and harness that knowledge to help you take bigger steps toward your success next round.
  10. Have fun and continue to challenge yourself. The last thing we want to be in life is bored. Go out there and enjoy what it is that you want to enjoy. Travel, learn, and explore the heights of happiness. If you’re not having fun or being challenged to be better, then you shouldn’t be doing it. Make sure to find fun and happiness in everything you do as you reach for “SUCCESS.”

As you learn and grow, you’ll be pressed with many different situations and opportunities. Remember what it is that you want to do and ask yourself every day, “Is what I’m doing right now going to get me closer to my dreams?” Now, go! Get out there and paddle to your dreams!

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Corey is a Senior seeking a Bachelor’s of Business Management from The University of Georgia. He currently stands as a Regional Coordinator of the Pearson Campus Ambassador Program and is a regular contributor to the PS Blog. He enjoys traveling, learning, and more traveling.