Image published courtesy of monsterthinking.com
written by Lauren Schultz, a BDSmktg Millennial
Life is filled with expectations. Speaking from a 20-something year old perspective and as a member of the millennial generation, when I graduated from high school I had certain expectations of how my life would unfold.
The expectation I had coming out of high school was; if I invest another 4 plus years of my time in college, along with investing “x” amount of dollars into my education then I will certainly get the career of my dreams and blast past any other competition.
Easy breezy…life secured, right??
However, the reality was that after getting out of college I realized the only place for a Psychology major such as myself to go was either a) back to school to pursue even higher education, or b) into a field that had nothing to do with my degree. This was a little bit of a shock. Why didn’t anyone tell me this? I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I thought the Psychology degree just gave me lots of options and many directions to choose from. Just as many Psychology graduates probably thought.
Now, of course this is not true for everyone in my generation, but I think for some of us millennials the expectation is that you don’t necessarily have to be sure where you are going, when you get out of college and start working. You think that maybe if you take just one step in the “right” direction, it will automatically lead to another opportunity and sort of like a domino effect, the rest of your life will perfectly fall into place….oh and probably and hopefully without any major hurdles.
In contrast, it has become more and more apparent that the only assured way to move forward in any direction, is to decide for yourself where it is you want to go and then make the best decisions to get you there one deliberate step at a time.
Simple, but it can be a concept that is difficult to grasp when for most of your life you have had your journey mapped out for you by others. Deciding what you want to do on your own can be difficult, and develops out of a lot of failed attempts, taking chances and being lucky, rather than knowing with certainty from the start where you want to end up.
I have realized during these last couple of years that to just coast along on a degree hoping people will take notice will not give me a fast pass to developing my career. And although, my manager can guide me on what steps to take in getting to the next level, the drive that I have deep within me is what will actually get me there overtime. The reality is that time and experience is not something a college degree comes with, it is something that must be gained over time, just as is personal and professional credibility in the workplace.
To quote one of the great rap artists from my generation, “…we started from the bottom, now we’re here...” Most of us will start from the bottom and work our way up to the top, but in doing this , we will build up our corporate acumen, gain a better understanding of every piece of the business, and with that we will strengthen our credibility and become more knowledgeable and influential in our role as we grow within our career.
Lauren Schultz is an Employee Relations/OD Specialist for BDS Marketing Inc. She graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Psychology. Lauren resides in Orange County, California. Lauren is currently working in Human Resources focusing on employee development, learning and performance initiatives for BDS.