College Graduates

Graduates: DARE To Live An Extraordinary Life

Graduates: DARE To Live An Extraordinary Life
This article was written by Crista Tharp, an award-winning event planner, author, and speaker, on behalf of the Happy Grad Project. A lot has been said in the past year about how difficult it is on graduates to get a well-paying job, not to mention one within their chosen field. Graduates are now faced with dwindling options and often have no choice but to take a job that they are over-qualified for with much-less pay than they were expecting. Related:11 Job Search Commandments For College Grads When I graduated this was called, “normal." I was expected to climb the ladder of success with starter jobs that taught me the skills and knowledge I needed in order to get the higher paying job I wanted. People in my generation call this “paying your dues;” while the GenerationY’ers call it unfair and ridiculous. So, is there something you can do to increase your odds of getting your career off on the right foot while living the life you always dreamed for yourself? Of course there is, but be warned; you need to be DAREd to do it. What do I mean? I could say the typical things you hear upon graduating: have a great attitude, think out of the box, dress the part and so on. But while that is all important, there are principles available to everyone that will give the skills you need to succeed in anything you do. What’s more – it’s completely FREE! Let me explain DARE…


You don’t need to be Oprah or Bill Gates to be a visionary. When you think of your career do you envision yourself at the entrance level or do you see yourself as the CEO of the company? Visualizing is incredibly powerful. Did you know our minds can’t make the distinction between what we actual did and what we visualized? Professional athletes train for the Olympics using visualization techniques. It is daydreaming with a purpose. Dreaming about your future is the first step to achieving it. You may think I am crazy, but go with me here. When you are planning a vacation – let’s say Disney World; you don’t just buy the tickets and pack your clothes do you? No! You research the best schedules, you watch the weather; you imagine what it will be like by watching the planning DVDs or brochures. This is visualizing your vacation. You get excited, which helps you to create the fabulous trip you wanted in the first place. Same thing happens when preparing for your career so don’t be afraid to dream big!


Take action on any and all opportunities that come your way. If an internship is offered – take it! What if you can spend time volunteering in your chosen field on the weekends? Grab the opportunity with a vengeance and make the most out of it. You can dream of winning the lottery all you want but if you don’t buy a ticket you will NOT win. It is a fact. Help yourself by taking action!


Take responsibility for everything in your life. Don’t blame the economy or any of your fellow grads for taking all the jobs available. Realize that you are in charge of your own destiny. If it takes 30 jobs to get into your chosen field, so be it! You are not entitled to a quick and easy ride up the ladder. Remember, you will be learning and gaining experience every step of the way. Employers look for that as well as employees who are willing to learn the ropes while on their way up. Responsibility is a quality in high demand.


Give back! Help your fellow co-workers and job seekers by teaching things you have learned in the process. It is not going to diminish your chances by assisting others in their journey, but it WILL deepen your lesson and make you much more appealing to employers. Those that empower and encourage those around them to reach their highest potential just shine brighter than those who do not. Have you ever heard the phrase, “a rising tide raises all boats”? That is this principle put to work. Empower those around you and you will elevate yourself to heights you’ve only dreamed of. This is not some New Age fluff; it's an actual testable technique that works for anything in life. Just research some of the most well-known successes in our world today and you will find that they ALL follow these principles in order to achieve whatever they want out of life. No exceptions. So, dream your fabulous career, take every opportunity that comes your way, take responsibility for choices and empower those around you. You are at a wonderful time in your life and you have the chance to live an extraordinary life doing what you love to do. Get out there and live life to its fullest – go ahead; I DARE you!

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Graduating? Know someone who is? As a perk of the Happy Grad Project, we're offering a FREE download of our e-book, "The Recent Grad's Guide To Getting A Job." This e-book is JAM-PACKED with tips from experts and recruiters, videos, and additional help. Don't put off your job search any longer. Photo Credit: Shutterstock