Uncommonly Common Advice for Graduates Seeking Collaboration instead of More Competition

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As new college grads join the ranks of the career-minded, dutifully employed professional, hopeful yet apprehensive in the concomitant uncertainty, I’m sharing advice from Avni, who’s a few years post college graduation. Her wisdom as she reflected on her few years working full time wrangling adulthood, then wondering what if…

I would give two pieces of advice to anyone who is graduating or a recent graduate in their early twenties: the first is to try to recognize their values, what they believe in. This will enable them to discover their purpose through looking inward and creating their own conception of success. 

Often, when young, we’re influenced by others, especially our families, teachers, and trusted friends. Thus, in the first years post-college, following Avni’s advice, newly minted adults often are separating their own ideas from the expectations of others. 

Next, I would suggest determining pillars of what they desire in their career. These can be working with people, good work-life balance, creative outlets, etc. Once they have identified these pillars, I would try to not accept a position that doesn’t contain all of the identified pillars. 

Yet, accustomed to following the standards set by teachers and others, young adults may stumble to identify and articulate their own desires. They’ll likely need the help of mentors or other trusted advisors in reflecting on questions like, “What is a career?” or “What is the quality of life that I seek?” 

Both are easier said than done but I think that ultimately, the need for personal development and introspection is integral in order to live a more fulfilled life

Often, newly graduated adults believe Life will simply unfold into everlasting satisfaction. But, adulting is effort, without the “water wings” of a class syllabus or our parents’ direction to both follow and rail against. Be gentle. And, know that life happens at its own pace and with on-going lessons, not bound by a single semester but a lifetime of learned experience.


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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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