Over the last two weeks, I've had great luck in meeting some fresh graduates who are seeking employment. The advice that I ended giving them from these conversations always came back to the same theme— figure out what you like doing and start, everything else is noise.

My first job out of college was in banking. If you asked me today why that choice, I would  answer, "I was foolish and I thought I'd grow to enjoy it because it paid well." A younger me was an idealistic, ambitious brat who completely disregarded any sounding advice given. I went into banking because I did not know what I wanted to do, the industry paid good amount of money, and it was rather prestigious. That choice was never about what I was passionate in, or questioning whether the work I did was meaningful. I never understood what exactly I was signing up for. My biggest mistake was not giving that decision greater consideration. Fast forward six years, here are some pieces of advice I wished someone crystallised sooner.

Wearing Pomelo Fashion, Cèline shoes and vintage Chanel bag

Do the things you love
I can't stress this enough. As a fresh graduate, your options are often clouded by your peers' opinions, societal comparisons, prestige and the list goes on. Believe me, one relevant consideration should be whether you enjoy the job you end up choosing. This is the most important part of any job you take on. Science has proven that love creates chemical feelings which impacts the motivation you have and the amount of investment you put into nurturing what matters. It is basic human nature, further proven by science.

Seek opinions from credible sources
A recent graduate I spoke to informed that she needed her salary to be of XX amount. After digging deep and questioning her relentlessly, her XX amount was actually based on her friends' hearsays. Comparing is good, but comparing yourself to peers who do not know what they want is bad. Let's admit it, your peers know no better and most often they're conditioned to be self-entitled. Know where to seek for credible opinions. Opinions of older, experienced people usually comes in handy.

Money is great, but it is not everything
Money makes life comfortable. It allows you to afford great experiences, nice things and surely, these makes you happier. It also feels good to attach your self-worth to how much money you're racking in, especially when you can show it to the world. Yes, money can buy you happiness — but there never will be an end to chasing money. Figure out your basic needs (you can allocate your resources more effectively by a strategy called budgeting) and other monetary number is an added bonus. I guarantee your happiness will still exist, if you reframe the way you think about money.

Credibility, knowledge and experience is earned through time
Technology has made our generation very impatient. We're taught that if something isn't fast, it's not worth your time. We also forget as fresh graduates, our information bank is close to zero. We choose not to be honest about how little we know because it's embarrassing to acknowledge that perhaps you're really worth nothing. It's okay to be clueless about life, you're only starting out. Know that with time, comes experience, credibility and greater knowledge. Have patience, you'll eventually figure it out.

It took me a long time to learn how important it was to be doing something you love. In the past, I never understood the concept of passionate work. The process of doing something I had no interest in taught me how to be grateful doing the things I love in the present moment. It's important to know that whatever choice you set out to make in your life, be grateful for it and be open enough to accept the bigger lesson it will teach you. Don't be afraid to admit that we don't know everything in life because truth is, no one knows everything (unless you're Google). Learn to trust the process and one day, it will all make sense.

Good luck!


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