Focusing Strategy #1
Making College Count
in the 21st Century
A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.B.A.,
or Ph.D. Unfortunately, they don't have a J.O.B.
Let's tell it like it is. You can either go through the motions of college and end up with a degree, or you can maximize your college experience and end up with an abundance of cool career opportunities doing something you will love. The reality is, most students just go through the motions, defaulting into one of three postgraduate scenarios. The following are real-life examples.
Name: Teresa Martin School: University of Texas, Austin
Degree: Psychology Debt: $0
status: Working at a local sports bar in Austin and still living
at home. Has been working part-time since her junior year, and this evolved into a full-time position after graduation seven months ago. Under pressure from her parents, she is considering going back to school to study law.
frustration: Although Teresa doesn't mind working at the bar,
it isn't where she pictured herself ending up. Her parents, after paying the big tuition bills at a reputable college, are naturally disappointed. They wish she was applying her degree, pursuing a more attractive career and living independently.
Constant pressure from her parents is driving Teresa up the wall. She simply doesn't know what career she wants to pursue and is struggling to find a way to apply her degree. She wishes she had put more thought into this and explored her options in greater depth while in college. Applications are due for law school in a few months, but she is paralyzed with indecision.
Name: Taylor Smith School: New York University
Degree: Finance Debt: $67,000
status: Working as a securities analyst for a large bank in New York. With a serious girlfriend and 18 months in a stable career, he is well-settled into postcollege life.
frustration: Although successful in the eyes of his friends and family, Taylor has great disdain for the career path he chose.
Long hours and routine work are wearing him down, leaving him with little energy for himself and his girlfriend. He now realizes that the image of the finance field he carried through school was candy-coated by the high salary and prestige.
Taylor wishes he had pursued something he was truly interested in and excited about—sports broadcasting perhaps, or journalism. With growing expenses and a seemingly inescapable debt load, Taylor feels stuck. He would love nothing more than to be able to go back to college and do it all over again.
Name: Steven Lee School: Colorado State University
Degree: Comp. Sci. Debt: $31,000
status: Finished school eight and a half months ago and is still unemployed. Sent out more than 120 resumes, yielding only two interviews with no callbacks. Now spends the majority of his days playing computer games. Has basically given up on the job search, having recovered from the shock of realizing there was no corner office waiting for him upon graduation.
frustration: He knows he has the skills to excel in a variety of information technology jobs and is deeply frustrated about not being able to get his foot in the door. He blames the economy, but knows there is more to the equation. As the weeks drift by with no job in sight, his self-confidence and self-worth continue to plummet. The only thing getting better is his computer game scores.
What's wrong with these pictures? Why didn't those thousands of tuition dollars propel Teresa, Taylor and Steven into more fulfilling futures? Sadly, Teresa, Taylor and Steven are only three of the millions of college graduates who each year fit similar profiles. A great many of us drift through college hoping that life will work out later, hoping that the degree we earn will be a ticket to a successful and fulfilling future. In the last century this approach may have worked. Now, however, things are much different. In this first focusing strategy you will learn a new approach to college. Adopting this new approach is an essential step in making college the rewarding investment it should be. By putting these concepts into action, you will begin discovering what career you really want to pursue and start developing experience that will make you invaluable to employers. Best of all, college will become less stressful and a lot more fun. But first we owe you an explanation on why this new approach is so badly needed.