STEPPING OUT: FIRST DAY IN THE REAL WORLD

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“It’s terrifying, but we all have to do it.”


When you are a college student, you have all these ideas about how your life will go once college is over. But there is no real blueprint for how life will turn out. No pot of gold awaits you as you walk across that stage. You graduate on a Saturday or Sunday, and then back to your regular day job you currently hold. And that’s when it sets in, yep, life. The blueprint you thought was going to work is not working at all. The plan of getting out, and some organization observing your resume, then giving you a job is not real after all. So what do you do, you keep working whatever job you currently hold. And days turn to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years. And before you know it, you’re working a job that you could have easily gotten not going to college.

Why do so many people give in and say screw it. They quite progressing forward, and now they have this expensive piece of paper that they have to pay off. Meanwhile, there are going to be the few who come straight out and get jobs. But the masses work the same mundane jobs that they had in college. Well, college is the icing on a cake, and sometimes only constitute for sprinkles. The cake is you, and you have to carve something out for yourself. So how do you carve out an identity for yourself? You start to first test out different things that peak your interest. (Oh yeah, something you should have been doing in college, not just partying) Then once you find that something, you should really do as much as you can to hone in on a skill at that thing.

Put yourself in the know as much as possible. Take on internships, go out and build something yourself; put yourself in harms way so things good can happen to you. Which sounds odd to put yourself in harms way, but you have to do so. You have to be fearless and dangerous while you’re young. Don’t be afraid to try your hand at something, anything, to be great. You’re still at an age where that fearlessness is inside of you, and that jaded feeling of dealing with the world is not present. Because at the age of 22, 23, or 24, you can live like a hermit, and build a life. Put your time and energy into the things you love, and are good at in life.

Because in the end, that is my philosophy since I have been actively pursuing my goals for the past 5.5 years. Notice I said goals and not dreams. Dreams are these images you get of being somewhere in life, yet no work is currently being put in. But a goal put you on track to getting where you want to be. And don’t worry about the failures, you’re going to get plenty along the way, but as long as you’re learning from them, they are lessons and not shortcomings.


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SIDE GIGS: WHY MAKING ANOTHER INCOME IS CRUCIAL IN AMERICA TODAY

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“Nothing wrong with F-U money.”


In America today, working a conventional day job has become hard to come by in this ever changing society. So with that said, when working a job, you don’t know one moment to the next when you’re going to be on the chopping block. You could easily walk into your job and be told that we are downsizing. That’s when it hits you that you have no job, low bank account, and now your bills are due. So what do you do when the stakes are high and chips are low? That’s why having a second income in America today is cruical.

Now when I say a second income, I don’t even mean having another career. It doesn’t even have to be full time. You can have a gig for a few hours here and there over time. You might look at it and say to yourself, “Oh it’s only a couple of hundred dollars extra per month.” But a couple of hundred being saved over time may result in thousands the more you put away. Today, you’ll say, “It’s only an extra $300 dollars, why bust my behind.” Then three years into your job and you get let go. You’re down and out until you remember that you have a side bank account of savings from your side gig/s.

And that’s when you see it, nearly $11,000 in your bank account. It’s not a whole lot of money, but an extra $11,000 can help out a lot. Why $11,000; well it’s attributed to that “only” $300 you made each month that you have been putting away. Sounds simple, but it’s not as simple. Being able to generate a side income takes a lot of time and work, sometimes work outside your day job that leaves you with no time for yourself. And not wanting to put in that work is what makes people not attempt. Now, someone may feel they shouldn’t have to earn a side income. True, but life isn’t about shouldn’t, life just happens.

So in a society where things happen, you want the most options. You want to be able to say, “I don’t have a lot, but I got enough.” As for me, I don’t look at life for what should be and shouldn’t be. I just adjust to the changes and leave it at that, even if nothing happens. The whole mindset of crossing that bridge when you get to it can be dangerous because what if that bridge is not available when you get to it. Then the world around you collapses. So, in the end, setting yourself up for a cushion just in case is important. On average, nothing generally happens to people, but you can never be too sure.


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RUNNING ON EMPTY: TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH AT ONCE

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“Take it easy people.”


Have you ever had the feeling like you’re operating on fumes. And what do I mean by fumes. I mean people who spend their days running from one place to another; whether it’s running errands for the house or tending to your children. For me, I am pursuing a career as an artist, so I am all over the map. But let me break down the type of artist. I came to New York City pursuing a career in screenwriting/filmmaking in the year 2011. And since then, I have written two books, made two short films, and wrote nearly ten screenplays as a practice to get better as a writer. Oh, and let’s not forget the two blogs I started on WordPress and Medium, with photography and podcasting coming in the year 2018. So as you can see, I am all over the map. But there is more structure to my work than you might expect.

But with the structure comes the feeling of running on empty. That feeling you get when trying to accomplish too much at once. So, you have to sit back and assess situations; come to the conclusion on what needs to be done first. Prioritizing is very important when trying to figure out your task at hand. Knowing what you should be working on, and what will aid you in getting to where you have to go faster and more efficient. Like I said before, you might think I am doing a lot, but I am a very productive person. But for those that are less productive, they could use a little assistance in the areas where I am typically strong. Here are a few pointers for working smarter so you have less stress and more energy.

THE MARATHON METHOD

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When I am working, I utilize my time like someone running a marathon. You don’t run a marathon all out because that is virtually, if at all possible. You must race to stay with the pack, at times putting a little burst of speed to keep the other runners on their toes. But also you’re putting yourself into position as well, not to mention anticipating the strength of the other people around you. And that is how I work; make sure to put enough into your work, then slow down a little bit. Give yourself time to assess the work you have done thus far. And if it’s going to be a long day, I typically go hard early, then coast a little bit; opening up my stride throughout the afternoon. And if I am working through the evening, then I reignite like earlier in the day. People wonder where my energy comes from, it’s because I know how to work smarter not faster. But I also have learned over the years the limitations of my body.

PLAN AHEAD

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Have a plan for what you’re going to be working on the day of. This might be the night before, days, or even weeks earlier. For me, I like to walk great distances to the computer lab at my former graduate school where I contribute to my blog and write my screenplays. This way, it gives me time to think about a particular topic for when I sit down and start. Now what’s interesting about me, is that I don’t think about a topic to write. Thinking about a topic to write, makes writing harder for me. When I want to plan my day for writing, I think about something totally unrelated to writing, so once I sit down to write, I have a topic to write about.

KNOWING YOU MEANS A MORE SUCCESSFUL YOU

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A big, big understanding you must have of yourself is a strong sense of self awareness. Know what your mind and body can take as you work. I am someone who can work all day everyday, and rarely get tired. But that is me, you might work a different way. Now notice I said work all day everyday, but I didn’t say on what I was working on. My day consist of me working on a few chosen projects, maybe even one if I feel I can be more productive with the one. I never try to put too much on my plate at one time. All that does is cause unnecessary stress and tension that you don’t have to have in your life. So only carry a load in which you know you can hold.

POSSIBILITIES: In the end, knowing how to manage your time and stress levels can lead to a more prosperous and satisfying life. Too often, we try to cram everything in at once because we have this tomorrow is not promised to us mentality. And to an extent, we are not promised tomorrow, but on average, we are given another day. So when you try to cram so much in, in one day, you inevitably drain yourself for the next day. You become less productive and less efficient, thus feeling as if you’re running on empty.


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FIGURING OUT YOUR FUTURE: HOW PLANNING EARLY CAN AID IN YOUR FUTURE SUCCESS

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“Cross the bridge now, so you won’t have to worry later.”


We have all been told as it pertains to our futures to plan early on in life. Though planning does not guarantee that everything will go according to plan, but at least you have a template for how to move yourself ahead in life. If you don’t have a plan, you will find yourself in a rut, and can’t seem to get past wherever you’re currently at in your space in time. For example, you might sit down and create a laid out plan for after college while you’re in college. Does that mean once you graduate from undergraduate school you will have this great career. No, but it does mean that once your college years are over you have some type of road map for where you want to be in life. And back to the rut, what do I mean by the rut.

In my opinion regarding the rut, when you have not properly prepared for a future in whatever it is you want to do, you get down on yourself. And then you start to see people around moving in directions toward their perspective careers. Meaning if you want to get a job working for a great company, then you should mostly likely get yourself an internship in college. Connect with like minded people who you feel can aid you in your future growth. And that future growth will mean that you are setting yourself up for things to happen; success being one of those things. And if you are not setting yourself up for success, then I don’t know what you are setting yourself up for in life. Sounds like a lot of work, but that in a nutshell is life. A lot of work, a lot small victories, that will get you in the space where you want to be.

Some still might be a little shaken up regarding how do they move forward in life. Where do you really start when pursuing a career. Put it this way, if I want a job working in finance, and I am college student, the first thing I would do is read up on the economy. Learn to read the market, and also take courses that will aid in you graduating from college. That literally means majoring in economics or finance. But while in college, I would say you try your best to get an internship working in finance. Now does that mean you will be learning finance, chances are no. (Isn’t that a joke, not learning finance in a finance internship). But when you meet people in the financial world, they may refer you to other internships or even recommend you to jobs. Another “ship,” that would suit you would be a fellowship and an apprenticeship.

You want to also prepare yourself for graduate programs by taking standardized testing to get into a good grad school. Now, all of what I have said prior is real, but may not always work out that way. Because me for example, I went to grad school for my MBA, yet I am pursuing a career as a writer. So anything can happen along your journey, but even with my writing I have a plan. So in the end, plan, even if the plan does not pan out that way. Because it’s like the old saying, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”


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