When I landed my first job out of college, I was pumped! My entire life until that moment had been meticulous preparing for my contribution to society. I was so ready to get started!
Now that I’m in my second job out of college (both of which I’ve loved by the way) I look back at all that preparation and feel a little disappointed. I learned a lot in college, but my first job looked pretty different than my college curriculum.
I filed expense reports. I wrote Facebook posts. I kept the office organized. I managed team dynamics. I sent A LOT of emails.
I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t learn about these things in college. I love learning! I was disappointed that I did a four year program to prepare me for a job that I could have done (or learned) before college. And preparing is a generous term. More like overloading my short-term memory and making poor life decisions.
I used to proudly state that I didn't earn a degree at college. I earned a declaration of achievement which read “Can put up with a mountain of shit.” But now I wish I'd learned sooner that the real achievement is waving at that shit mountain as you walk by it.
College wasn't all bad. I gained three things that I’m eternally grateful for:
- Space and guidance for self-discovery.
- Relationships that led to my first and second job
- Communication skills – verbal, non-verbal and written
But after just finishing up a 6 week professional development series where I covered major ground on all three of those things, 4 year seems like overkill.
While working for my college after graduation – I know, shame on me for writing this post - there was so much pressure for more. More experiential learning, more events, more courses, more opportunities. I realize now that what college really needs is less. Imagine if college made more time for the only thing that's going to teach us most of what we need to know – working.
Sounds like a four year head start to me.