If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked, “What do you want to do when you graduate?” I wouldn’t have to do anything. It got me thinking, though. In times of such occupational uncertainty, isn’t it better to refrain from typecasting ourselves in lieu of finding employment which could possibly open doors to rooms we didn’t even know existed?
I’ve spent the past four years planning to get a job in the creative department of an advertising agency. It never even occurred to me that there were actually other options for which I may be equally or better suited. However, if I simply send my resume to the creative directors of a whole bunch of advertising agencies, I may be alienating myself from possible openings elsewhere within the agency. But that’s what we do, isn’t it? We shoot ourselves in the foot with the bullets of our own unfounded confidence. We graduate college with dollar signs flashing in our inexperienced eyes and visions of corner offices dancing in our heads. What we fail to realize is that we may not start out where we intend to end up. We’re on one highway now which we’ll be exiting at graduation, but that exit isn’t necessarily the road to our destination; rather, it will lead us to another highway, along which we can find other exits that will take us to other highways and so on and so forth until we find that nice little town called “Security” where we’ll settle down, buy some stock and raise our kids to be just like us.
It isn’t until we release ourselves from some of the preconceived stereotypes and expectations that we can truly begin to find our own success.
In the meantime, we can come to terms with what we’re good at and what we’re not so good at and examine every possible path those “good – ats” can take us. Life can change tomorrow. So what are you going to do about it today to ensure that what you did yesterday doesn’t become obsolete some time next week?
Whitney W. Friedrich is a senior majoring in advertising and English.