During my senior
year of college, I received what can only appropriately be described as an onslaught
of life advice. Fortunately for me,
all the advice came together quite nicely, and by the time I started looking
for full-time jobs I knew definitively that I had to:
Not worry about a getting a job (it all works
out!) while also landing a GREAT job (because it doesn't always
just 'work out'). Explore new fields
(be a Renaissance woman!) while making sure to stay laser-focused on my
passion (you gotta know what you want, and go get it!). Work hard because this is critical
career-building time (30 is not the new 20!), while also
remembering to have fun while I still could (because, honey, youth is wasted
on the young!)
Call me a
freshman in Philosophy 101, because I'm having a full-blown existential crisis.
seriousness, while it was incredibly challenging to work out the signal from
the noise, there was one piece of advice that always stood out to me as being
something every day that scares you.
Now, THAT made
sense. Scaring yourself means stretching
your limits and putting yourself in a new, different situation in order to come
away a more experienced, knowledgeable, and interesting person. Whether I did or did not live up to the other
expectations being put upon myself and the rest of my graduating class, I felt
confident that if I could continue to stretch and, for lack of a better word,
“scare” myself, I would consistently grow, learn, and progress as I made my
debut in the professional world.
So, what did
that mean? For me, I knew I wanted to 1) be put in
situations I had never been in before, 2) travel to see new places, and, most
importantly, 3) never, ever be bored.
And if I
wanted to support myself while doing that? Follow my heart to become: a
professional base jumper, an Olympic gymnast, or a consultant.
consultant. A business-casual-wearing,
often desk-sitting consultant. Let me
put in situations I've never been in before: A neuroscience major more
used to the lab than the boardroom presenting the business case for our
pharmaceutical client's new R&D initiative?
Hadn't been there, now I've done that
to see new places: Office
in New York, project in Atlanta, alt-travel to Paris? All in a week's work
ever be bored: Working at
a new company and in a new industry every six months? Check and check
At the risk of
being that 3rd party providing unsolicited advice, as you decide on a post-grad
career path, I strongly suggest that you keep in mind the importance of
stretching, challenging, and, yes, scaring yourself in your new
role. I am fortunate to have found that
opportunity through my time as a consultant, but whether your dream job
requires a jumpsuit for a three-piece suit, you should never shy away from an
opportunity to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
But, hey, that's
just my two cents!