“Life is art and art is life.” Oscar Wild (played by Stephen Fry) (Photo via The Student Room)
Oscar Wild once said this about the real world:
“Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.”
What does that means you wonder? One way to see it is that the only person out there who’s looking out for you is you. And that the only way to survive is to get out into the real world and stand out as a unique person.
In Part 1 you learned that failing to know yourself, build confidence in who you are and what you do and learning can be serious mistakes that affect your success after graduation. In this part you learn that it’s vital that you take initiative, get into the real world and grow patience.
Part 2 of 3
4. Getting into the Real World
”I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitments, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into it’s expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst it’s perils.“
More and more universities, colleges and high schools are trying to get students into the real world through formal programs though it’s very slow. Why wait for the red tape to fall? Put the skills you’re learning about to good use.
Start your own social enterprise or B-corporation or nonprofit – learn how to build businesses that care about people and the environment while practicing all the skills you just read a moment ago. If that sounds like too much start a club.
Go volunteer with a nonprofit organization that you believe in (and that truly respects its volunteers). You’ll learn about the serious challenges that the real world has to offer before you have to face it. You’ll learn about why the world needs YOU more than ever. Volunteer at least once in your life and let it help you decide where you want to go.
Or go and do an internship at a business that is in an industry you might want to work in (hopefully one that treats its people well and actually lets you practice the things you need to practice). Learn first hand about the challenges and the “work culture“. Be sure it’s “the neck of the woods” that you want to be in.
5. Taking Initiative
The only way to get finished is to get started.
In university, college and high school it’s just so easy to be spoon fed and told what to do (or mostly what to do) and to do just what’s expected. Forget it. It’ll send you into a crash course with the real world — if you become just another “team player” or cog or chess piece (pawn) you’re going to be one of the first to go if there’s a layoff.
You have to take charge of your situation and try to have a “plan B”.
Start your own side projects — keep them small, fail fast and often hopefully at a low cost — see which work and which don’t and learn. Or start a business, social enterprise or nonprofit — anything. Just make it something you can be proud of and that you’re passionate about.
Show you’re a go getter. Better yet, be the one who sets the pace.
6. Being Patient
”She who loves roses must be patient and not cry out when pierced by thorns.” – Anonymous
This is one you and I and everyone else make. Learning new skills, building new relationships and contacts and practicing all take time. Being in university, college or even high school is one of the better periods of life to get ahead of the game.
And you’ve got a few years (3-4 for undergrad). Learn “patience” and start practicing or improving early. Self education in small pieces over a longer time may last longer than a desperate crash course when graduation is just around the corner.
Patience will be more difficult if you’ve already graduated and are faced with the work force, time and money pressures.
Some useful articles:
Get into the real world, take command of your own journey and start learning early – a bit at a time if you have to — it’ll put you light years ahead of who you were yesterday.
In the next part (Part 3), you’ll learn about why practicing, building relationships and managing your reputation is important. Stay tuned!
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