As college students getting ready to enter the real world, it’s tempting to abandon our ambitious career goals and grab the safest job as soon as we graduate. While we all have to pay our dues and getting that first job is important, it’s also vital not to give up on your dreams in the process. Here are a few simple ways to pay the bills and keep the dream alive.
1. Stay inspired. Keep up to date on the latest trends within your interest. If your interest includes handlettering, follow a wide range of handlettering Instagram accounts. If it’s web design, set Google alerts for the latest updates in web design. Whatever your passion is, don’t fall behind.
2. Be active. Practice refining your skills. If you get the chance to implement even a small bit of your interest into your workday, make it count. Not every first (or second, or third) job is the dream job, but taking advantage of the small moments that give you purpose can not only improve your skills but can also fuel your fire. Additionally, practice your skills on your own. Freelancing is an excellent way to make a little extra cash on the side. Remember, it’s essential to do more than just talk about your passions — stay active in your art.
3. Make connections. There’s nothing more important than making connections. Whether it’s with your coworkers, peers at a party, or the person next to you on the subway, make sure you’re making connections and building your network. Update your LinkedIn, not only with your career advancements but with a growing portfolio.
4. Save for the future. Getting out of school leaves most of us with debt to pay off and very little money in our bank accounts. While it might be tempting to blow that first hard-earned paycheck, be smart and save. Pay off your bills now so that you can pursue your passion. Most hobbies require money at some point, whether it’s for equipment or training, so start a savings account for your passion and continue to invest in your future self.
For now, you probably shouldn’t quit your day job. But the ones with the tenacity and drive, the ones who work 8 hours at work during the day and 6 hours on personal projects at night, the ones who never quit and keep pursuing purpose and passion are the ones who someday can. Don’t let go of your dream – make it a reality.
Graphic Created by Suhey Campos