The Opportunity Cost Of “Senioritis”
Procrastination has likely ruled a large part of your college career, and yet somehow you made it to your senior year. Not only that, but you see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and you’re switching gears, coasting on through to the other side. Before you get too comfy with the idea of all that school work being over and done with, take a second look beyond the light. You’re walking into the world of work, and if you keep procrastinating the way you have been, you are going to have a poor wake up call in an evolving job market.
I understand your mindset. I’ve been there. Our education system has taught you to regurgitate information, stuff it down before a test and throw it up in the morning so you can forget about it, but unfortunately, this process you’ve been conditioned for has little to do with lasting success in the real world. It might be enough to get you through university, but out here it’s barely enough to get you a minimum wage job.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers recently found that only a fifth of 2009 graduates had careers waiting for them upon graduation, while only two years ago the number was over half. What the hell? 80% of college grads just spent a fortune getting a degree only to walk out empty-handed? Something is wrong with this picture—being unemployable with that kind of debt is a recipe for complete failure.
But I don’t care about that 80%. Well, I care that they are destroying their lives and I want to help them, but what really concerns me is defining how the other 20% got such different results than the majority.
The science of nuero-linguistic programming maintains that success can be found by studying the habits and behavior of successful people, so this is what you should be doing as you enter your senior year.
The great thing for you, however, is that I have been doing this already. This exploration of early career success is exactly what I’ve been doing since I graduated college, and I’ve acquired the knowledge to help those who want to change—to help those who want something more of their lives than average.
What sets them apart? How can you become a part of the 20%? Even better, how can you be a part of the 5% who can walk into any interview and walk out with the opportunity of a lifetime in their pocket?
There was a story a lot of us learned when we were kids, about a beaver and a rabbit. While the rabbit screwed around all summer getting wasted with his friends and enjoying BBQs by the lake, the beaver was working like a slave, gnawing through logs and sweating bullets in the summer sun.
The rabbit heckled him, but the beaver kept at it. For those of you who know the story, you know when the winter came the rabbit was cringing in back allies, eating out of trashcans, drinking forty ounce bottles of Olde English, and sleeping in a cardboard box. The beaver, meanwhile, was kicking back in his nice warm house.
Lucky for the rabbit, the Beaver was a pretty cool guy. He forgave the heckling and gave the rabbit a place to crash while he waited for another summer of partying. And the rabbit it saw his Beaver buddy had been on to something all along. Okay, that’s not exactly how the story went, but you get the point.
Much like the Beaver skipped the party to get important things done, you have to use this year to prepare for the next stage of your life. As a future intrapreneur, you need to start thinking of a career as a business, which means relating business concepts to your career planning.
For instance, if you were about to launch a new business, would you wait until the day before launch, type up a quick business plan, and jump right into operations. Hell no, you wouldn’t, and if you did you would be sure to fail.
Preparation is key to any business endeavor, whether the assets will be yours or your sheer dedication to your company’s success will ensure you a solid future.
This is how you should think about your senior year. It is the time to begin putting your “business plan” together. Start researching your industry, learning everything you can, checking out prospective employers. Don’t you remember doing this when you were excited about college? Boy were you naïve…Well, time to get naïve again.
Start reading books that highlight the key principles of subconscious interview dynamics, like The Unspoken Rules of Getting Hired, or subscribe to my newsletter to continue learning how subliminal messaging and psychological techniques can be used to ace your interviews.
Let’s face it—your school isn’t going to teach you any of this shit. If you get your gear ready, you are going to come out of the gates without a job like the other 80%. That’s no place to be in a down recession.
All the other seniors might be having a blast acting like idiots and getting trashed through to the spring and possibly into summer, and by the time they start thinking of work it will be too late. Make no mistake, senioritis is capable of much more than an occasional bad grade on a test. It can be detrimental to your future.
I would even venture that excelling in your career search is more important than excelling in your classes at this point in college. There is an essential truth many over achievers fail to acknowledge—most employers don’t give a shit about your grades as long as you have over a 3.2, and they know how you sacrificed everything else important about life to get that 4.0, which could quite possibly make you a social idiot and little more than another sheepwalker.
So instead of spending all that time trying to squeeze an A out of every class, focus on your career search, learning the information you need, and thinking about what kind of future you want.
This isn’t to say slack on your school work. The last thing you want to do is fail your classes and never make it to the gate. But a realistic perspective is healthy if you can manage it, and by searching for a job in the beginning of your senior year while everyone is screwing around, you will have way more leverage than you would in the Spring quarter when every other slacker is out there scrambling for work.
It’s just like buying clothes during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. All the good shit gets picked up as soon as the doors open, and by the time you get to the end of the sale, the only thing left is a pile of crap no one wanted to buy in the first place.
Waiting until spring or summer to start selling yourself to employers is going to designate you as the shit at the bottom of the barrel that no one wanted. You are the leftovers, and that’s not a great place to be, on a subconscious or conscious level.
End of story.