dear guidance counselor

Dear Guidance Counselor – 10 things you forgot to tell me…

Guidance Counselor

There are times I’d like to sit down and write an open letter to my guidance counselor, complain about everything they forgot to warn me about. There’s only one issue with that – I never had one!

My generation is often called the “lost generation”. We’re stuck between gen X and gen Y. We finished college when there weren’t jobs. We’re lost, without direction – but is that our fault? Or could it be what that guidance counselor forgot to tell us?

Since I never had a guidance counselor per-say, there was a lot I wasn’t told. The last “career” placement thing I took was in eighth grade, and while oddly accurate (scary how much so), it’s not a lot of direction. This is more an open letter, to things that students should be told, and well – just weren’t!

First – Why didn’t anyone tell me about blogging? 
OK – fine in all fairness I graduated high school in 2001, we had the internet but blogging and vlogs weren’t that popular yet. And there weren’t things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. But had someone had a crystal ball to foresee these things, not only would they be rich – but they could have told me my future. I love my job(s)! While most people still don’t understand what I do – guidance counselors may need to start looking for the up and coming careers and start pointing kids that way.

College is important – but not the only option! 
I remember in high school everyone was so college focused. You MUST get a college degree – Four Year is better than Two Year. Where did this get me? With multiple degrees and hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Would I go back and do it again? Probably. But here’s the kicker – there are plenty of jobs out there that don’t need degrees. Bachelor’s Degrees are becoming the new equivalent to high school diplomas in some job requirements. But not having that degree does not mean you wont succeed. If college isn’t right for you, don’t sweat it. Plenty of jobs and careers don’t require it. Do what makes you happy.

Student Organizations and Networking doesn’t always work: 
I learned this the hard way. I did everything the right way, had volunteer work, association connections and even won competitions. Where did it get me? I still ended up on the unemployment line. Half of my resume consisted of these qualifications, I had friends in high positions, and it still took me four years to find outside work in my field. I’m not saying don’t do them, but do what makes sense to you.

Ditch the Mission Statement: 
Don’t put that blurb on your resume. People don’t care. It’s that simple, write your skills, your education, association and work history. Keep it under one page. That’s all you need to do.

Be Yourself: 
Never change yourself, or your values to fit a job. If they don’t like you for you – you wont enjoy the job. Besides how long can you fake who you are? Not very long, I promise you.

Find your passion – And go after it!
It’s that simple. You’re the only one who will make you happy. Try different things, work on what you love. You may not always make a ton of money, but you will be happy. Unless of course, money is the thing that makes you happy then by all means…

Find your priority 
If it’s education, career, family – just find it. Make sure you know what your goal is and go after it. Remember no matter what, at least you tried. It may take a few tries but it’s worth it if you reach your goal.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! 
This is an oldie but a goodie. There are mentors out there, people that will help you. If someone tells you no – there will be someone else who will boost you up. Do the same for others when they ask for help. Pass it on. No one ever succeeded without the help from someone.

Keep learning
This doesn’t mean college necessarily – that may not be the path for you. But find what makes you tick, and learn how to do it better. Set yourself apart, learn where the industry is going. Keep growing.

Be Nice 
Remember that old saying “You get more bees with honey than vinegar”. Don’t think you’re better than others, because the reality is someone probably can do it better than you. Find your friends and keep them close, and for everyone else keep them close as well. Everyone deserves a smile once in a while, or someone being nice to them. You never know what doors it might open up for you!

Feel free to add things your Guidance Counselor forgot to tell you! I’d love to see more advice you’ve learned over the years.

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