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Graduation – So What’s Next?

May 7, 2009
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Most of my friends are already celebrating their freedom. Four years have passed and it is the time to spread the wings and to be a part of the real world. Having spent four months in the career world, I can say that it is quite a roller coaster ride. New projects, datelines, meetings are still there, but they are definitely implemented at a new, different level. In college, we would be forgiven if we skipped the meetings or if we missed the datelines. This is because the consequences of our actions are not that severe. Some people may say that “C is good enough for me” and the professors would not be screaming at your face for lousy grades. But when it comes to your job, you will be held accountable for the meetings or datelines and the bosses can definitely yell at your face at times of project failures.

At this point of life, most of the seniors are starting to wonder about their life. What will I do next? Where will I live and work? These questions, without a doubt, came to my mind too especially few weeks before I graduated. By the will of God, I am quite lucky to be able to get a job days after my graduation date. In fact, this was not planned by me. After all, He is the best planner.

Lately, some of my friends have been coming to me and they have been asking about my post-graduation life. For the past few months, i learned few things. The first thing that I want to share over here is that:

1) You need to know what you want – Perhaps, this is the right time to stop and think hard about what you want to achieve in this life. Nobody in this life long for failure (feel free to proof me wrong). But sometimes, it is easier to verbally say “I want to be successful” than to actually say “Here are the things that I need to do in order to be successful”. Notice the difference between those two. The latter are more objective-oriented. You actually need to list down some of the activities to be done and not just a subjective idea of “success”.

One practical exercise: take a piece of paper. Write down at the bottom of the paper two things that you need to achieve in the next 10 years that will help you to define yourself as successful. After that, write “2019” near those two items. Then on top of the paper, write “2009”. Take a moment to ponder upon those two items. The next immediate step in your life would be to choose an action ( work or to further study, etc) or a platform (i.e. working with Maxis will help me to achieve this, opening my own business will help me to achieve this etc) that will allow you to achieve those two items.

The neat thing about writing all these on a piece of paper is that you can now clearly see your short-term goals and from there, you are able to efficiently note down specific actions that will help you achieve those defined success. My additional, personal note over here would be: realize that you have options in your life. People can give advice but nobody, and i mean nobody, can actually force you into doing things you don’t want to do. Only by knowing what you really want in life will you be able to confidently exit the gate of college and successfully choose one of the gates into the real world. As my company’s consultant said to us today “at a certain point in life, you will have to make a decision. But always remember, after each decision made, a thousand doors will be closed and another thousand doors will be opened.”

Think wisely, make your decision and remember that God is the best of planners. When He brings you to it, He will bring you through it. So, never fret!

Postscript: Special credit goes to Mr. Ashraf (Maestro’s consultant) for his session today. I learned a lot.

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