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Attention New Grads: Nobody Cares

As a new graduate, no doubt you are awash in congratulations and good wishes. Whether it’s high school or college, you’ve attained a significant goal. The props are well deserved.

But as you look forward and contemplate what’s next, start first with this crucial piece of advice: Nobody cares that you fulfill your goals and accomplish your life’s mission. Nobody cares as much as you do. And they never will.

All those pats on the back, the hugs, even the tears, they feel good. But make no mistake, no one will be losing any sleep over your career. No one will be in the office early and stay late to ensure that you stand out and move up. No one will ever be as invested in your success as you. What you do, all that you will become; it’s all on you.

When you get that, when you recognize that your success, your happiness, belongs to you, it sets you on a path to be more.

So now what? Diploma in hand, all alone facing an uncaring world, what do you do?

Own it.

Embrace the fact that you are steering your destiny. Take responsibility for your successes and your failures. Learn from everything you do.

Start by setting a goal. What do you want? Think about it a lot. Write it down. Then tell a friend, one who will keep you honest when you aren’t being true to yourself.

Be in tune with yourself most of all. Celebrate your skills and build upon them. Acknowledge that you aren’t great at everything and fill the gaps where it makes sense.

Recognize what matters to you. Your values will, and should, guide your decision-making.

Share your passion. It’s what makes you special. Let it set you apart.

Be highly aware that all you do, and all you choose not to do, communicates to the world around you. Tell your story so that you control your personal narrative and stay on a path toward what you want out of life.

Approach your career with the same level of intensity, planning, and thoughtfulness that you bring to your job.

Own it. It’s all yours.

Make the time, care enough to get what you want out of life.