As 2018 began, I entered a new season. Now that I am a college graduate, I have started a new chapter of my life, one that involves being a full-time employee. For a lot of people in my position, this time can be incredibly stressful due to the oncoming responsibilities that the future brings, like starting to pay back student loans, finding a place to live, and stocking up on a new work wardrobe. I think that the most important thing to have in this new and exciting season is a mentor. Being fully known and understood by someone who is older and wiser than you is so important in your development. I have a few older family friends who I know I can turn to for advice when it’s needed. For example, I was talking to one not too long ago about starting work and this was the advice she gave me: She told me to be confident in everything I do; she told me the stories of how she came to be a leader in her field today. She told me that, despite her lack of experience, she had to accept a new challenge, say that she would figure out how to complete it, and follow through. She said that her confidence and drive was what got her where she was trying to go. Similarly, another family friend encouraged me to figure out a financial plan for the next year or so in order to set me up for success in the long run. A lack of financial planning can lead to a stressful year and prohibit growth in many areas of life. I hold both pieces of advice invaluable, and cannot stress how grateful I am to know people who have already gone through what I’m facing.
Not only do these wise friends help me to navigate the new struggles of this new season, but they also teach me leadership skills by sharing their wisdom. Their stories help me to see how they became confident and strategic leaders, something that I too aspire to one day be. If I could give any piece of advice to a recent college grad who is braving a new season of life, I would encourage them to find a mentor to learn from.