Life is not fair
You have your degree and are filled with nothing but optimism and you feel as if the world is your oyster. Remember the size of your graduation class? They have that same optimism too, and it’s just not them. Think of all the new graduates nationwide, and the pool is only getting bigger as there’s a new class walking across the stage every year. What does this mean?
That degree which you worked four years to get and owe 5-figure debt on? It’s not worth much.
Just because you have a degree does not mean the marketplace has a job in waiting. You will apply to many jobs which you are qualified (even “over-qualified”) for and not receive as much as an interview. The 1% of interviews you do receive, the employer has already decided who they are going to hire before you even walk through the door and you’re just being used to fulfill a quota. At worst, you’ll be sent a rejection letter before your scheduled interview.
The solution? Accept that life is not fair and you will be met with obstacles. While your frustrations are valid, commit yourself to constant self improvement and becoming better, it’s the right thing to do.
Get out of debt as quickly as possible
Say no to a life of payments. The quickest way to build wealth is through your income.The less money you have going out in “obligations” and miniscule monthly expenses the more you can add to your investment accounts. This means saying no to frivolous spending such as:
Grooming subscription: $28/month ($336/year)
Razor “clubs”: $6/month ($72/year)
Sock subscription: $45/month ($1,068/year)
While the monthly cost may not seem like much but looking at the yearly cost adds another dimension of perspective. The worst part is, once these payments become normal you’ll continue paying them without a second thought, not realizing that each year you are spending ~$1,500 dollars on things you don’t actually need or can find a better, more cost-effective alternative.
Comparison is the death of happiness
Do yourself a favor and forget the “Joneses”. While you’re struggling on your $27,500 salary, your friends’ salary will be multiples of yours, in one case someone’s yearly bonus will be more than your yearly salary (and this will be described as a “bad year”).
But the emperor has no clothes.
Most of your friends and family members will finance lifestyles on credit cards while carrying high student loan debt. You will see new cars, fancy trips and you’ll even attend their luxurious expensive weddings. After the gas tank is full, the passports are stamped and the vows are said, you won’t see the crushing car payment or the monthly credit card statement which only increases because they can only pay the minimum.
Be happy for them, celebrate the occasion just remember to focus on your life and control what YOU can control.
Don’t believe the advertising hype
Each year companies spend millions and millions of dollar for one purpose: to make you feel inadequate. And how lucky are we that they are here to sell us the solution? Let me be clear, there’s nothing wrong with making a profit and companies must do so to survive. Never let the advertising influence your self esteem because contrary to popular belief, things will NOT make you cool. They may add convenience to your life but no widget will ever make up for a deficit in character. Beer will not make you more interesting and what happens in commercials will not be replicated in your life no matter how many times you use the body spray. Using luxuries to cover a void is just a sleight of hand to distract you from addressing the core issue.
It’s your job to fix your life
I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.William Ernest Henley, “Invictus”
Translation: No one is coming to save you. You are the franchise player of your life. The human resources department at your company is probably not planning out your career. You will meet coworkers who have been employed in the same position for 25+ years and hate it. Do not let this be you. If you find yourself in this position, build cash reserves and make a transition plan. Do not work a job you hate long term, it will only pollute your soul. Even when you have a job you like, always, always, always be applying. This will ensure your interviewing skills are sharp and you never know what opportunity may present itself. Having options on the table is always a good thing (especially when your employer is making record profits and only gives a flat cost of living adjustment at the end of the year).
Take complete ownership of your career and put yourself in the best position possible for advancement at your current company, or elsewhere. Do not be discouraged if the skills you need to attain are going to take time, the time will pass anyway. By starting today, you’ll see results one day sooner than if you start tomorrow.