First: College is not the real world. Don't fool yourself into thinking that it resembles it in any way.
Second: College will teach you about the real world, but not how to survive in it. This involves Josie B. Student learning all about current events, international problems, philosophical implications, empirical evidence, and scientific reasoning. It does not, however, involve a study of the job market, how to find a job, or even where or how to start.
Third: A degree is worth less than your real world expertise. Sadly, knowing how to go about securing a job will help a lot more than that beloved degree. Paper is less effective than personality. That's just how it is. People don't choose to hire you because of your resume.
So how do you go about learning all this real world stuff? Well, for one, you learn learn by failing. All those unsuccessful attempts at landing a job teach you what not to do. I highly recommend this path if your looking for a long and tortuous professional and personal hell. Or if your a masochist. Either or.
If that, however, does not sound appealing to you, I would go for the second option. Learn from another expertise and success how to find a job the right way. And learn it before you graduate. There are many ways to go about doing this. I, not surprisingly, chose to read a book.
That book is Richard Nelson Bolles' What Color is Your Parachute?: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers. I just started the book today and I have already learned a lot! Here are some pearls I have gleaned from my perusal:
- College/High School fails to teach you the three essential life skills.
- How to choose and find a job.
- How to choose and find an appropriate partner/husband/wife.
- How to think and how to make good decisions.
What are the skills you most enjoy using. That does NOT mean those you are good at. Where: Imagine you are a flower. Every flower has an environment where it does best. Where would your flower thrive, in a professional sense? How to get where you want to go. This is perhaps the most difficult question.
I'm working on #1 right now. After making a huge list of verbs detailing things I can and can't do, I found about 15 that I both do well and love doing (the second part is essential):
I know most are pretty abstract, but they are meant to be. The practical comes in when you figure out how to consolidate these skills/interests into a real world job.
I haven't gotten that far yet. But I hope to, as I hope some part of this very long post helped or interested you in some small way. Cheers!