My advice to new graduates

May 13th, 2018 by Ken

Nobody has ever asked me to be the speaker at a graduation ceremony – – not college, not high school, not even kindergarten.  But, I know what I would tell them – – avoid commitments.

It’s a simple piece of advice – – avoid taking on commitments until you know exactly what you want to do and where you want to do it.

Most graduates, diploma in hand – venture into the real world looking for work.  After all, they have student loans to pay off and parents who have expectations that their investment in higher  education will pay dividends.  The sooner the better.

But, that’s not the way to go. Young people need to avoid taking jobs they don’t want to get money they need, to buy things they think they need.

Commitments do one thing — they tie you down.   They make it impossible to venture into activities which will foster your additional education and perhaps put you on a path that you really want to tread.

Buying a house is a long term commitment.  Marriage is a long term commitment.  Children are a long term commitment.  Paying work is a long term commitment because it often leads to the things I just mentioned.

Once you make commitments, you’re tied down.  You don’t have the flexibility to take advantage of other opportunities that might come your way.   You have to pay your bills.  You have to consider your spouse or partner.  You have to consider the impact on any children you may have.   All of these commitments stand in the way of being able to move in other directions.

So, here’s my advice.   Rent don’t buy.  Try not to get too serious with a partner until you’ve had a few years of experience to fall back on.   Never have children until you’re stable.   And, never, ever, take a job that you don’t like just to pay the bills.   Not even in good jobs with promotional possibilities.

Most of you will ignore my advice until it’s too late and you’re stuck.  By that time you have a partner you love, children that love you and friendships developed on the job that you don’t want to lose.

Be honest, be straight forward with people, keep your eyes open for opportunities and above all – – find out what you really want to do with your life – before you take on major commitments.


Posted in The Real News

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