We need a reality check.
I’m just as sick as the next 18 to 20-something about the older folk talking about “how screwed your generation” is going to be stepping into the labour force. The thing is, they have a point. I think it’s time we hear it from one of our own about the imminent struggles we face as an overly-educated generation. And what we can do to steer clear of our forecasted troubles. And no, I have not seen the glory land and have come back to talk about all the riches and spoils of the other side.
I’m just here to be real with you.
I’ve run a business for the past three years as a Franchise Owner with College Pro. I started when I was 18 and have since interviewed 250-plus people my age and older. After interviewing a pretty large sample size, I’ve seen that, as a whole, our generation is pretty awesome at communicating via email or texting, but struggle connecting face-to-face. This is really what being an entrepreneur has taught me.
In order to be successful in a monetary, relational or mental sense, you need to be able to interact well with people. If I wanted to go out and market my business and find customers, I had to be able to represent myself well—in person. Your Facebook and Instagram accounts can only tell someone so much about you. Unless you’re striving to be the next Jenna Marbles, chances are you won’t be making your fortune off your social media profile. I know, bummer. You will, though, need to be able to build and maintain relationships with people in the real world.
Get Comfortable with the Uncomfortable
Entrepreneurs often do uncomfortable things at uncomfortable times to hit their goals. Social media is comfortable for most people. But I’m talking about uncomfortable stuff like, being the one to introduce yourself to a CEO, or, be the one to speak up in a crowd and voice your opinion. Given, many are great at this. But more aren’t. As someone who has been in far too many uncomfortable situations to list, I have been fortunate enough to see the rewards of working hard. And taking risks. I’ve been able to connect with all types of people to perpetually get help and advice to hit my own goals.
The beauty of what I did, is that College Pro trains entrepreneurs every year to have the same sort of experience that I did. It forced me to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, while my coach cheered me on the entire time. If anything here resonates with you, and you believe that putting yourself into situations where you interact with people will help you stand out, then check out we do at College Pro. But, more importantly, get out and take the time to build some meaningful and genuine connections with people.
I can promise you, it’s the best thing you could do as a young adult. It helped me.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.