Graduation countdowns are a common tradition toward the end of spring term, but the realities of graduating are also bittersweet. Leaving the structure of college to enter a professional workforce requires…well, professionalism. Lately I’ve been asking people about their plans post-graduation, and I’m surprised to hear a common theme of entrepreneurship, aspirations to earn a living wage while working less or even working minimum wage to get by in order to focus on their music/art careers. I’m not surprised people want this, but I am surprised how realistic many people believe these post-graduation plans are.
The biggest difference between what makes something realistic and fantasy, though, involves setting small, attainable goals with some form of direction toward making the larger picture happen. This is easier said than done, but often the missing connection involves implementing small practices that allow you to develop better relationships and communication skills; daily, structured habits; and strategically analyzing the way we process information and act on our thinking on a regular basis. It’s all ‘no-shit’ stuff, but I’m constantly surprised by how much I need to learn in order to plan and direct my goals effectively.
While the following recommendations might seem cheesy, don’t let your ego keep you from remaining teachable outside of Portland State. After all, if you knew it already, you wouldn’t be here.
The Tim Ferriss Show
While I don’t identify as an entrepreneur and have no interest in pursuing that goal, The Tim Ferriss Show seldom isolates listeners into believing the content is only applicable for business owners. Much like The Art of Charm, TFS features a wide range of guests with extensive interviews and information about how many global operations function from the people who run them.
What I enjoy most about this show is how I can embrace the theory of ‘learning the mistakes of others,’ which is practiced in just listening to successful people’s experiences and understanding what did or didn’t work for them in the long run. You can learn about certain career risks and their outcomes, how figures from different cultures were brought up and which practices or ethos—however foreign—allowed them certain opportunities, or ways of thinking.
You might even learn about potential future employers. Many people on the podcast are people who are in the position of hiring contemporary, passionate graduates such as yourself. Learn about who your audience could be and go for it. If you’re looking for an episode recommendation, my favorites have been #167 with Jamie Foxx, #218 with Kara Swisher (“The Most Feared and Well-Liked Journalist in Silicon Valley”); and the April 26 episode with Nick Thompson, Editor-in-Chief of WIRED magazine.
The Art of Charm
AOC is one of those podcasts where I’ve found myself rolling my eyes because, like The Tim Ferriss Show, the podcast is marketed toward entrepreneurs. Also, the show hosts are constantly advertising their self-help bootcamp, which is specifically provided only for men. That’s gross, right? However, AOC does provide a ton of great topics, advice and a wide -range of guests I’d never heard of before.
You can learn about reading body language from a former CIA agent, how to overcome toxic insecurity in relationships, developing anger management from a neuroscientist, and more importantly—if Shaquille O’Neal actually believes the Earth is flat. I’m completely serious; Episode 602 is an interview with Shaq and it’s worth every minute.
It appears as though Jordan Harbinger, the regular AOC show host, recently left to make his own podcast, and the newer show hosts are pretty rough to listen to. Most all episodes before April 2018 are still available to listen to though, and I highly recommend you check them out.