A Word With Erin: Lessons in Gratitude Post-Graduation

ErinPostHeaderBy Erin Breedlove I’m so honored to be back with you this week, Working Girls! The last month or so of my undergraduate career was absolutely the craziest month of my life, but I’m so happy to say that I survived to tell about it and graduated 12 days ago! In the 12 days that I’ve been enjoying the post-grad life, I’ve learned some really important things that are applicable to anytime in life but especially to that lull in event after graduating college. Though I’m only listing three here, rest assured that there are plenty more!

Be grateful for relaxation. If your college experience was anything like mine, you were constantly on the go for four-and-a-half years and coveted those Saturdays that were spent curled up with a Netflix marathon and a hot cup of coffee. Now, there’s not something going on all the time, save the holiday season, and chances are, you’re going cross-eyed from submitting cover letters and resumes to online job application systems. But, fear not, the relaxation and the time to slow down a bit will be just as good for your mind, body, and soul as constant activity. Be grateful for relaxation and for the calm before the storm of your exciting new adventure, whatever that may be!

Be grateful for deep breathing. Having graduated two weeks before the onslaught of the holiday season, I often find myself becoming restless and impatient when it comes to the status of certain applications and interview processes. It’s sometimes hard to remember that the people processing all of those necessary materials have lives, just like you, and enjoy children, family, and a life outside of work. If you’re like me, deep down, you wish that human resources professionals lived at the office and were processing paperwork from talent searches and background checks around the clock. The reality is that we must all take a deep breath and realize that it simply cannot work that way, and it is vital to respect all roles that your colleagues play. Be grateful for deep breathing.

Be grateful for your support system. If you’re anything like me, it was easy to assume that the people who worked on my campus were there because they had a job to do, and seemingly, their job description included a portion about student support and interaction. While that may have been true, it is important to realize that any individual who supports you is in the role because they feel a general concern for you and your well-being. However, now, if you’ve moved back home with your parents or if you’re in a place of your own, there isn’t quite that built-in structure and comfort. Given that fact, the people who support you are there because they want to be and because like those on your college campus, they have a genuine concern for you and for your well-being. Be grateful for your support system, and perhaps most importantly, make sure you let them know you are grateful for what they provide!

I’m sure that all of you have learned valuable lessons in 2013, whether it be the result of graduation, a new job, or just living life! I’d love to hear them! Feel free to tweet me @erinrbreedlove to continue the conversation as we begin developing resolutions to start 2014 off on the right foot!