Got Commencement Speeches? Advice They Don’t Tell You at Graduation

It’s that time of year again! Even if you graduated from college too many years ago to count, we figure it never hurts to rely upon sage commencement speeches for a job search pick me up.

This one, however, struck a chord: Not only is it different, it’s realistic! And no, it wasn’t part of a real speech though the author wishes someone would have told it like it is to the Class of 1988. The Wall Street Journal published an adapted piece by Charles Wheelan based on his book, 10 1/2 Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said.

For instance, he implied some of your worst days are ahead of you! “Graduation is a happy day,” he wrote. “But my job is to tell you that if you are going to do anything worthwhile, you will face periods of grinding self-doubt and failure. Be prepared to work through them.”

Although it’s a grim reality, sometimes reassurance is helpful. Yes, the job search or career reinvention time is grueling and tough but the key is expecting it won’t be a walk in the park and deciding to continue walking ahead anyway.

In another point, Wheelan ascribed to the notion of not trying to be great. “Being great involves luck and other circumstances beyond your control. The less you think about being great, the more likely it is to happen,” Whelan wrote in his book which will be released on May 7.

The man has a point. Instead of focusing so much on being great and making strides, focus on the strides themselves. Enjoy the journey, not the destination and you might be very well surprised!

In another tip, he pointed out we shouldn’t take anything for granted. Although morbid, if you get hit by a bus tomorrow would you have any regrets? Better yet, he offered this advice: “And the important corollary: Does this path lead to a life I will be happy with and proud of in 10 or 20 years if I don’t get hit by a bus?” Just some food for thought.