The Watch Your Step Blog https://blog.kylegrappone.com Kyle Grappone, Public Speaker and Book Author Thu, 07 Mar 2019 17:58:47 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.4 https://blog.kylegrappone.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/cropped-DSF0348-32x32.jpg The Watch Your Step Blog https://blog.kylegrappone.com 32 32 Why Does Everyone Hate Their Job? https://blog.kylegrappone.com/uncategorized/why-does-everyone-hate-their-job/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/uncategorized/why-does-everyone-hate-their-job/#respond Thu, 07 Mar 2019 17:58:37 +0000 https://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=110 In the years after college, I worked for a few different companies of varying sizes and industries. My co-workers were from all type of backgrounds and of various ages. Yet, no matter the company or person, the same issue kept popping up. It appeared, on the surface, that the majority

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In the years after college, I worked for a few different companies of varying sizes and industries. My co-workers were from all type of backgrounds and of various ages. Yet, no matter the company or person, the same issue kept popping up. It appeared, on the surface, that the majority of the people I worked with disliked their jobs. Dig a little deeper, and you will find that they were dissatisfied with the type of life they were living.

The majority of the people I worked with had the same routine. Every Monday they would complain that it was in fact Monday. Then, they would spend the next five days wishing it was Friday. They were literally asking me, “Is it Friday yet?”, Even though they clearly knew it wasn’t even close. These people wished the majority of these days away so they could escape into the weekend. This type of behavior was irrational to me but accepted as commonplace in today’s society.

We have become a world that tells you that you are not supposed to like your job. We rationalize that you are not supposed to enjoy anything about your day job and therefore it is okay to be in a constant state of dissatisfaction. Not only that, but there are several million dollar companies who profit based on this state of mind. Examine the advertising for alcohol, food, and travel based companies. You will find that they prey on your need to escape your day to day life. Personally, I reached my breaking point.

I had to figure out what was going on. I had to discover how so many people were so unhappy, for so much of the week. Is it possible that EVERYONE does HATE their jobs? I began to look into this by surveying my co-workers, contacts, and college graduates. What I discovered, was much more complicated than a pure disdain for working.

The Surveys

In my surveys, I asked questions about the person’s past. Specifically, how they spent their time in high school and college. What did they regret and wish they could do differently? I probed into how hard they worked, what they learned, and how ready they were for the real world. What I learned, as many people had no idea what the real world was going to be like. They were completely unprepared for life after college. They had gone through high school and college with an “I’ll figure it out later” type of attitude. Then, when later came, they were thrown into a world they knew nothing about, forced to take a job they did not understand and ended up living a life they never intended on living.

It is not that EVERYONE has a deep HATRED for working. It’s that a lot of people did not understand what working full time entailed. They didn’t know the time, energy, and resources that go into being an adult and having a career. If they had, they would have paid more attention in school. They would have taken choosing a college and major more seriously. They would have worked towards a career that was going to bring them satisfaction and pride. Instead, they did not do these things. This is how we ended up where we are today.

The Fix

How do we fix this problem? We fix it by inspiring younger generations to learn from our mistakes. We need today’s high school and college students to understand what the real world is like. To understand the importance of taking advantage of the opportunities that education can give you. We need to educate today’s students on the importance of researching the right education and career paths for them.

The first way to do this is to throw out an age-old question. Almost every student I have ever spoken too has been asked the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. To me, this is a fundamentally flawed question. It is flawed because we are asking students at a very young age to decide what they want to with the rest of their lives when they are unsure what the options actually are? They do not know what each careers entails. This includes the day to day tasks, type of education needed, salary range, and work schedule. This is like asking someone to order dinner without telling them what restaurant they are going too or letting them look at the menu.

So, the student takes a guess. They choose something they think will make them a lot of money or whatever their parents believe they should do. Then, they choose a college and major based on this guest. Finally, they enter the workforce and take a job they do not know much about. This is where they realize that it is not what they thought it would be, and they become like the co-workers that surround them. Dissatisfied and disappointed.

The Question

We need a new question. We need to begin asking students, “What Type of Person Do You Want To Become?”. When we ask this question, students are no longer beholden to one job or one career. Instead, they are opened up to a field of opportunities of the type of person they want to be and the impact they want to have on the world around them.

I walk each student through this entire process in my book, To The Next Step,  as well in my coaching and teaching strategies. Once a student completes this process, we begin to list out all the possible jobs that are connected with the type of person they want to become. Then, we go to work networking and researching. It is imperative that if a student feels it may have found the career path for them, that they connect with those who are already doing that job.

By connecting with these working professionals, you can ask them questions about their work. What do they like? What do they not like? What is there day to day like? What did they study in school? What advice would they give someone pursuing the same career? The answers to these questions will provide you with the information you need to make the best possible choices about your future.

This type of research and networking will also prepare you for the real world and workforce you will soon enter. You will now know what will be expected of you. What your day to day life will be like and if it is something you are going to find fulfillment and satisfaction in. You will be able to use your remaining educational years to build the habits and gain the knowledge necessary to succeed. Most importantly, your job will align with the type of person you want to become.

You will go to work each day with a specific goal, person, and life in mind. No job is perfect. You will have bad days. However, if you are working towards something you believe in, you can come home most days with the satisfaction of knowing you spent your time well and made the impact you wanted to make. This is how you build a life you will be happy to live.

The Challenge

My challenge to you, if you are a student, is to begin to think about the type of person you want to become. What in your life makes you feel satisfied and fulfilled? Begin to answer that question and start your journey. Take control of your education and your future. Understand the importance of being prepared for the next steps in your life.

If you are a parent or educator, I challenge you to begin to inspire the students in your life. Motivate them to see the big picture. Work with them to understand the importance of being prepared for the real world. By changing their mindset, we can get them to take their education seriously. This will allow them to make the right choices when it comes to their future so they may end up living a fulfilling, purposeful career and life.

About Kyle

Kyle Grappone is a Youth Motivational Speaker, Author of To The Next Step (Atmosphere Press), Student Success Coach, and Online Educational Teacher.

His goal is to inspire high school and college students to think differently about their education and be prepared for the real world that awaits them. He does this by challenging students to ask themselves, “What type of person do you want to become?”.

If you are interested in any of Kyle’s services, please e-mail him at Kyle@KyleGrappone.com.  

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What Does ‘Finding Yourself’ Actually Mean Anyway? https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/what-does-finding-yourself-actually-mean-anyway/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/what-does-finding-yourself-actually-mean-anyway/#respond Mon, 08 Oct 2018 20:22:14 +0000 http://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=79 You go to college to find yourself. I have heard that statement spoken several times in the past and I still don’t fully understand what it means. Did you get lost in high school? What are you trying to find now that you are in college? Of course, this idea

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You go to college to find yourself. I have heard that statement spoken several times in the past and I still don’t fully understand what it means. Did you get lost in high school? What are you trying to find now that you are in college? Of course, this idea of finding oneself is not limited to teens and young adults. We often hear of people taking vacations or breaks from relationships to “find themselves.”

Again, what the heck does that mean and how does one begin such a bizarre task? Nevertheless, if you feel as if you are going to use your college years to find yourself, you are better off figuring out what you are looking for and why it’s relevant that you find it.

Be More Specific

     If you feel the urge to find yourself, start figuring out what you are looking for. The chances are high that you are looking for your purpose in life. The reason you are here and what you should be doing with your time. If you are looking for your purpose, then yes, college is a great place to begin exploring that. Specifically, begin to list out what you are looking to gain from your college experience. Independence, discovering a new passion, and learning new skills are all items that can help you find out your purpose. Also, start to think about the type of person you want to become. What in life do you enjoy doing? What events from your past made you feel good and gave you a sense of purpose and satisfaction? Once you start answering those questions, you can begin to build the type of person you want to become. Now, instead of finding yourself, you are creating yourself and your future life.

Are you really lost?

     The idea of becoming someone new or beginning a new journey may sound exciting, but is it really necessary? Are you lost and in need of finding, or are you just going with the crowd and looking for improvements in areas that don’t need them. If you have known what you wanted to do with your career since you were younger, there is no need to pretend to have an epiphany now. If you have discovered your purpose and have a pretty solid idea of what you want your future to look like, then you are way ahead of the game. Focus on making decisions that will help you get there. If you are still in high school, begin to research majors and schools that align with this vision. Talk to those who are currently living a similar life and figure out what they did to get there.

Check Out My New Book: To The Next Step

Should you go to college at all?

   When it comes to younger generations, this notion of self-discovery is tied to college. The idea that you have to take out loans and go away to college to figure out what type of person you are going to be for the rest of your life. There are so many things wrong with this notion. First of all, discovering your identity has little to do with college. It has everything to do with your desire to take control of your future and figure out the type of person that will bring you a life of joy and satisfaction. Therefore, it is essential, before starting the college selection process, to decide if college is even right for you in the first place. If you enjoy working with your hands, building things and working on your feet, a college classroom might be the last place for you. You can learn more about trade schools in this blog I wrote earlier this year.

What to do next

   So, after it’s all said and done, you have “found yourself.” You figured out the type of person you want to become, and you have created a plan to get there. Now what? Now, you go from finding yourself to bettering yourself. Defining your purpose and passion are only half the battle. The next step is continuing that desire to control your future. To keep driving towards learning new skills and facts, growing as a person, and experiencing new and different things.

Conclusion

The term finding yourself is too broad and random to yield any tangible results. If you think you need to embark on the road to self-discovery, then figure out what exactly you want to find for yourself at the end of it. Understand that this is 100% about you and what you want for your future. Do not make choices based on cultural norms or well-intentioned advice from family and friends. Figure out your path forward and clearly define the short and long-term steps it will take to get there.

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Do You Know What A Trade School Is? https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/do-you-know-what-a-trade-school-is/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/do-you-know-what-a-trade-school-is/#respond Mon, 08 Oct 2018 19:33:40 +0000 http://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=76 From the moment we are born, the game plan for our education is the same. Attend school, obtain good grades, get into college, graduate, and find a job to support yourself. While attending school and financial independence are the correct beginning and end points, it’s the steps in the middle

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From the moment we are born, the game plan for our education is the same. Attend school, obtain good grades, get into college, graduate, and find a job to support yourself. While attending school and financial independence are the correct beginning and end points, it’s the steps in the middle that society has gotten stubborn about.

Somewhere along the way, we decided that a college degree was a must for all high school graduates. After 12 years of encouraging students to be unique and creative, we turned around, put them all in the same bucket and convinced them that college is the only logical next step in their lives.

The issue here is, that we are encouraging students to fall in line. I speak often about deciding what type of person you want to become and becoming the first version of yourself. For some, a businessman or educator is exactly who they want to become. However, for others, a college classroom is the last place they should be spending their time and money. If you truly think about what type of person you want to be, and you come to the conclusion that you like to build things, work with your hands, and constantly move around than you owe it yourself to explore alternate options to further your education.

The dictionary refers to a trade school as a vocational school designed to give students the technical skills to prepare them for a specific occupation. In simple terms, a trade school will educate on real-life skills such as plumbing, construction, carpentry and much more. This type of institution will pay you to learn these valuable life skills that will translate into a job you enjoy doing and a life you are happy and proud to live. Furthermore, due to the cultural bias against trade schools, these skills will soon be in high demand.

In a 2016 Presidential debate, Senator Marco Rubio questioned why we as a society have stigmatized trade schools, adding “The world needs more welders and less philosophers.” While the second line got a good laugh, the question itself should be examined. Why is it that an educational path that offers paid apprenticeships, defined outcomes, and mentorship is not given equal weight and consideration to a standard college education? The notion that trade school graduates make less money is simply not true.

A recent study shows that graduates from both types of schooling can make roughly same after graduation. However, the average bachelor’s degree graduate leaves college with up to $30,000 in student loan debt. That’s a lot of money and debt to earn a job in something you don’t even enjoy doing.

Trade schools are not for everyone, and neither is college. However, when we encourage younger generations to think about their futures, we have to present all the options. Just because it worked for you does not mean it is meant for them. Furthermore, we need to remember it is their future’s, not ours, that they are planning for. As for students, they are the ones that must take time every day to think about what type of person they want to become. If you decide that the person you want to become has nothing to do with working in an office, then a trade school might be exactly what you are looking for.

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Becoming The First You https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/becoming-the-first-you/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/becoming-the-first-you/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2018 18:42:46 +0000 http://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=69 About 15 years ago, there was a highly anticipated professional wrestling match between two of the best wrestlers in history, Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho. The storyline of this match was that growing up, Jericho idolized Michaels, but now wanted to surpass him and become the better performer. It was

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About 15 years ago, there was a highly anticipated professional wrestling match between two of the best wrestlers in history, Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho. The storyline of this match was that growing up, Jericho idolized Michaels, but now wanted to surpass him and become the better performer. It was here, during one of Chris Jericho’s promos that he said something that has always stuck with me: “I grew out of wanting to be the next Shawn Michaels, and I concentrated on becoming the first Chris Jericho.” Putting personal feelings about professional wrestling aside, that comment is quite profound. Here is a man, who was trying to be someone else only to realize that his best course of action was to become the best, and first, version of himself.

We often find ourselves wanting to be other people. Whether it be good looks, fame, money, or luck, there are always people who appear to have what we want. It is easy to attempt to emulate these people’s traits and characteristics. It is easy to want to become the next Beyonce, Brad Pitt, or Mark Zuckerberg. They are rich, famous and successful. Why not try to be just like them? It relieves us of the burden of trying to carve our own path and make our own decisions. We can just do what they do. However, they didn’t become that person by trying to be like someone else. They reached that status because they focused on becoming the first version of themselves.

Becoming the first version of yourself is incredibly difficult. There is no roadmap to becoming yourself because no one has ever done it before. No one has ever become you, and no one ever will again. To become the first version of yourself, you need to determine what type of person you want to become, what you will stand for, and what you desire to accomplish while alive on this earth. It also means, doing what makes you happy, regardless of anyone else’s opinion. It means going against the crowd, going left when everyone you know is going right. It means doing something because it is what you want to do, not because it is what society is telling you to do.

I myself have often struggled with this problem. I have always strived to be me, do what makes me happy and what I believe is right. I listen to music I enjoy, not what is popular. I eat foods I like, not what everyone else likes. I could care less what anyone else thinks about any of the choices that I make. I have never tried to be the next Ryan Gosling, Kevin James, or Mark Cuban. I have always focused on becoming the first Kyle Grappone.

So, I ask you this question. Who are you trying to be like? Do you behave the way you do because it’s what the cool kids are doing? Do you make sure your interests are in line with what social media and the masses tell you it should be? Do you find yourself trying to copy the behaviors and actions of celebrities or acquaintances whose life you wish you had? If you do, you will only end up becoming a dollar store version of them, and no one is going to buy that version.

Be yourself. Find what makes you happy, and do it. It doesn’t matter if it makes anyone else happy. Determine what you are passionate about, seek it out, hunt it down, and capture it. Figure out what kind of impact you want to make on your family, friends, community and the world, and then spend every day trying to make that impact. Become the first version of yourself, and let others try to become a dollar store version of you.

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A Letter To My Younger Self https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/a-letter-to-my-younger-self/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/a-letter-to-my-younger-self/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2018 18:41:37 +0000 http://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=66 Dear Kyle, At this point, you are about halfway through High School. You have friends, your grades are okay and what is most important to you right now, people like you. They find you funny. You don’t annoy or disappoint anyone. I know you may think that this is enough

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Dear Kyle,

At this point, you are about halfway through High School. You have friends, your grades are okay and what is most important to you right now, people like you. They find you funny. You don’t annoy or disappoint anyone. I know you may think that this is enough and that being the class clown and doing the bare minimum to get by is fine. I am writing this letter to tell you, with all due respect, that you are wrong. I wanted to tell you that even though you may be having what you perceive as fun right now, you are actually wasting precious time and your actions will bring consequences 10–15 years down the road. You can be better.

You have a something special inside you. You may not be the smartest kid in class but you are of above average intelligence. You are creative and charismatic. You can think fast and write well. You can be something better than what you are on the path to becoming. The path you are on right now is going to bring you to a place that you do not want to be. However, for me to convince you that you can be something better, I have to explain what you are currently on the path to becoming.

You’re passing your classes and that’s fine. Your grades will get you into a college, which is also okay. The issue is, you could be doing so much more. You could be putting more effort into your journalism class. You could be focusing on becoming a great writer. That focus and passion could get you into a better school with a major you truly care about. I know you aren’t focused on your post-college graduation life, but you should be. You should be because if you start to care now, you can ensure that you are much happier later.

If you do average work, you will go to an average school and eventually get an average job. An average job where you sit in an office, every day, from 9–5 and work at a computer. You don’t get to go outside. You don’t get to enjoy a beautiful morning because you are required to be at work at a certain time. Furthermore, if you continue to do just enough to get by, the number of jobs that will be open to you will be limited. The fun, exciting jobs at growing, interesting companies will be accepting candidates with better grades and internships. Those candidates knew what they wanted out of their post-college lives and where they wanted to go. They are going to be living the type of life they envisioned for themselves. You will be living a life that has been lived out by millions of average men that have come before you. A life of routine, boredom, and lack of fulfillment and consistent joy. Do I have your attention now?

Start caring now. Start asking questions, taking chances, and most importantly do the best work you can. Use the rest of your college days seeking out things that excite you, things that bring your passion. Start looking into what colleges have what majors, what the courses look like, and what types of careers you can have afterward. Focus on all your classes to get better grades. A better GPA will get you into a better school. A better GPA will also get you more scholarship money, which means fewer loans to pay off when you are older.

I know you may think college is two years away, but trust me, it will be here before you know it. When you arrive, have a plan. You don’t have to plan out the next four years but you should write down 5 things you want to get out of college. Those things can change and you can add to the list but it gives you somewhere to begin. For example, “What type of person do I want to become?”, “What am I interested in?”, “What questions do I have about the real world?”. Like High School, it will be very tempting and easy to do the bare minimum. That type of thinking and lack of action will result in an unsatisfying career when you are older. Choose the path that allows you to take advantage of all the opportunities that will be presented to you. Pick the brains of your professors. Ask questions of visiting alumni. Go see guest speakers when they come to your campus. Visit the career center to secure meaningful internships every year, not just your last year when it’s required. Above all else, give proper time and respect to your classes. Don’t count showing up to class as a victory. Show up with the goal of gaining knowledge. This is the time to discover what interests you because it can help determine what you should be doing once you graduate.

Check Out My New Book To The Next Step

What I am trying to say, is care about what is coming next. It’s thing huge thing that you don’t know is coming and you don’t yet understand how your actions these next 6 years will affect it. You have so much more talent than you are aware of. You can be so much more than you are currently on the path to becoming. If you keep behaving this way, you will end up with an average, boring job that you will leave you feeling unfulfilled. I promise you what’s coming next for you is not fun. You are putting yourself in a hole that will take years to dig out of. If you start caring right now, start working harder and smarter right now, you will change your path. You will discover your passion at 16, not 30. You will open doors for yourself you never even knew existed. All you have to do is think differently about how you approach the future. I hope you start today, because tomorrow will be here before you know it, and currently, you won’t like what it’s bringing.

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5 Tips For Surviving Your First Month Away At College https://blog.kylegrappone.com/college/5-tips-for-surviving-your-first-month-away-at-college/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/college/5-tips-for-surviving-your-first-month-away-at-college/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2018 18:39:44 +0000 http://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=63 This blog talks a lot about making the most of college. However, you can’t take advantage of the next the four years if you don’t make it out of the first month. Going away to college presents new and difficult challenges. Challenges that high school never spent any time preparing

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This blog talks a lot about making the most of college. However, you can’t take advantage of the next the four years if you don’t make it out of the first month. Going away to college presents new and difficult challenges. Challenges that high school never spent any time preparing you for. Therefore, may I present 5 tips for surviving the first month of college.

1. Be careful who you trust.

It’s easy to find someone you get along with and want to become good friends with them immediately. You are missing your close friends at home and become desperate to replicate that with someone at school. However, all these new friends are just that, they are new. You don’t know them yet. Some may become your best friends, but for now, be careful who you trust and who you tell what to.

2. When in doubt, keep your mouth shut.

Your sense of humor may have worked back home with your group of pals who knew all about you. However, you are with new people who are still forming their own opinions of you. Your friends back home may know when your kidding, but your new friends don’t. Furthermore, you don’t know the political or religious views of the new people you meet. What might be funny to you could be very serious to them. It’s better to be on the quiet side first and begin to open up as time goes.

3. Study in the library.

Living in a dorm means living with 20 or 30 people on your floor. There is always going to be someone or a group of people who are playing video games, watching a movie, or doing something more entertaining than the studying and homework you have to do. Do your work in the library from the start. It will ensure you start college with good grades and puts you into a routine that will be easy to follow as your classes get harder.

4. Set two alarms.

Chances are you just spent the last 12 years being woken up by a parent or sibling for school. Being away from school means being away from the people who bugged you to get up. Furthermore, your teacher is not going to call home if you miss class. Instead, they simply deduct points from your grade and move on. Set two alarms. One on your phone and one on an actual clock across the room. This ensures you can only snooze on one of them. You may think this is trivial. It is not.

5. Watch what you eat.

Similar to my previous tip, most college freshmen had parents choosing what they ate and what they didn’t. Most kids eat what’s in the house and what is cooked and put on the table. They never really had to think about a diet, portion control or eating healthy. That choice was done for them. In college, you are responsible for what you eat, every day. No one will stop you from eating a cheeseburger and ice cream two times a day. Just like no one will force you to eat fruit and vegetables. Be self-aware of what you are eating each day and what you ate for the entire week.

Conclusion

The first month of college is one of the toughest adjustments you will have to had made in your life so far. These tips, and advice from college graduates can go along way in ensuring you start off on the right path.

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5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Internship https://blog.kylegrappone.com/college/5-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-internship/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/college/5-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-internship/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2018 18:37:21 +0000 http://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=60 Summer internship. Those two words do not sound like they go together. Summer means beach, parties, and taking it easy. Internship means working for free. Working for free when your friends are at the beach sounds pretty miserable. However, if done correctly, a summer internship (or any internship) can set

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Summer internship. Those two words do not sound like they go together. Summer means beach, parties, and taking it easy. Internship means working for free. Working for free when your friends are at the beach sounds pretty miserable. However, if done correctly, a summer internship (or any internship) can set you up for a successful and enjoyable career.

Stay Positive, Even When You Don’t Want To Be

You are working. For free. It sucks. We get it. However, it’s best to get over that gripe on day one. You can look at yourself as a prisoner, being held against your will or you can appreciate the opportunity you are being given. This is a chance to learn from people who are occupying the types of roles you will soon be interviewing for. When given a mundane task, you can roll your eyes or you can seize the moment as a chance to impress someone who may be able to help your career somewhere down the line.

Ask Questions, Lots of Them

Like we established, you are working for free. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t collect payment in other ways. Get paid in knowledge. Ask questions, especially to those occupying positions that interest you. This is a chance to determine if the company, industry or job title you are working towards is actually something you are going to enjoy. Furthermore, most senior level staff are going to respect your desire to learn more and will be more than happy to answer your questions.

Meet As Many People As You Can

Every person you meet is a chance to make a connection that can help you later in life. You never know when you will be applying for a job at a company that someone you met now works at. Building off point number 2, the only way to be certain what career is right for you is to engage with people who are already in it. Finally, be sure to connect with these new contacts on LinkedIn to stay up to date on what they are doing.

Always Be Thinking About Your Resume

When you work for free, it’s tempting to avoid difficult tasks or projects. However, it is crucial to remember that this internship will be the main part of your resume after college. You will be going up against other recent college grads and will be desperately seeking a way to stand out. Volunteer for any project that allows you to work on a new skill. This could include public speaking, creating content, running campaigns, or managing projects. Always be thinking about what you are going to say when that hiring manager asks “What did you do during this internship?”.

Treat It Like A Job

After a few weeks of routine tasks for no money, it will be easy to take some shortcuts. You will be tempted to be less disciplined about what you wear, what you look like, or what time you show up in the morning. These things will be noticed and all those contacts you made will remember that when you call upon them in the future. Always look your best and respect the position you have been given. People won’t forget that.

Conclusion

You often hear me ask my audience “What type of person do you want to become?”. An internship is an integral part of finding your answer to that question. It’s a gateway into a possible future. It’s also an opportunity to ensure success in the various situations you will find yourself in. Take advantage of this opportunity because I promise you, it will be worth it when you reach the next step in your life.

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10 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About College https://blog.kylegrappone.com/college/10-things-i-wish-someone-had-told-me-about-college/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/college/10-things-i-wish-someone-had-told-me-about-college/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2018 18:35:17 +0000 http://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=57 There was a song written in 1973 by the band Faces called ‘Ooh La La’. The chorus of this song reads “I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger”. I imagine most of us have felt this way at some point in our lives. While

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There was a song written in 1973 by the band Faces called ‘Ooh La La’. The chorus of this song reads “I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger”. I imagine most of us have felt this way at some point in our lives. While we cannot go back in time, we can dispense the knowledge we have acquired over time to younger generations in the hopes that they can make better-informed decisions, and perhaps, increase the impact they make on the world.

College can be one of the most influential and transformative times in your life. You make a multitude of decisions that have a lasting impact on the life you live once you leave. While most of us wish we could go back, all graduates wish they could attend college with the knowledge that they have now. With that being said, allow this college graduate, to share what he wished someone would have told him about college.

  1. You’re The Boss Now
    Up until the first day of freshman year, a lot of your choices were made for you. Where to go to school, what classes to take, what time to wake up. Furthermore, you were more or less forced by your parents and/or the law to attend school, at a certain time, for a certain duration. Now, however, you are the boss. No one is telling you when to wake up, or forcing you to get out of bed at all. If you don’t go to class, your teacher doesn’t call home and you don’t get in trouble. They simply make a note, and after enough absences, deduct points from your grade. Furthermore, no one is forcing you to study or requesting see your grades when you get a test back. If you fail, no one is there to yell at you. It is up to you and you alone to determine what you need to do to be successful, hold yourself accountable, and motivate yourself to do your very best.
  2. Be Careful Who You Trust
    Entering college means meeting several new people. Being away from your longtime friends may result in loneliness and a desire to make new friends and similar connections. It’s easy to share personal or private information with a new contract because they seem like a good person. However, you should wait until you really know someone, how they act, and if they can be trusted before opening up.
  3. Take More Internships
    The idea of working for free does not sound too appealing. Your college will most likely only require one or two internships to graduate. However, after graduation, when you are searching for your first job, those internships are the only items on your resume that will help you stand out from all the other job seekers with no real work experience. Strive to serve at least one internship in a school year, and at least 2 summer internships in between school years.
  4. Understand Nutrition and Exercise
    Before college, you tend to eat whatever your parents make or have in the house. Chances are, they were looking out for your health and ensured you weren’t eating too much junk. Like we established earlier, you are the boss now, it is up to you to take responsibility for what you eat and how much. Take time to understand how many carbs, grams of sugar and fats are in the foods you are eating. Also, phase going to the gym 3–4 times a week into your schedule. This will help avoid putting on weight and help you avoid having to dedicate time to lose this weight after graduation when you are trying to achieve other goals.
  5. Pay Attention In Class
    It is easy to count showing up to class as a victory. However, what is the point if you don’t actually take something away from it? Determine how much sleep and energy you need to be alert and productive class and ensure that you do what it takes to get it. You never know when you may learn something in class that will lead to discovering your passion or even what career you want to pursue after you graduate.
  6. Embrace Graduation
    From the moment you start college, the clock is ticking down to graduation day. You must embrace the fact that you are going to leave and enter the real world in only a few short years. Be sure you are constantly preparing yourself for that day. Everything you do should be aimed at ensuring the best version of yourself walks across that stage and into the next step of your life.
  7. Take Advantage Of Opportunities
    College is full of opportunities, waiting to be taken advantage of. The tricky part is, that most of them are optional and no one is going to force you to take them. Opportunities such as connecting with successful alumni or going to see guest lecturers speak about their experiences and give their advice. It means visiting your career center to create a presentable resume and cover letter. It means taking advantage of anything that will help you become the best version of yourself, even if it means sacrificing short-term happiness like going out or playing video games.
  8. Understand Your Loans
    Most college students educations are paid for via a series of student loans taken out before they arrived at school. Be sure to understand how much money you will be paying pack after college. How much per month? How does that compare to how much an entry-level job in your field of study will pay? By having a firm grasp on these numbers, you will be able to plan accordingly, including working during the school year, holiday breaks and summers to ensure you are not drowning in debt after graduation.
  9. The “College Experience” is unique to you
    There is an idea that floats around college students that they must all have the same ‘College Experience’ and it absolutely has to include things like partying, taking risks, breaking the law, staying up all night, and a plethora of questionable choices. That is a myth. It is okay to say no to something if it makes you uncomfortable, doesn’t align with your goals or is just a flat out stupid decision. You don’t have to stay up late or skip class just because other people around you are doing it. You can be friends with someone but disagree with the choices they make. College is whatever you decide it to be. Be smart, be unique, because you are the only one who has to live with your choices for the rest of your life.
  10. Time Will Fly By
    The four years you spend in college will go by faster than you can ever imagine. The time you spend there is precious because it is short and full of opportunities and experiences. Don’t waste it by being average, make stupid choices, and doing just enough to get by. Take chances, step outside your comfort zone and dare to be different. Find what it is that gets you excited and stop at nothing to pursue it. Decide what type of person you want to be, and do everything you need to do to become it.

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Instagram is a Dirty Liar https://blog.kylegrappone.com/being-an-adult/instagram-is-a-dirty-liar/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/being-an-adult/instagram-is-a-dirty-liar/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2018 18:33:29 +0000 http://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=55 Full disclosure, I love Instagram. It is by far my favorite social media platform. There are no awkward friend requests, political statements are usually kept to a minimum, and the entire platform is built around the beauty of photography and letting images, not words, tell the story. However, as great

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Full disclosure, I love Instagram. It is by far my favorite social media platform. There are no awkward friend requests, political statements are usually kept to a minimum, and the entire platform is built around the beauty of photography and letting images, not words, tell the story.

However, as great as it can be, it also lies. It might produce the most lies and false information of any of the popular social channels. Yes, Facebook is filled with ‘fake news’ articles, but you can usually weed those out pretty quickly. Instagram however, often tells a story of a life event or situation that simply isn’t real. All it provides, is a snapshot, capturing one second of what is going on in the life of the person taking the picture. We have no idea what happened before that picture, what happened afterward, and what goes on in that person’s life or the other 86,399 seconds in their day. Yet, we view the photos of family, friends, and celebrities, and treat them as if they are a running narrative of that person’s life. “It must be like that all the time!”, “I wish my life was that interesting!”.

Let’s say you are checking Instagram at work and come across a picture your former college classmate took while sitting on the beach. At that moment, the sun is shining and they are taking advantage of the beautiful weather instead of being stuck inside at work like you are. If this person continues to post pictures of themselves doing things you wish you were doing, you are going to think that they are living some magical life and that your existence is inferior. However, those pictures are not portraying a magical life, they are portraying a magical few seconds. You see the beach, but you don’t see that it was taken over the weekend. You don’t see the low paying job they have to go to that evening. Perhaps, the reason this person posts so many beach pictures is because they don’t have anything else special in their life to document.

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Even worse than following the Instagram account of a friend or contact, is to follow one of a stranger or a celebrity because you have no backstory on this person. Did they come from money? How much hard work and sacrifice did they have to put in to earn the life they are living? Do these pictures even belong to them? Their situation is most likely completely different than ours and yet we take these one-second snapshots as gospel. Then, we strive to be like them or put ourselves down for not living that type of life.

The point of all this is that there is a dark side to a platform that allows you to share your life through pictures because it only shares the good stuff. No one shares pictures of fighting with family, their low paycheck, or mental health issues. You rarely see a picture of the boring work days most of us have or the traffic we are stuck in on the way home. Instagram is a great way to appreciate photos and share moments with people you care about but just remember that they are brief moments in a person’s life. You have no idea what their actual life is. Don’t put yourself down, get jealous or think your life is inferior. Posting pictures is nice. Focusing on the rest of your day is better.

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The 5 People You Meet In College https://blog.kylegrappone.com/college/the-5-people-you-meet-in-college/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/college/the-5-people-you-meet-in-college/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2018 18:31:40 +0000 http://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=52 Mitch Albom wrote a very famous called ‘The 5 People You Meet In Heaven’. It told the story of a man who died saving a girl’s life and the five people he meets in heaven. All five people had a significant impact on the man’s life. Now, going to college

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Mitch Albom wrote a very famous called ‘The 5 People You Meet In Heaven’. It told the story of a man who died saving a girl’s life and the five people he meets in heaven. All five people had a significant impact on the man’s life. Now, going to college isn’t the same as going to heaven (well, maybe in some ways it is) but your college years can have a serious positive or negative impact on the rest of your life. Furthermore, the people you decide to associate with, as well as the people you decide to ignore, can make just as big an impact. Therefore, allow me to introduce to you, the 5 people you will meet in college.

The Party Man

This guy or gal is here for one reason, to party. They have no desire to go to class. The fact of the matter is, they are not mature enough to go to class on his own. They may have had the grades to get into school, but not have the maturity to stay. This hooligan is down to party 24/7, stay up all night playing video games, skip class, and engage in various illegal activities. It may seem like he is living the dream, but his life will become a nightmare when they flunk out of college and has to face his parents when he gets home. Do not be fooled by this mirage. Stay the course and go to class.

The Stranger

It’s a fact of life that people tend to settle down and live amongst people who are similar to them. Therefore, to no fault of your own, you may have had limited or no contact with individuals of different races, religions or nationalities. You may be tempted to avoid these types of people and continue mixing with people who look and sound like yourself. However, if you are truly going to college to grow as a person, you should take this opportunity to connect with anyone from a different background. The knowledge you can receive as well as give can be invaluable. The choice is yours.

The Mentor

You will meet many faculty members while attending a 2 or 4-year college or university. Some are memorable, others are forgettable. The key is, to decide on day 1 what you want out of these student/professor relationships. If it simply a grade, then you do not have to do much. However, if you have decided that you are going to think differently about getting the most out of college, you will want to seek out that one or two professors who inspire you. Those educators who reach you in ways no teacher ever has before. These educators have a passion for helping students and are just waiting for students to be proactive and ask for advice. Be that student.

The Smarty Pants

Colleges are a melting pot, as we briefly covered when speaking about The Stranger. Not only do they mix races and religions, but they also mix individuals of varying intelligence. The confidence you gained by being accepted into college can quickly diminish after meeting the type of person who seems to ace every test, never have to study, and has everything come so easily to them. Comparing yourself to this person can have two devastating long-term impacts. The first, you may feel inferior, and decide early on that you are not good enough to reach that person’s level of intelligence. The second, you may try to emulate there ‘no study’ strategy and find out the hard way that it does not work for you. The key here is to stay true to who you are and identify what you need to succeed. You are every bit capable of succeeding as this person is, and the fact that you need to work harder does not make you any less worthy of your impending success. Focus on what works for you.

You

College, if approached correctly, can be the most transformative four years of your life. The person you are on day 1 of freshman year should not be the person you are when you walk across that stage. The latter should be a stronger, wiser, more determined version of yourself. The key to this long-term change is being open to new experiences, ideas, and feelings. Understand that you need to taste new things to see if you enjoy them. Meet new people to understand what else is out there. You may decide that now is the time to leave old habits, friends, and thoughts behind. If you are constantly striving to be a better version of yourself throughout your various college experiences, you will meet a new you after your cross that stage. Strive to be better.

Conclusion

You will meet many types of people throughout your college years. Some will have an everlasting impact, others will just pass on by. By thinking differently about how you approach college and is determined to get the most out of it, you navigate this sea of new people and build (and avoid) the relationships you need the most. Think differently.

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