Back to School

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Christopher Robin to Pooh – A. A. Milne

This month’s issue of Inc. magazine features an article titled, “Fast Learners: Cool College Start-ups 2010,” which profiles several college-age entrepreneurs whose creative ideas have already seen success. Stories like that of Whitney Williams, who will graduate this summer from Texas Christian University and plans to expand her Italy-inspired jewelry line nationwide, are inspiring other students to go for their dreams, even before they are granted a diploma.

There is no doubt that college students today are facing a tough career climate. The job market is changing, and companies and organizations have adjusted to stay afloat. The January 2010 NACE Salary Survey reports that among the many things that employers now seek in new hires, communication skills are number one on the list. Rounding out the top five were analytical skills, teamwork, technical skills and a strong work ethic – topics that aren’t exactly offered as majors at most colleges. It’s less about your GPA and more about your level of effort.

What can we learn from these stories of young success? My takeaway is that there is no time like the present – you don’t have to be a college graduate or the CEO to go for your dreams. You don’t have to have the perfect job or know the right people. Make your dreams happen now. Take that first step, make that first call or write your plan today. Lowly intern? Send a quick business idea to your boss about how to better reach Gen Yers.

The definition of success is changing. How will you change to find your own success?

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