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Students, Get Ready for the Real World

If you’re a high school student today, the real world of college and career is out there—and someday you’ll join it. It may seem far in the future, but it’s coming faster than you might think. And when it does, are you ready?

Are you ready to get ahead with a competitive advantage? The real world is a competitive place. There’s a limit to the number of educational opportunities and dream careers that are out there. And there are many other students like you who are preparing for and passionately pursuing those chances at every level. Not everyone is going to score those limited opportunities, only those who are working now to gain an edge. What are you doing to get ready?

Today, a competitive advantage means combining academic knowledge with hands-on technical skills. That’s what college admissions offices are looking for. It’s what employers in the United States are desperate to find. And it’s your ticket to get in the running for the life and career you want to enjoy—if you want it more.

It’s not enough to just want something. You also need the will and determination to take action, fail, learn, get back up, and try again. That’s what it means to want it more. If you don’t, someone else will.

Are you ready for the race? The real world is like a marathon that requires active choices and preparation long before race day. If you don’t train for it, you may never launch out of the starting gate. Or if you do get started, you may not have the stamina and passion to reach the finish line.

The race starts the day you graduate high school and take that first step into the real world of your future. Whether you are planning to go to college, start your career, or pursue industry-specific training, you can hit the ground running.

Do you want to know what my son Nick did to get race-ready? He took advantage of a career and technical education program in our local school system, and it completely changed his life. In these programs you get to experience your field of interest firsthand. Nick did, and he started enjoying school and getting better grades. Today he is living his life to the full in a career he loves. You can, too.

Are you ready to stand out? In the real world, not everyone wins the trophy. You have to ask yourself:

  • What separates me from others?
  • Why would someone choose me over someone else?
  • How can I learn from my mistakes and come back stronger?

In the real world, there’s competition—but your biggest competition should be yourself. If you’re continually setting the bar higher, pushing yourself just a little further, learning and discovering and doing more than you did yesterday, you’re getting ready to win this race.

Now is the time to start training yourself in the passion, resilience, skills, and grit that will take you further. Get ready now—because the real world is out there. And you got this!

About the Author

Mark C. Perna Mark C. Perna is the founder of TFS in Cleveland, Ohio, a full-service strategic consulting firm whose mission is to share and support every client’s passion for making a difference.

Connect to Mark: Twitter | LinkedIn

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