You may remember first hand what it was like to try and find a college. Or perhaps more recently you've been a part of the college search process with your children.
I remember how terrified I was at having to make such a large decision. I was comfortable with my previous life. I had a pool of great friends and my family surrounding me. Yet, there was something kind of exciting about it all too.
With those emotions running in the background, I met with my high school counselor who gave me a long list of colleges to look into. I began researching them using the top college guides for insight on what it would be like to attend and what educational programs they offered. Never once, well, maybe once, did I ever consider, what happens when I am finished with this degree? What will I do next, what will it mean, what will it really prepare me to be? I was focused on the how to make the most of my next 4 years.
After researching the long list, I pared it down to a short list of schools to visit. I interviewed with admissions representatives and toured campuses. I even spent the night once to try and envision what life would really be like at that school. I spoke to family friends who had attended those schools to find out their experiences too.
I fell in love with one college. I really wanted to go there. It was PERFECT for me (at least that's what I thought). I applied through the early decision process, hoping that that would surely show how eager I was to attend this school. My wise counselor recommended that I apply to several others and so I did. I developed a second choice and a "safety".
When all was said and done, I graduated happily from my second choice. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I couldn't image having gone to a school more perfectly suited for me.
Hopefully the similarities are obvious to the job seeking process.
A wise man said last night "good decisions flow out of good exploration". Don't forget the importance of exploring!