I haven't been on the forum for a few months, its good to be back.
I'm going through a dilemma at the moment, Here goes:
I'm 21 years old, Just completed the first year of business degree here in the UK. I still live with my parents. I don't have a job. I don't seem to possess any skills that employers want.
I'm tired of living on my student loan and want to feel the pride of earning my own wage.
I want to take hold of the reigns and start directing my life properly. I want to move out, have my own car and be responsible.
What I'm doing right now: I'm doing a mnemonics course at Pmemory.com so I can memorize information more effectively. I'm also starting to go to the gym.
Now I realise these will not help with my career directly but they will help me generally
So I guess my question would be, What would you do in my situation?
I don't know where to start, I've set goals before, I've tried to plan stuff out. I've failed at them. It feels like there is so much to do/plan. Any advice?
what would you do in my situation?
These are big questions. Too big to answer in a forum post.
For finances, read Dave Ramsey's "The Total Money Makeover". Ramsey's book is a very detailed plan for getting control of your finances -- for creating a budget, for getting out of debt, for creating wealth. I have read it a couple of times. It is worth every penny. It isn't theoretical personal economics ... it is very tangible and doable, and it works.
For your career, read "48-days to the Work you Love," by Dan Miller. I haven't read 48-days personally ... but it comes extremely highly recommended by people I trust (including Ramsey). It is about creating and executing a plan to find and pursue your calling.
Be aware that American long-term financial advice will have you saving/investing more than the equivalent advice in the UK. This is because the United States does not have the same health care and retirement setups as the UK, so individuals need to save more for old age.
Business is the new English degree. Those who don't know what they want to do do "business". Given that you are competing against the many, the slackers. Now if you want to do Business, learn 2 languages also. I suggest Chinese and Arabic. If you have a basic business degree and can speak the those two languages you now go from common to hard to source and find.
As to earning a wage while you study, your classes are your wage. The payment is the GPA and the contacts you make.
Also as one business major to another, how do you dress. Do you dress in such a fashion that when your professor is asked for the name of that real business student you come to mind?
I have a friend who dresses well in the Business Information Systems Degree. Last week he was tapped on the shoulder when he was getting a drink at the water fountain. A prof asked him if he wanted to do the masters program, because he had a way to have it fully paid for him. The professor actively hunting my friend down. All my friend did was get an A and dressed in a Dress Shirt, Tie and Suit Pants with Dress Shoes. Nothing more, yet he stood out as the person the professor was willing to back.
French over Chinese in the UK. Maybe the native language of a good number of the UK's Muslim immigrants. I don't think that's Arabic. I read Arabic is declining in importance as a day-to-day language.
Sorry to be clear I was thinking of an international carrier in the mega corporations. If you are willing to spend time in other countries, it builds a good foundation for contacts to grow your career later. Regardless the extra languages is what will separate one.
At home you you are just another kid with a business degree and no experience.
In the US or Canada (among other places) you would be a business major with an accent. If you are up for a little travel and adventure just cast a wider net in your job search. Ironically having overseas experience stands out on a resume if you choose to return home. Set up a serious savings/investment plan. Get out and enjoy your new home.
If you are active in any fraternal orders, hobbies, or churches they can often help with long distance moves and getting set up someplace new.
States-side, you wouldn't ordinarily be expected to work and be enrolled in school full-time. Yes, some do it, but it's not normative. States-side, your school would have a career or job placement office, which would be the first place to go for concrete help.
Even across the pond, there must be "What you can do with a business degree" articles and books. Read them.
All the earlier replies have good advice. But it seems to me that your question was how to take control of your life.
It is not easy to do when you are young and just getting started. Going to the gym might be good, if you need to get into shape and become more energetic, however most people that sign up for gym memberships do not end up going consistently after the first two months.
If it is free, fine; but if you are paying, save your money and walk/jog regularly.
Get a job. Any job. Even if you volunteer or intern some place, for little or no pay. The employment market is very competitive and will only get more so. You will need to have some sort of work experience in the future to land a good gig when you graduate.
Next, stay out of debt! This includes student loans! Being burdened with debt will give you less control of your life! Perhaps you should wait to complete your education rather than burden yourself with a lot of student loan debt. Here in The States, we have a glut of college grads and most are carrying debt. Not everyone should go to college. That is a myth. The next economic bubble in the U.S. may very well be student loans.
Gaining control of your life can take time, but like a ship on the ocean you must have a plan and a course charted, with adjustments in between the starting point and destination.
He's starting "college" at 21. [Like "government," "college" has another meaning among Brits.] He's starting university at 21, which is already 3 to 5 years behind the norm. We could give better advice if we had an explanation for that gap.
Your advice on student loans is a "respected minority" position, at best. I don't know the situation in the UK. You'll remember that had riots when the cost structure for university shifted dramatically a few years ago. Even after the cut in funding, university is directly subsidized by the state [not the "government"] in the UK more than in the US.
As for the gym, no good reason to think OP will be in the minority. [You don't think he'll be in the minority about student loans.] The trick with the gym is to have a goal and a sense of how to accomplish it. I wanted to get rid of back pain. I talked to doctors, personal trainers, and gym rats about how to do that (which I certainly couldn't have done with just running), then took their advice. I don't go to the gym just to go or because it's "good for me" in some vague sense. I go because if I don't go, after 4 days my back hurts again.
Concentrate on getting through college first and foremost. If you can, find a part-time job so you can go to school full time. As for being responsible you are being responsible by going to college. You're being responsible to your future. If you don't finish school what will you do? Are there any decent paying no-skill jobs available? Probably not; any job you could get right now wouldn't pay enough to move out, get a car, and support a family.
Well said. Any loans you have now are loans you will pay off with a much better position in life.
Here is what I have learned about goal setting and achievement.
Setting and getting goals is a brain process. Our brains take experiences and make patterns out of them which it uses to guide behaviour in the future. So if you set a goal and then don't get it, that becomes the pattern. You want to replace that with the pattern of setting and then actually getting the goal.
One way to do that is to start setting goals which are impossible to fail. First, set the goal that you are going to set and achieve a goal. Then set a goal for something which you are already going to do. Say outloud "I am going to drink this glass of water." Then do it. Repeat a lot. This will start to train your brain to think this way.
After a couple of days of this, set a simple goal of an action which you temporally link to an existing habit for a period of 30 days. For example, "For 30 days, I will do 5 pushups before going to bed." Then do it, marking it on calendar each day. It is very important to absolutely do it. If you have any doubt, don't make a goal out of it.
Once this gets engrained, start ramping up the things you go for.
Hope this helps.