Advice to 2016 Graduates

“Be patient. These things just take time. You’ll get there”

“I think what you need is more of a sense of urgency”

I found myself making both of these statements on the same phone call recently.

These two pieces of advice directly contradict themselves, don’t they? Out of context: absolutely; but here’s what I was trying to say:



If you are a 2016 graduate, the truth is that some of your classmates are going to thrive in their careers and lives while others will forever long to go back to the college glory days. How do you make sure you become one of the few that excel?

My answer: those that thrive will have urgently taken action, and patiently waited for results.

Sometimes in life (maybe MOST times), you need to START with action before the path is clear. It’s after those first steps are taken that you can start to see if you are on the right track or need to pivot.

There might be something tugging at your gut right now. No, not the BBQ & beer, something that you feel drawn toward.

Maybe it’s entrepreneurship, the arts, a foreign country, or a cause. Maybe it’s the dream of owning a home or living in New York City. I have no idea what that looks like for you, but if you have this feeling don’t ignore it. And don’t let anyone tell you that you need to get practical.Instead, find out what the first steps are to getting there and be totally IMPATIENT about taking those first steps.

I get it: you have loans, your friends are doing (seemingly) interesting things, you’ve always thought you’d get a job with NASA. But that doesn’t change the fact that you need to get started. Wherever you are. Don’t wait another second. If you do, before you know it you will be so far from your goals that they will seem totally unachievable.

As the saying goes, patience is a virtue. But make sure that you’re not stalling on taking critical action in the name of “being patient”. Instead, know that the result you want is going to take time. But it’s only going to happen if you START, and consistently work urgently to make your dream a reality.   

You may not know exactly what your career will look like yet. That’s ok. Be patient. You’ll find your path. HOWEVER, the only way you’ll find that path is action. Impatient action.

Perhaps you’re thinking “I need to start making money but none of the jobs seem interesting to me”. Be patient with finding the dream job, but be totally impatient with trying things until you get there. Get to work.

Ready? Fire. Aim.


Tim Hammerich

Tim is a strategic communications consultant, founder of AgGrad, and the host of the "Future of Agriculture" podcast. Originally from California, he is now based out of Boise, Idaho.