Are you a college student, a recent college graduate, or an adult looking for more out of your career? Are you dreaming of more for your life than just a job or another way to make money? Many of us are searching for a deeper connection to purpose and ways to leverage our time to do more, make more, give more and live more. Whether you’re looking forward to graduating college or you’re in search of your next job or career move, we’re all longing for a life that matters. Below are 5 tips on how you can begin to bring your passion, gifts and ideas to the world.

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1. GET IN THE GAME

The global economy has hit a ceiling, and the old-heads that have been in control have ran out of gas driving this world on status quo and on auto pilot. This is exciting news! Why? Because the way we will do business going forward will evolve. Peer-to-Peer business will become a new model as we begin to see mass business-to-consumer models decline. We’re beginning to see small niche businesses come on the scene with massive influence and reach because of the Internet and the ability to connect directly to the customer. For example, more boutique banks and boutique hedge funds will pop up as people continue to realize and embrace the idea that they no longer have to depend on major banks like Bank of America or Wells Fargo to handle their money. With the Internet, banks like ING Direct, HSBC, and others are totally redefining how we invest, save, and handle our money. This type of shift from the big old-heads to the startup new-comers is happening and will continue to happen in every industry. It has never been easier for people to get in the game thanks to this shift and the Internet. As more and more tools become available through the web, we will continue to see an increase in outsourcing, contracting, freelancing, entrepreneurship, and innovation. It’s happening now, and a lot of information and tools are available on the web for FREE. We are alive during one of the greatest times of creative entrepreneurship and innovation on an individual and micro-level. And if you’re hungry and willing to learn, this is the BEST time to get your sneakers dirty. So get in the game!

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2. CREATE A PERSONAL BRAND

The need to create a personal brand has never been more important. Why? Because in the near future, your social network will define how powerful you will be, what job opportunities you get, and who you will meet. The power is shifting back to the individual; not to your degree or resume or job. The everyday person now has the ability to carve out their own space and make themselves known online. It’s an amazing time for those who are thinking outside of the freaking box. The social web is rapidly becoming the new playground. This is where you will come out to play. This is where  we will come to make our individual voices and personal brands known. This is where we will each have an opportunity to create a platform around who we are and what we do. This is where the individual will shine. We’re all connected, and soon, we will all be competing. It’s a smart idea to get a head start by using the web to create a personal brand around who you are, what you think, and what you do.

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3. STOP LOOKING FOR A JOB

Over the next decade, the concept of “career” will become obsolete. Since things are changing so fast, the way we used to work and pursue jobs are also changing. Just look at how this recent recession effected the job market. Things will never be the same. Sorry. Depending on the old model of going to college, getting a job, working 40+ years, retiring, and living off of your pension is long gone! The sad part is that our educational system is still preparing us for this model. College students are still paying an obscene amount of money every semester to learn an outdated model that is already proving not to work for them. And tuition is steadily increasing as more high schoolers graduate without a plan, hoping college will save them. Studies are already showing that 70% of college graduates are unable to find jobs. Research has revealed that more than $1 trillion is owed in student loans in the US alone. We now owe more in student loans than in credit card debt. Things aren’t going to change any time soon. You have to change your strategy or finally get off of your lazy bum and create one. So stop looking for a job.

Instead…

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4. CREATE YOUR OWN OPPORTUNITY

DECIDE what your ideal job looks like and what your ideal life looks like. And design that. Create your own opportunity. Decide what you want to do and do that. Now! Whether you’d like to believe it or not, we are all entrepreneurs now. The way you’re going to get noticed is not hiding behind resumes and college degrees anymore. Everybody has than now. You gotta device your own plan of success. Companies aren’t just looking to hire subpar employees anymore who are in need of a job. Instead they’re looking for people who know how to create opportunity and add value. We’re entering an Entrepreneurial Revolution, or a DIY (Do It Yourself) Era where people will have to create their OWN personal brand and opportunities. We’re all gonna be suppliers and contractors. Either we’re going to be supplying a product, skill-set, service, or idea, or we’re going to be contracting someone who can. It’s never been easier to align your passion with your plan for success. Identify your unique contribution – your value proposition. What can you offer? What can you do? When you know your value, your income will soon follow. When people are pursuing their passion, they get exponentially more opportunities than those who are just working jobs or doing things they don’t like.

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5. BECOME INDISPENSABLE

Once you’ve identified what it is you do and why you do it, become a BEAST at it. Become indispensable. The more specific you get to what lights you up, the more you can become a key person of influence. People will seek to find you, work with you, hire you, and pay you because of what you bring to the table. Become that indispensable person where the job or opportunity finds YOU. When you create opportunities that add value, you’ll always be wanted! You’re indispensable! Stop searching or settling for just a job you hate or just kinda like. Why? Because you will be replaced by someone who’s gonna be indispensable anyway. Companies are getting smarter and more agile. They’re no longer gonna hire people just to take up space. In the end, you won’t have a choice but to be remarkable, indispensable, and valuable. So you better make that decision NOW. Whether you’re working a job currently or need employment. Create opportunity and become indispensable. When you have a skill set or way of thinking that offers value at a premium level, people will notice.

Lastly…

It’s no longer about securing a job. It’s no longer just about paying bills. It’s no longer about just going to college because it’s the happening thing. It’s about MATTER – “Being someone who matters and doing something that matters”. When you bring your gift, your art, your ideas, your passion, and ultimately YOURSELF to the world, you get more than just a job and money. You get opportunity. You get people wanting to work with you, hire you, and pay you. You get the chance to make a difference. You get the chance to make a purposeful contribution in YOUR lifetime with YOUR life. You get to wake up everyday, knowing that what you do and who you are actually MATTERS.