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After graduation: Five real-world steps to success

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John Fiorenzo, center, catches a brief nap during the address to the graduates at his Boston College Commencement ceremony while a classmate yawns behind him at Alumni Stadium on the university's campus in Boston, Monday, May 21, 2012. Fellow graduates Patrick Dingham, left, and Brandan Kirby, right, watch the stadium's jumbotron.

Stephan Savoia/AP

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3. Listen to your inner wisdom

“Everybody will have advice for you when you are a graduate,” Brown says. And usually this advice is well-intended. 

But remember - this is advice that is true for the giver, not necessarily for you. And a lot of times the suggestions come in what she calls the “you must” form: “You must move to New York City. You must go to graduate school.” 

When you hear “must,” Brown says, you should check in with your “inner wisdom.” She describes this as a gut feeling, a sense that something doesn’t feel quite right.   

This doesn’t mean to ignore advice, she says - not at all. It just means that as a new graduate it is quite easy to get off track from Tips No. 1 and 2, and that a way to stay the course is to follow (and develop) that sense of what is right for you.

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