COLLEGE STUDENT & GRAD TIPS: HOW TO WORK AND PLAY HARD IN YOUR CAREER Monday 22 April, 2019

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. All opinions are my own. 

I hope you all have been enjoying my college tip series in collaboration with Home Depot’s Retool Your School Program. Ten years ago, I graduated from the highly acclaimed Atlanta HBCU Clark Atlanta University, and I want to share advice that I have personally learned and experience within this past decade out of college. Graduation season is near so hopefully this will be a timely post for many!

I hope you all have been enjoying my college tip series in collaboration with Home Depot’s Retool Your School Program. Ten years ago, I graduated from the highly acclaimed Atlanta HBCU Clark Atlanta University, and I want to share advice that I have personally learned and experience within this past decade out of college. Graduation season is near so hopefully this will be a timely post for many!I am sure all of you college students and graduates are so excited to enter the real world and start your first official job! A job outside of college is one of the first signs of being a true adult and entering “The Real World”. You are excited to make real money and finally growing into your career that you prepared for while matriculating at your university. I want to share a extra bit of advice about the Work Hard Play Hard aspect you hear people say from time to time and apply it to your profession adequately.

Do the work first, get it out the way and have fun. A lot of people slip up and do it in reverse which can hold them back in the long run. Also working hard first will come in handy when you actually start adulting and get set in your career. Don’t work too hard that you don’t reward yourself, so please work hard but still play afterwards when you can (responsibly of course).

Let me elaborate on Work Hard + Play Hard Lifestyle.

Work Hard

Do your work first. I cannot stress this enough. If you get into your career after college, establish your career title and position first. Get yourself acclimated into your professional environment, learn your skills strongly and be diligent.

Truly find your craft. Fine tune it. Master it and always learn how you can grow into your craft professionally. You may be out of school, but it always ways to learn and grow in your industry. Life is school, your industry will always have opportunities to shift directions, so may sure you are flexible to move with the industry as well.

As a journalist, I get an opportunity to interview celebrities for content on my site. Yes although it looks cool to interview celebrities, you have to hustle to get your question and connect with the celeb with other media outlets. My interview with Kevin Hart for “Night School” in Atlanta,GA.

Be creative. Stand out. Be consistent. Always evolve and don’t let yourself get stagnant in one spot. The best way to work hard in my opinion is to always be proactive and make yourself a leader in your industry. Network, lead and create as much as you can to thrive to your highest potential.

Play Hard

There is a horrible stigma in America, that we might work so hard we forget to balance it. Depending on your career path, please take your time off! Travel, explore, have outside hobbies, connect with your friends, etc…don’t become such a work hard that there is no room for any play. Yes it sounds great the harder you work the more rewards you will get, which is very true – but don’t punish yourself.

My sabbatical in Mexico, Summer 2018. A vacation that wasn’t a work press trip. This was a personal trip to Mexico I took for play!

Find time often to work, and give yourself mental, spiritual and physical breaks to have fun. You will be more productive if you are able to give yourself the freedom to express yourself outside of your work.

Work & Play Life Balance

If you are lucky enough to have a career that allows you to work and play at the same time, congratulations! Hopefully you are one of the lucky ones who found a path that your career matches your passion so you are very engaged in your profession. Your profession is your passion so going to work is easily a mix of work and play. As you are reading this, I have chosen my career path as a content creator that allows me to work and play at the same time often.

A mix of my job turning into play at Candytopia media preview night!

You might be working and playing simultaneously which can be a good and bad thing at times. Its good to feel like you are at a job where you are truly happy and excited to do what you love often, but sometimes its hard to cut off “work” because you enjoy it so much or its engulfed int your life. Sometimes you are playing so much at you job you forget it is work – so don’t lose touch on the professionalism and the growth aspect of your career.

Also when you are enjoying the perks of your career, this is even more of a reason you have to take breaks and relax, because sometimes you cant cut off work from your life. I sometimes truly have this issue because my job is social media and I also have a personal life so sometimes I don’t post on social to connect with my life without it feeling like it is “work”. So take the time to always balance your work life and your personal life and separate the two from time to time.

If you dont work and play, I will be the first to tell you that you will crash and burn eventually. Burnout is real. Depression is real. This is the part of adulting no one wants to talk about but it happens to most! Most people who get frustrated in their professions is due to mostly a lack of work and play life  balance. Key word is to balance!

I hope this tidbit of information helped. It’s a piece of advice I wish I was given sooner. Do not believe you will sleep when you die. No, switch that around you will work hard, play hard, sleep while you can to be the most productive person and balance all of it out. Don’t think you can do one without the other. You can work and play. You can play and work. Definitely do not work with no play and dont play without any work. Make sense?

It’s graduation season so good luck to all of the college grads out there! Make your mark on the world. Work Hard for it but dont forget to Play! Pass this message to any college graduate, or any adult who need this strong reminder for their own career. 

Thank you to The Home Depot for allowing me to participate this year as a 2019 Retool Your School Ambassador. Historically Black Colleges and Universities have taught and nurtured some of our community’s most visible and vocal figures. Visit RetoolYourSchool.com to see which HBCU’s received one of 10 campus improvement grants.

Any other advice you might have for college students post grad?

About the Blogger - Kiwi the Beauty


Kiwi is the free spirited blogger and content creator of KiwiTheBeauty.com. As a digital influencer, she produces creative inspiration around beauty, lifestyle, media and travel leisure. Her life mantra is to make manifesting fun! When she’s not blogging, she is eating trendy hipster food, carrying crystals, making it rain at her local farmer's market and binge brunching. Follow her on her blog and social media at kiwithebeauty.com + @kiwithebeauty

41 Comments

  • These tips are spot on, know your craft, have fun, and then find the balance. Some of my work is fun and some is not. I also have to balance having a husband and two kids who are all busy as well. It can be done and you can sit back and be proud of all of your work.

  • Kasi says:

    This is such a great post! You gave very helpful advice, and you’re definitely well qualified to give it!

  • Elle says:

    You shared some really great tips and advice. If I were going to give my college self advice I’d say enjoy college while it lasts because you’ll never be in a spot with some many like-minded people who are trying to find their purpose in life. Therefore, it’s important to support each other.

  • Stacie says:

    I love this. Your college years are the best years. Work hard AND play hard.

  • Brianne Manz says:

    What a wonderful post Kiwi. I totally agree that balance is key. When you are burning the candle at both ends you yourself will burn out. For those that go to college it is important to put studies first but to not forget to have fun while doing it.

  • Rachel says:

    I feel like I am really just now digging into my career. I do wonder where I would have been if I had been this focused right after college.

  • Kita says:

    I didn’t do the work I wanted to do I did the work to pay the bills and that was disheartening for me but I regrouped and now I’m on track

  • Maria Blanca says:

    I agree having a work and play balance is essential and balance is definitely the keyword here. I too am a CAU alum it was nice to find out about the home depot retool your school program as I think it is very important that large corporations give back to the very same communities that support them.

  • Great tips! I try to tell my kids that their college years are their best and to get that education.

  • Kara says:

    Congratulations – my son is just finishing his first year at university, so will show him this

  • Tips that all young people really should read and follow!

  • Catalina says:

    I love your tips! I am sure they are useful for a lot of college students!

  • kumamonjeng says:

    Great tips and so inspiring for college students. It is totally ok to play but first we must work hard in order to get what we want.

  • Joanna says:

    You need to start working and experiencing with your passions whilst you are still in Uni. Otherwise you will find it very hard to find a job after graduation.

  • Jennifer says:

    I never went to college myself but I think if I would have your tips would’ve been exactly what I needed to hear. It’s so true that you have to have a balance between college work and a little playtime for yourself. These are excellent tips so thanks for sharing

  • This post is so timely for me. I am starting college this fall and am so excited about what is in store for me. I have always done things in a different order than the norm so starting at 35 seems right for me.

  • Nancy L says:

    A belated congrats on your graduation! Time flies, doesn’t it?
    I loved your post. When I take a look at where I’ve traveled knowing some people have never even left their state, it is quite sad. There is a big world out there and people need to enjoy it. I believe exploring different cultures makes you more understanding, less judgmental of others, too.
    xoxo

  • REESA LEWANDOWSKI says:

    Best of luck to everyone in this position!!! It goes by so fast so making the most of your college career is so important!

  • Ruth I says:

    These are helpful tips! I had a great job when I graduated but decided to just work from home and spend more time to travel and have fun.

  • Celebrate Woman Today says:

    I love seeing these tips from your personal experience. I do hope more college-age kids and young adults will see them.

  • These are some great tips! It is so important to work hard but also have a decent life balance too!

  • Ashlee says:

    So true! You have to live life in a balance so that you put in the effort needed to further your career and also the things you need to enjoy life!

  • These a good tips for college students! I didn’t attend an HBCU but I’m glad that Home Depot is putting a spotlight on great black colleges and graduates.

  • Joyce says:

    Thanks for the tip! I had a nephew who just recently graduated and I think he needs to see your post. Sending him the link!

  • Catherine says:

    Great tips! It is so tough for students today to balance work, studies, and downtime. Great tips.

  • Becca Wilson says:

    This is such a great reminder that a career doesn’t have to just be boring and dull. You should always make sure to have it be an amazing part of your life!

  • Kim says:

    I definitely work and play hard. Even more so now. Life is way too short to spend time working and not living. It’s sad some people live to work rather than work to live.

  • College graduation seems so long ago but it’s such an important and awesome time of life. Thanks for sharing this

  • Marysa says:

    It looks like you have definitely worked hard and reaped the results. We love Mexico, and we have been to the same pyramid – great photo!

  • Shannon says:

    Such great tips on how to work hard and play harder! Something i have struggled with!

  • Our oldest daughter is graduating from high school this year. These are some great tips! Thanks for sharing.

  • Nina says:

    I loved seeing all these photos of you from when you graduated! Like you, my college graduation was almost 10 years ago! My career has not been one set thing, but I’ve had a blast. I think my advice would be to not be so hard on yourself if you do change careers after graduating or find something you like better. You have the rest of your life ahead of you. Also, finding that work and play balance is so important!

  • Know your craft, have fun+ balance. Spot on!

  • Elizabeth Keene says:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself!! The key is most definitely Balance!! They don’t have a class on that do they?

  • These are great tips for college grads. We graduated a long time ago – LOL.

  • Kendro says:

    Yes it is SO important to have a work-life balance. Work hard and party hard when need be!

  • Jackline A says:

    Great tips! Balance is key to be successful and priorities things. You can’t go to college and not have fun and socialize but you can’t fail out either.

  • Ana Canon says:

    Yes! balance is everything!!

  • Christiana says:

    This is one of the best advice I have heard all year! Its so important to find the balance between work and leisure in this world. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Carissa says:

    These are great tips!! I love the balance tip…I needed this when I was college.

  • Monique says:

    Great tips. My daughter starts college in the fall, so I’m definitely going to share these with her.


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