The CEO of SoulCycle says young job seekers should try to avoid making this common mistake

Melanie whelan SoulCycle CEO
SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan. D Dipasupil/Getty Images

When you’re fresh out of college and some of your fellow grads have great gigs lined up at top companies, you may feel pressure to find an equally awesome job. 

But Melanie Whelan, CEO of SoulCycle, says new college grads should forget about doing what they think is expected of them and just get to work.

“Get a job and work hard,” she tells The New York Times’ Adam Bryant in a recent interview. “You are going to learn a ton in whatever that job is, so don’t stress too much about what it is or where it is. Just take a job and put your head down, work hard, raise your hand for anything anybody asks you to do.”

Whelan says it’s important for young job seekers to live in the present rather than worry so much about where they’re headed. The key is working as hard and learning as much as possible. When you do this, she says, good things will follow.

“A lot of people think in terms of ‘should’  — I ‘should’ be a banker, I ‘should’ go to law school, I ‘should’ pursue what I studied in school.” This is a mistake, she tells Bryant.

“Figure out what you’re passionate about and also look for great people to work with. You should take a risk. You’re 22 years old, so take a risk,” she says.

Read the full New York Times interview here.

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