The Post-Grad Survival Guide
The Post-Grad Survival Guide — A Millennial Work, Money & Life Advice Publication

PRODUCTIVITY GUINEA PIGS

What is buffer time, and how much of it should I dedicate to my day?

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Illustration courtesy of the author

Have you ever looked closely at your online calendar? If you are anything like me, this tool has pretty much become the single thing that can effectively run our day.

If it’s not in the calendar, it’s not going to happen. It’s harsh, but it’s true. Within my apple calendar (as well as my booking system) I have seen two features recently cropping up.

One is respectively “travel time” and the other one is “buffer time”.


We’re only human and we all have the same number of hours in the day

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Photo: Cynthia Magana/Unsplash

For those of us who work in the corporate world — and even those of us who don’t — we’re all too familiar with the feeling of letting out that giant sigh of relief once we’ve sent out our final email or completed our final task of the day. For those of us who are familiar with this feeling, then you know that there’s no greater joy than this.

However, we should also be very familiar with the one (or two, or three, or several) emails or tasks that we often receive outside of “appropriate” work hours. …


5 steps to making an extra $500 per month

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Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Want to get started as a writer in 2021?

Here’s the only strategy you’ll need. Over the next 6 minutes, I’ll give you the entire roadmap from start to finish. Why listen to me, though?

Well, I’ve made over $225,000 from writing and selling courses over the last three years.

I average 120,000 monthly views on Medium, founded a publication that averages 500,000 monthly views, and have been writing online for the last four years.

I know my way around this game, and know how many others navigate the game, too. …


It might never be easier than right now

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Photo by Baim Hanif on Unsplash

I don’t have to tell you that student loans are a massive problem for many people — there’s currently a record $1.6 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. At this point, student loans have become so normalized that we expect everyone to have them.

When I graduated from law school several years ago, I made it my goal to pay off my student loans as fast as I could. They were my largest monthly fixed expense — more than my rent even. The way I saw it, as long as I had to pay that monthly student loan bill, I was limited in the things that I could do. …


Trust me, we are not here for the money

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Photo by Andrey Konstantinov on Unsplash

When you think of the musicians in the symphony orchestra, you likely think of upper-class people. You imagine these people dining at fancy restaurants and drinking expensive wine. These people can afford instruments worth upwards of 20K and a myriad of formal concert outfits; surely, they must be making six figures.

Well, I’m sorry to burst your bubble. Our lifestyle is nothing like that. While some of our patrons may come from that demographic, we certainly do not. …


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Photo by Jimmy Dean on Unsplash

My Mom started crying on our video call.

Both my parents were lamenting to me about their relationships with my sister. I’d spent the last year in the Philippines, away from my family completely, and I missed them dearly.

“It’s like we’re always annoying your sister,” my Mom said. “She snaps at us all the time out of nowhere and we walk on eggshells around her.”

It made me sad. I grew up in a household where we were all very close. Me, my brother, my sister, my mother, and my father — we were all we had.

I remember when my siblings and I would have sleepovers together. We’d pull our beds into my sister’s room and quote movie lines dangerously close to midnight. We laughed so hard that my parents had to tell us to go to sleep already. …


These lessons have made me over $50,000 in the past 3 years

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Photo: Kat Stokes/Unsplash

I’m coming up on my third anniversary as a Medium writer (it’s in March), and it’s been a wild ride. 16,000 followers, 3,000 email subscribers, and $50,000 later (yikes! Where the hell did all that money go!?), and I’m finally starting to ask some big questions about what is making it all possible.

Most of what made it possible was out of my control, of course. I didn’t find Medium, invent the internet, or manufacture the Apple Macbook. But there was a lot within my control — and there is a lot within your control, too.

To the upcoming writers of Medium, Amazon Kindle, their own blogs, or somewhere else, here are the 3 biggest lessons I’ve learned in my writing career. …


You can’t just wish and will yourself into a success mindset

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Photo: Elina Sazonova/Pexels

Does positive thinking work?

You’ve probably had that thought if you’re trying to change your inner self-talk. After all, thinking positively sounds promising on the surface. Who wouldn’t want to think good thoughts and have everything magically work out for them?

The truth is that positive thinking doesn’t always help — or even work.

There is nothing inherently wrong with being optimistic and upbeat. But healthy positivity becomes toxic when it denies, minimizes, or invalidates a person’s emotions. You begin to start feeling bad about feeling bad.

Toxic positivity can trigger a self-defeating spiral, particularly for those who are Sensitive Strivers. As high-achievers who are also highly sensitive, they think and feel everything more deeply. …


It’s not always a good time for a drastic life change, but it is always the right time to start prioritizing your passions

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Photo: Christin Hume/Unsplash

Several months ago, my therapist encouraged me to “be more indulgent.”

As in, less responsible. This was so far from the advice I’d received from mentors, bosses, coaches, and my parents. Responsibility, discipline, achievement, hard work, keeping busy — that’s what it means to be a functioning adult in society. Right?

My therapist followed this challenge up with a two-part question: is there anything I do for no purpose other than enjoyment? Is there any area of my life in which I can sit back and let someone else take on the responsibility?

I felt stunned as I stared at my therapist’s face, neatly contained in a small square on Zoom. My answer was no. I spent most of my time either working or doing household tasks. I filled any free time with self-improvement activities, such as exercise or reading educational books. Beneficial, yes — but not always pleasurable and certainly not nurturing my creative passions. …


It’s about seeing the life skills I acquired from years of study

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Photo: Dom Fou/Unsplash

I didn’t enjoy school. I wrote an entire article about how I hated it even though I was good at it and concluded that doing well at something doesn’t mean you enjoy it.

From depression, anxiety, self-harm and an eating disorder, I was a mess. Being unpopular, having few friends, acne, braces, and glasses were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to those teen years. Not to mention the worst part — the anxiety-inducing exams.

However, like many Asian kids, I trudged along, finishing high school with scholarships to University and furthering my studies at Grad School. …

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