It’s no revelation that many people are unhappy with their jobs. In fact, the whole miserable-on-the-job, making-it-to-Friday, and barely-enjoying-Sunday-because- tomorrow-is-Monday culture has been normalized. This mass dissatisfaction is what Kyle Grappone observed in his ten years of working various roles in corporate America. He was compelled to research this trend and even surveyed college graduates who revealed regrets about how their lives turned out. Well, Grappone is hoping to help break this generational curse, which is why he launched his business, To The Next Step. The company, which offers the handbook of the same name: To The Next Step: Your Guide From High School and College to the Real World, helps prepare high school and college students for the next stages of their lives through a variety of services.
“Consumerism has built a billion-dollar industry out of you hating your job,” the entrepreneur tells So Booking Cool, when mentioning his article, The Monetization of Misery. “And that might sound extreme, I always challenge people to take the next few weeks…really keep your eyes open to the advertisements you’re seeing, to the way companies are marketing to you because a lot of times you’ll see vacation companies, their slogans are: Wanna get away?
They know that you don’t really enjoy your day to day and now they’re feeding off of that…that lunch place wants you to take lunch there because lunchtime is the only time of day you enjoy, ‘so why don’t you come and do it with us’? I think alcohol companies feed off of that a lot.”
To The Next Step offers one-on-one coaching, on demand courses, keynote speeches and classroom workshops, and of course his book. Grappone says both he and his clients have homework when working together. For instance, when a student was overwhelmed with three internship offers, Grappone did his research, spoke with experts in the field, and tailored his feedback based on his client’s wants and needs, etc. The services typically kick off with an introductory email and call between Grappone, the student, and parent.
He also endorses students to not just think about the careers they are interested in but the kind of life they want to live overall. He applies this mentality to his own idealized future, which entails regularly enjoying life and not permanently sitting at a cube, taking his kids to school and attending their baseball games, family beach outings in the summertime, and having the freedom to watch the World Cup.
“That’s my why, that’s what pushes me,” he says. “And this is a little morbid, at times some people say this is a morbid way of looking at it, but I try to think about 50 years from now when I’m 80 and I’m reaching the end of my road. What do I want to look back on? What do I want to say that I did? And I know what I want to say that I did. I know what I want my obituary to say.”
Listen to the interview to learn more about Grappone including his foray into youth motivational speaking; whether people should chase their dream job or gradually get there by working a placeholder job; whether one should plan an exit strategy before quitting the job they detest; the things young people are unprepared for in the real world; the newest service in his company he is excited about; and more! For more information, visit To The Next Step’s official website.