Straight-A students have taken to Reddit to tell the world where their top-class grades have got them in life - and it's not always the most high-flying lifestyles.
The posts cover a wide variety of outcomes, from those working in a coffee shop or not working at all to aerospace engineers flying to Japan.
The page also offered an insight into the pressure students face, with many speaking out about suffering breakdowns and depression while striving to get perfect marks.
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Straight-A students have taken to Reddit to tell the world where their top-class grades have got them in life.
The posts cover a wide variety of outcomes, from those working in a coffee shop (pictured) or not working at all to aerospace engineers flying to Japan
The majority of Reddit users set out to prove that top grades don't always mean a top career at the end of all your hard work.
Indigoreality was 'working in IT for a straight C boss,' while another straight A university graduate told, 'I work at a coffee shop. Yup.'
Another had the not-particularly mentally challenging job of a train conductor, while waawftutki was feeling particularly disillusioned with the fact he was still unemployed three years after leaving school with straight As.
'Unemployed, completely unsure what to do with my life.
'School made me really really good at remembering random things for short periods of time, but I don't see how that applies to any sort of job or hobbies.
Waawftutki was feeling particularly disillusioned with the fact he was still unemployed three years after leaving school with straight As
RockrGrll decided not to go to college and instead go on tour with her band - despite graduating in the top 10% of her class and having her pick of top college scholarships
Anotherdirtyword told how they did so well in school that they felt like a complete failure when they were averaging a B- at college
'I've been out of high-school for three years, trying to go back to school right now and I've forgotten everything.
'It doesn't mean a thing whatsoever to be a straight A student. You need some actual motivation/passion in something to get good at it, and school has nothing to do with that.'
RockrGrll would agree with the latter sentiment as she decided not to go to college and instead go on tour with her band - despite graduating in the top 10% of her class and having her pick of top college scholarships.
She wrote that her career adviser had a surprisingly positive response, and it turned out to be the right one.
'She said how much she loved my music and was excited I was choosing to follow my dreams. That really stuck with me.
'I now own my own recording studio, work my own hours, and life is f***ing awesome.'
A number of Reddit users could have used a careers adviser like her, as they left school on a high, but soon struggled when competing with the big boys at top colleges.
Those who found their A grades didn't help them in life or who suffered from stress and depression trying to do well warned others not to worry so much about getting top grades
'We were all told at orientation 'get used to being average',' wrote anotherdirtyword. 'I've never been average, so I brushed it off, thinking it didn't really apply to me.
'Sure enough despite all my hard work and non-stop studying, I was a B- student. That struggle really took an emotional toll on me.'
Struggling to cope, they transferred school and graduated with a B+ average.
'Getting all As in my opinion isn't nearly as important as society tells us it is,' they continued.
In fact the Reddit user blames doing so well at school for not preparing them to deal with failing at anything down the line, meaning they had to learn the hard way.
'Your health and happiness are what's important - no one should ever tell themselves that they're worthless because they're not a 4.0 student - not all of us can be, and I've just realised myself that that's okay,' they concluded.
Stop_pot4to also found life doesn't always go as expected after 'burning out' at private college.
'I dealt with lots of depression and anxiety that led me to stop caring about school.
Of course good grades help if you want to command a high salary, too. Sophrosynic is a software developer and 'very well paid compared to the industry average in my city'
ThirstyWombat is giving their parents a run for their money, quite literally: 'Engineer at an aerospace company and making more money my first year out of school than both of [my] parents currently make combined'
Then there are those who sound like they're living their dream, such as notconradanker. 'I'm a research scientist with an aerospace materials company. Currently I'm sitting on a plane about to leave for Japan to do some collaborative research. 'It's a good life'
'I actually failed my last class of my undergraduate in biomedical engineering, so I have to re-take that when its offered again to get my degree.
'Remember, life isn't linear and there is no right path or best life.'
Hidinginplain_sight was a straight A student, but then decided that getting a high-flying job wasn't all that important to them.
'I went to college and discovered my love for doing anything and everything except going to class,' they wrote.
'I live a very happy life, but I'm not in school and don't have an awesome job or anything.
'No degree, minimal money in the bank, but still happy.
'Just not where everyone expected me to be in life, and probably a bit of a disappointment to my parents.'
Of course there are plenty of students for whom all the hard work paid off, too.
'In my second year of medical school. I come from a poor family, so I worked two jobs to put myself through undergrad,' told MDfootball2014.
'Got a degree in biochemical engineering. Realised I wanted to work with people more than machines. So here I am now. And I love where I'm at.'
Of course good grades help if you want to command a high salary, too.
Sophrosynic is a software developer and 'very well paid compared to the industry average in my city'.
While ThirstyWombat is giving their parents a run for their money, quite literally.
'Engineer at an aerospace company and making more money my first year out of school than both of [my] parents currently make combined,' they wrote
Then there are those who are living their dream, like UncleTrustworthy who's now a chemical engineer.
And notconradanker boasted, 'I'm a research scientist with an aerospace materials company. Currently I'm sitting on a plane about to leave for Japan to do some collaborative research.
'It's a good life.'
And then there are those, like bigdumbbears, who are paving the way for our future generations...
'I'm a teacher now, making sure I was the last straight A student.'
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If your job search consists only of applying to advertised vacancies, you're likely to be missing out on many other opportunities – as well as unnecessarily lengthening the process.
This type of job seeking – though it might make you feel you're being proactive – can only get your application into the same pile as everyone else. Instead, writing a speculative application directly to an organisation can be a quicker and more direct route into a job. Researching the company (to understand how your interests and skills meet their needs) takes time, but the result is that you're more likely to know if you'd be a good match. This means that you'll come across more confidently at a meeting with a decision-maker.
There's always the risk that your letter goes unanswered or you receive a rejection, and it's perhaps the fear of this that puts people off. But it's also a strategy that puts you more in charge of your job search, and allows you to uncover opportunities that might not have previously existed.
Understand what you have to offer
You need to be clear about why someone would want to meet you. What can you bring to the company? Write down your key strengths and skills, and find examples where you add value. Don't oversell yourself (this can backfire and damage your credibility), but try to answer these questions:
• What is your expertise?
• What have you achieved for other companies using your key strengths?
Do your research
Find out everything you can about the company. You'll need to know how it's performing, who the competitors are, and plans for expansion or growth. You can then work out how your background and expertise might be valuable.
Research who is the best person to write to. Ideally you want to reach someone with hiring authority – and that's unlikely to be HR. Find the name of the head of department, or the managing director if it's a smaller company. You can find names on LinkedIn (follow the company there), from your network, or in industry publications, which often have an 'on the move' type section.
Write your application around the company and their needs
Bear in mind the 'what's in it for me?' principle. Link your strengths (and career interests) to the company's requirements. Use your research to do this effectively.
Show, don't tell. Rather than just saying you're effective or goal-oriented, give examples of how what you did in the past has brought results and solved problems. Your aim at this stage is to pique someone's interest so that they invite you in for a meeting. In most cases you won't need to include your CV (although you can include links to your personal site or LinkedIn profile).
Delivery is important
Letters are almost always opened, making them perhaps a better choice than an email. Alternatively, get inside help. If you already know someone within the company, you can ask them to hand-deliver your letter.
Example of a speculative application
First line – introduction and why you are writing. For example: "I visited your stand at the Expo fair and was very interested to hear of your plans to expand into the Chinese market."
What you offer (include a relevant achievement if possible): "Following my graduation, I spent a couple of years in Beijing and Shanghai with the British-Chinese Chamber of Commerce helping to market a range of products. I learned first-hand the particular challenges of this market, but also the strategies that were successful. For example, through one campaign involving trade-fair participation and sponsorship, I helped secure a multi-million pound deal for a medical equipment manufacturer. "
Why you are interested: "Since that time, I have maintained many links within China, and I'm eager to explore opportunities that would combine my marketing expertise and knowledge of the region."
Call to action: "I would be interested to discuss ways in which my skills could help drive your expansion into the Chinese market, and I look forward to hearing from you."
Yours sincerely (name)
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