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Stop Looking for a Job: 3 Alternative Choices For Recent Grads

Stop Looking for a Job: 3 Alternative Choices For Recent Grads

If you just graduated from college, congratulations! It’s a huge achievement and you should be proud of yourself. Normally there would be plenty of job opportunities just waiting for raw and eager talent, but this is 2009. Finding a good job is not going to be easy. The way I see it, there are really only four possible outcomes:

1. Get your dream job. If you are one of the best and the brightest (you know who you are), you may just land your dream job. Obviously if this is you, stop reading this blog and go get that job.

2. Remain unemployed. Despite your efforts, you may find yourself unemployed for some time. There are many experienced workers getting pink slips and having a hard time finding work, so don’t be surprised if a) it takes you a long time to find a job or b) you can’t find a job.

3. Get a crappy job. With some determination, you may be able to find a job. It won’t be your dream job, but it might pay the bills (assuming you move back home with your parents). The problem with working in a sub-par position is that you won’t be learning much, making much, or growing much. When the economy turns around and employers start hiring, do you really want to list Chuck E Cheese on your resume? Think long and hard about taking a job just because it’s a job. Ideally you’d want each of your jobs post-graduation to support and build on one another. Settling for just anything might do more harm than good in the long run.

4. Check out. This is my favorite approach — assuming you can’t land your dream job and you can mooch off your parents a bit longer. Instead of being a victim of the times, this puts you in control and can boost your resume if you do it right. Here are three ways you can check out and check back in when employers are looking to hire again:

  • Start your own company – Why settle for fry-guy when you can be CEO? If you have an idea and are entrepreneurial, get a few partners (i.e., other friends who can’t find jobs) and start something. Worst case, you don’t make a dime, but you’ll learn invaluable skills and you’ll have a story and something to share on your resume. Best case, your little venture succeeds.
  • Travel/Create. Backpack for a year across Europe or Asia. It doesn’t have to cost that much, and it will be an experience you will never forget. Plus, when it comes time to get a job, at least you did something with your time you can be proud of and talk about. If travel isn’t your thing, what is? What would you love to do that won’t cost a lot of money and that you won’t be able to do once you get a full-time job? Start a charity? Walk across the United States? Join the Peace Corps?  Climb a mountain? Write a book?
  • Go back to school. Why bust your butt trying to get a lame job that will certainly look lame and desperate to future employers when you can use this time to get a master’s degree? Think about what you gain with this approach — no stress trying to get a job, no empty space on your resume for a year, and, oh yeah, a master’s degree. The only downside with this is the cost. As long as the degree will get you closer to your dream job, it’s worth it to get a loan. By investing in yourself, you might make a nice return.

Don’t be a victim and don’t make excuses. You have options. The economy will improve and you will find a job. You’ll probably work at least 40 years, so if you have the ability, use this time to do something special.

(Graduation image by robb3dCC 2.0)

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Read more: Career, College Life, Life

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Robert Pagliarini

Robert Pagliarini is obsessed with improvement, making the most of his time and energy, and inspiring others to live life to the fullest by radically changing the way they invest their time and energy. He is the founder of RicherLife.com, a community of passionate people who want to learn and achieve more in life and at work and the co-founder of The Band of Brothers Foundation, a non-profit helping kids around the world.

26 comments

+ add your own
1:35PM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

right.................................... jeez....................................

1:11AM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

Related to this: Tweet me @FreelanceMikey http://thumbtack.com/michaellapenna (Shameless plug)

7:50PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

ok

7:07PM PDT on May 26, 2012

One size does not fit all. Just because some people can and will do the collage, travel thing, lots of others will find that a waste. And claiming that 'nobody has to be unemployed' is nonsense. Being 'gainfully employed' at a pay level one can live on is just not an option in some parts of the country. Then there is always the possibility that people can't afford to spend money supporting your business. Relying on jobs as a means to surive is risky, so why do people still refuse to look at alternatives at how we 'do money' ? Jobs, when invented or available and needed should be a way to recieve additional money, not our sole support.

5:28PM PDT on May 24, 2012

Pretty unrealistic for all the students who have loans to start paying. We aren't all wealthy enough to go to college without loans. My kids were all very smart and got some financial aid, but nothing near the cost of college.

2:23PM PDT on May 24, 2012

Boy, that was one of the worst articles I've read on Care2. Go spunge off your parents instead of taking a good that's beneath you? How about volunteering if you have to have something that looks good on your resume?

11:39PM PDT on May 23, 2012

One more vote for "stupid article".

9:18AM PDT on May 23, 2012

STupid, USeless ARticle! Also, elitist as Hell!

4:53AM PDT on May 23, 2012

Thanks

1:56AM PDT on May 23, 2012

Thanks.

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