So you’re a college graduate (or soon to be college graduate) and you’re probably worried about finding a job. Unless you were on top of the game, you may find that you are going to fall short within the employment world. It’s a nasty, competitive place out there in which unfortunately not everyone can win.
A high number of college graduates are underemployed now. Many so called “entry level” positions require 1-5 years experience! If you’re finding yourself in this situation, consider some alternative ways of gaining experience after college!
1. Join the Peace Corps
It definitely takes a selfless person for this, but consider the benefits. Did you know you receive health and dental benefits (even up to 18 months post service), 48 paid vacation days (over a 2 year period), plus paid leave of absence for emergencies? You can also get your student loans deferred! Heck, that’s a lot better than most jobs nowadays.
It definitely requires thinking ahead (as they tell applicants to apply 9 months in advance), but consider this — the economy is so bad these days it can take college graduates several years to find a real job. If you were to join the Peace Corps, you’d be overseas for 2 years learning invaluable skills, becoming culturally diverse, learning a foreign language — these are all very marketable in the employment world today. When you are done with your service, you really will shine above the rest of the job candidates. The Peace Corps is something that would look amazing on any resume.
It IS volunteer, however, they pay enough to cover the cost of living. When you’re finished with your service, they give you $7,500 to help readjust into the real world. That’s a fairly decent amount of cash to live on while you look for a job back home. (Plus it should be a lot easier to find one with such experience under your belt!).
If you’re thinking the Peace Corps is a bit too intense, they have alternative volunteer programs, such as Americorps, where you can do possibly find opportunities even within your own town. It’s essentially the same idea as the Peace Corps (volunteer based, with living expenses paid) but you don’t have to venture so far and can do the good work within your own community.
2. Teach Abroad
If you have a college degree, can speak English, and don’t mind traveling abroad, there’s probably an opportunity for you to teach in foreign countries within South America and Asia. A teaching degree or certification isn’t even necessary. It’s not as competitive and you can probably get a position fairly easily–there are tons of opportunities and not a high demand.
It isn’t as big of a commitment as joining the Peace Corps either. Often times you can sign up to teach for just a semester, or a year. (You have to dedicated 27 months in the Peace Corps!) After you’re done, you’ve gained marketable skills within the employment world, giving your experience and resume a boost.
3. Become an Entrepreneur
Never forget you can always jump ahead of the game and start your own business. I know what you’re thinking, most fresh out of college students are in no position to go opening their own business. They’re thousands upon thousands in debt, how are they supposed to that take on a huge investment such as a business?
Well, it’s entirely possible to start a WEB business with extremely minimal start up cost. Seriously, did you know there’s good money to be made online? Everything is being moved online these days–including buying products. Most business are moving online these days to connect with more people, and take advantage of the world market. If you’re smart, you can take advantage of this too on your own!
It my not require a college education, but you could benefit more from starting your own internet business than you ever could from a traditional 9-5 job. If you’re even in the slightest bit curious about this (which I think you may be), you can read more of what I have to say about it here.
Plus, you’ll learn very valuable skills in the process which could make you look very appealing to employers if you decide to venture back out into the employee marketplace.
Or you can just keep doing what you’re doing…
So, you like your life. You don’t want to make a huge commitment like moving abroad. It’s hard to give up the comforts of home, and you’ll know you find a job eventually–the economy has got to turn around, right?
Well, perhaps, but there are no guarantees. You can just keep doing what you’re doing, keep your eye out, jump on every opportunity you find. Sure, you may have to work a crappy job for awhile, but if you’re persistent you’ll probably land a good job, eventually.
The problem is, it could be a long wait. Why not get started gaining more valuable experience now?