I Graduated! What now?

30 May
Dr Alice Bennett
Image by nhojjohn58 via Flickr

Graduates of the new millennium are facing a huge dilemma. We strive hard to get that degree only to find out the harsh reality – jobs are scarce, and we have to compete.

While in college, we were led to believe that the moment we graduate, all problems will be solved. And that there are jobs waiting for us outside the four corners of our classroom, just waiting for us to get that diploma. And what happens when we step out of it? Graduate meets reality, smack in the face.

But with a great deal of courage, we set out to face that reality and face the competition. But while we’re at it, we need to find ways to survive. We must be creative so that we don’t get trampled by the crowd. And listed here are just some of the ways that you can do while waiting for your dream job. I sure hope they work for you as they did for me.

  • Freelancing

Offer services to individuals or companies for a specific project or time period. There are a lot of projects online as well as offline that need freelancers. Research the internet for freelancing opportunities, may they be in your field of expertise or something you are familiar with – granting you will strive to get better at it. Pay attention also to freelancing opportunities within your community. There may be someone in need of your services.

  • Start a micro business

Do you have a hobby or a flair for handcrafted and DIY projects? These little things can get you started in a small business in no time. Start by introducing your product/s within your family and relatives. Then expand to your neighbors and friends. Word of mouth is a powerful strategy that can get you steady customers and thus a steady flow of income. Of course, you can’t expect a high income from it, but it can get you on your two feet. Well, that’s a start.

If you don’t have any experience in business, don’t worry. There are a lot of information on the internet. However, beware of those “get rich quick schemes” that can lure you into investing what little money you have on them. That’s the worst thing that can happen to you.

  • Volunteering

Volunteering can be a very rewarding experience for a person. And as professionals, we can dedicate some of our time and expertise to help in the community. But how can this help you earn money? The answer is it won’t. Some organizations give small allowances to their volunteers but not enough to cover your living expenses. The advantage is that you get to contribute to the community with your knowledge, while you learn more from the experience. People will also acknowledge your skills, thus you let them know what you can do. The organizers can also recommend you to other people they know who need your services. This is when you get the opening you will need in applying for a job.

  • Work at small institutions or organizations

Observe the community where you live. Are there any small businesses, clinics, stores, etc. in you area? Is there any job opportunity where your skills are needed? They may offer only a small salary, but it’s a start to becoming employed. These jobs can let you practice your skills, help you learn and make you seen. And when you get a job, don’t stop searching for other job opportunities.

  • Learn new things

Some people I know return to school for a master’s degree or PhD. Some study other fields to widen their scope and learn new skills. But for the rest of us, who can’t afford another tuition fee and have to work ASAP, school is not an option. But when all else fails, and all of the above suggestions just don’t work, do not despair. Unemployment introduces you to the other aspects of life. This experience makes you learn new things. And maybe, in some near future, these experiences will teach you other things, and get you to follow another path in life. And that’s up to you to discover!


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