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I Can't Find a Job After College - What Should I Do?

Updated on January 11, 2013
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All is Not Lost

You've officially done it! Congratulations. After 16 years of education you are now the proud owner of one piece of paper that says you're important and another that mentions the tens of thousands of dollars you owe. A few years ago that would be alright, because you could just go out there, find a job, and be set for life! Unfortunately, that's not the case anymore. More and more students are finding themselves graduating with extensive amounts of education and absolutely no job.

If that is you, do not worry - because I have done all of the worrying for you. A recent college graduate myself, I thought that it would be a good idea to examine the potential options.

Here are 10 ideas that I came up with. Maybe they'll be inspiration for you as well.

1. Look For A Job

It turns out that some people are STILL finding jobs! And no, extensive research suggests that this is not a myth. The key is to look where people aren't looking. Most of the time, soon-to-be graduates look for jobs online, in the classifieds, or at job fairs. But here's the problem: an average of about 100 other people are applying for each of those jobs!

The key to finding a job is to look where none are posted. Once a job is posted, countless people will apply. If you can get your foot in the door before a job is posted, then you will have a much higher chance of standing out from the crowd. How do you do this? One way the dean of my school of business suggested was writing to businesses that you would be interested in working for, tell them where your skills lie, and ask them if they are looking for anyone.

Another key is to network. Network like crazy! Use Facebook, LinkedIn, your parents, professors, previous employers, friends, and friends parents. If you talk to enough people you're bound to find people who are looking for your charming face to be a part of their team.

2. Live Off of Your Parents' Wealth

This one clearly doesn't work for everyone. The prerequisite is that you have wealthy parents or the incredible ability of tricking a wealthy couple into thinking that you are their child. If you are able to pull this off, you may want to learn how to fill that time by reading 5 Ways to See the World While in College.

3. Live Off of the Government's Wealth

Now, this is one that anyone can do who is a member of a government with a relatively successful economy. However, if this is your plan, you must act fast! Many "strong" economies are failing in the world and you may only be able to enjoy this luxury for a few more years. But hey, if you can convince the government to pay you just because you're a charming person (you do this by showing them that you are unable to contribute to society), then by all means, take advantage of it.

4. Start a Business

For those of you who are both ideas people and realists, this is a great option for you. If the problem is needing a job, and you can't find one, why not make your own?! If you own the business the odds of you getting the job are much higher. The wealthy often start their own businesses.

There are several things to take into consideration here. Firstly, come up with a great idea and write out a solid business plan for it. Secondly, you'll need enough money to get the business moving (calculate the amount of money you believe you'll need and double it - that's what you should plan on). Thirdly, use your creativity, determination, and desire to be the best to make that business a success!

Learn a few potential ways to get started with Great Ways to Make Money in Your Free Time.

5. Be Homeless

This one is more of a last resort. The pay is below average and the hours are terrible. However, you get to be your own boss.

6. Volunteer

There are a lot of opportunities to volunteer with a huge variety of organizations and non-profits. If your focus on life is about what you can give rather than what you can take, this is the best option for jobless you. Some volunteer opportunities will provide you with housing, and maybe a stipend for food. Other opportunities will give you nothing.

Volunteering is a great way to make connections and keep your resume beaming even when you don't have a job. I know several guys who have volunteered their way to success. Working full time as a volunteer provides you with an opportunity to meet a variety of people from all walks of life. One of these people may just decide to hire you.

7. Work in a Different Country

While the job market is terrible all around the world, if you are a native English speaker you will have no problem finding a job teaching English. While some places require a degree in teaching or a TESL training certification (You can receive this with just a couple of weeks of training), many other positions will hire you for the simple fact that you are a native English speaker.

Working, particularly teaching English, abroad is a great opportunity for those who cannot find a job because you will be able to make $500-$2000 a month in a country where the cost of living is much lower than in America. Not only that, but you have a great opportunity to travel the world and embrace new cultures and life experiences. Who knows, maybe you'll come up with some great tourist or export business while you're abroad.

8. Marry Rich

This is a great option for those with low morals. If you are overly attractive and don't mind tagging along with a professional businessperson, lawyer, doctor, etc, marrying for money instead of love may be perfect for you. In many countries they marry out of necessity or family arrangements instead of love anyway - why not do the same in the Western world?

If you're a dude, the best way to work towards this is to discover A Flawless Way to Meet Women. After learning how to accomplish this, the wealthy wife will be a bar of chocolate away.

9. Become a Writer

So you have nothing to do... Are you great at expressing yourself through writing? Spend all this free time to write that novel, life memoir, or book of poetry that you've always desired to write. That four years of college had to of at least made you a decent writer. Take advantage of that and bless the world with your writing pros. You can even start by writing on HubPages!

10. Join the Occupy Wall Street Movement

I find this to be one of the less productive options, but it seems to be gaining traction. If you got an A in arts and crafts, this option will give you a great opportunity to gain some work experience by making signs. Perhaps you're a communication major - complain about absolutely whatever you want and you'll be made one of the movements leaders!

There are only two real drawbacks to this option: 1) You are complaining and not adding anything to society. 2) When you actually start looking for a job again all of these companies that you protested against may not want to hire you.

Conclusion - Stay Optimistic!

You know, it may be discouraging to feel as if there is no hope after graduation, but don't fret. After 16 years of schooling, you should be an expert at problem solving. These challenging times simply require us to be creative, realize that money isn't everything, and work together to build stronger communities, nations and a better world.

I look forward to seeing how you overcome your obstacles and make the world a little bit better. Good luck!

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    • johncimble profile image

      johncimble 5 years ago from Bangkok

      marry rich lol good idea :P

    • profile image

      Grandma Eva 5 years ago

      That is an excellent idea!!

    • profile image

      Grandma Eva 5 years ago

      Wish I had thought of that!

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Haha. Thanks. If you've got the ability to do it, why not? lol

    • profile image

      Jamraray 5 years ago

      Yes, a very good post Robert and I agree with you a lot.

      I tried that thing call marrying from a wealthy family but it never worked. You know one thing, must people in a third world will like to marry a white woman or an American woman and in this way, he will be able to migrate to the States and improve his living condition. I tried that too, but to now avail.

      Two of the other things I have also tried. Writing a novel and trying to start my own business, perhaps a social business. But the novel seem not to be very popular and especially as I write for Sierra Leoneans and they do not like reading very much, illiteracy rate still very high and the few literate hate buying books. The business I have begun but funding too is very hard to get, but I am still working on this.

      Things don't usually come easily but with perseverance, life will improve. But as you said, creativity can make a difference. And I have also been thinking of a creative way to get myself away from poverty.

      Thanks for sharing your ideas.

    • Steve LePoidevin profile image

      Steve LePoidevin 5 years ago from Thailand

      Good ideas! Working in another country is great! I have been here in China for four years. Life is good at 1/6 the cost of living in either the States or Canada. I totally plan on retiring somewhere in Asia in the next three or four years. (not China BTW).

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      @Jamraray, I wish you the best in finding success. Life has many challenge, but keep trying, and remember, enjoy every moment of life that you can. I hope all works out for you.

      @Steve, I'm glad you're enjoying China! That is definitely one of the options I am seriously looking at after graduation. And yes, the cost of living in Asia appears about perfect - maybe Thailand or the Philippines for retirement?

    • profile image

      Steve 5 years ago

      Haha awesome article! Man you're a solid writer! Definitely some good options, and I think a LOT of people are taking number 10! It's in every city it seems.

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Thanks bro! And yep, we saw the occupy people wondering around in Chicago a couple weeks ago. Hopefully these people start reading some of the other options... lol

    • profile image

      VerbalHoney 5 years ago

      all great ideas except number 10 - those folks just want someone to listen to their whining. This is not like the 70's people. Wake-up! Maybe they should read this hub again and take note of number 3, becauSe that's where they are headed next, AND they have already accomplished number 5...tsk tsk!

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Haha. Very true. It's amazing how people get excited about complaining and yet have no reason to their madness. If all of these people spent that time volunteering, we would have pretty clean streets and a better society.

    • Trueshortstories profile image

      Trueshortstories 5 years ago from Canada

      First world problems. LOL. Great hub!

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      You are absolutely right. Thanks Trueshortstories!

    • tamarawilhite profile image

      Tamara Wilhite 4 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

      "Living off the government's wealth" means living off the money taken from your working neighbors, not living off of the charity of a wealthy patron.

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

      You are absolutely right Tamara! If you read the paragraph following that title it should become apparent that this is a sarcastic statement. I am certainly not a fan of anyone actually making this move.

    • profile image

      Chris 4 years ago

      Good job.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

      I wish I had time to read this, but I am too busy complaining.

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

      LOL. That seems to be the response that most recent college grads give. Thanks for vocalizing it so perfectly.

    • StellaSee profile image

      StellaSee 4 years ago from California

      Ahaha~ become homeless, I wish my networking abilities were a little better, usually the people I do ask aren't in a position to hire. Great advice here.

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

      Thanks for stopping by Stella! I am sure your networking abilities will significantly increase as time goes on. ;) No worries!

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

      Thanks for stopping by Stella! I am sure your networking abilities will significantly increase as time goes on. ;) No worries!

    • profile image

      Allen 4 years ago

      Moving to China was the only thing that worked for me. Graduated in 2010 with B.S. in Operations Management. (Way too broad of a degree) - Could never get interviews, and companies always hired within. Worked as a forklift operator for minimum wage until I could pay to live in China for 6 months (including the flight) - offered a job in 4 days of being there for $80,000 USD a year and 6 weeks vacation, and an apartment and utilities allowance.

      U.S. companies are very shortsighted when it comes to paying for qualified people.

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

      Well Allen, it sounds like you hit the jackpot by moving to China! That sounds like something you should write a hub about and share.

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