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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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