Thursday, May 5, 2016

11 steps to Prepare for a Career: Reconsidering the Post-graduation "Crisis"

I'm graduating.
Very soon.
If I end up jobless next year, I won't be surprised. I hear about such situations all the time. College grads hit the market with sometimes little to no work experience. They have that shiny look and new car smell that screams, "I haven't been crash-tested yet".  That's too bad because companies aren't as willing anymore to train new workers. Also, since the economy is still not in perfect health, the demand for a huge increase in workers is questionable.
So, it won't surprising if I find myself in the same place as many of my peers. If that is how the world works currently, I won't take it personally. Moreover, I wonder if it is such a bad thing for many of us. Many people, like me, can live with their parents for a while.  There's a scaffold to build something for one's self.
Not having to go to work has its benefits, otherwise, no one would make such a big deal over vacations.  I'll have to work for most of the  years of my life.  Thus, the "idling time" post-graduation is a "Precation" of sorts. I get to see my family. I get to focus on my health and personal goals. Why not take advantage of the situation?
There are possibilities for self-development, enjoyment, and career building before employment:
  1. Interning or Volunteering for Free:  This is an easy way to get work experience.
  2.  Meet other people in your field. Find conferences related to areas of interest. Commit to attending a few a month or even every week.  You'll get new ideas, make connections, and will have a chance to contribute if you stick around long enough.  Keep service in mind, and see how you can help out. Anything you accomplish can go towards your career connections and your résumé.
  3. Learning to Code on Free Websites: It takes many hours of practice to learn coding and program design. Idling time is the perfect time to pick up such a skill. The habit of spending just a few hours each day at a set time on developing hard technical skills will give you a leg up.
  4. Finally learning a musical instrument or something else artsy:  For most of a person's life, he or she doesn't have over 12 hours of free practice time available daily. Take advantage.
  5. Going on Low-Priced Adventures:  A plane ticket is probably out of the question during unemployment. However,  a cheap bus ticket, a bike trip, or a short road trip can be affordable. Moreover, there is the time to do such things. Once a person is locked into a job, time constraints can limit these activities.
  6. Writing: Writing a book... writing a blog.. finishing that newsletter I was talking about...writing...writing...Idling is the perfect time to do that.
  7. Learning the art of thrift: Now, you'll have that extra 15 minutes a week to look for coupons, to plan your meals, and to focus on sales. You'll learn to live with less so when you do finally get a job you'll be living more comfortably and securely.
  8. Getting in  better shape: One of the most common complaints people have about being healthy are time constraints. Say goodbye to that excuse.
  9. Reading books: You have time to read all (ok, many of) the books you ever wanted to try, but never had time to read. You can invest in books to broaden your skills for your career as well. Self-education is the best education, and it never ends. Speaking of...
  10. Leveling up your skills- Taking extra free online classes or reviewing textbooks on the subjects you learned but haven't mastered in college is a great daily habit. There are also thousands of educational videos on Youtube such as TED talks.
  11. Learning a New Sport: Now would be the perfect time to join a group of people in an amateur baseball team or to learn to surf.
Those are just a few off the top of my head. I tried to focus on things you can do for free or at a low price. I understand there is still the problem of low funds. I'll talk about that in the next article.

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