Hi Surviving Studenthood…
I enjoy your posts!
I’ve got a question for you although it is not directly related to the ‘student’ experience.
Hit us with it anyways!
I graduated just this year with a Bachelor’s degree specializing in Commerce. Congrats!
I enjoyed university, and I graduated feeling well-prepared for the ‘real world’, but now that I am ‘out there’, I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. I want to – for lack of better words – change the world, but I can barely find a job I enjoy. I’m confused about whether to start my own business or pursue an MBA or get a job in a corporation.
Well George, your question may not apply to current students, but it is part of the student experience nonetheless, and we are happy to answer your question. Graduating can be scary – it is overwhelming, and a little nerve-wracking – and as we like to think of it as so, because students graduate full ideas and excitement that are ready to jump out into the real world and we know that no one wants to fall flat on their face.
When you hit the real world, the options can be overwhelming. The best part of being young is that you have no responsibilities holding you back to stop you from discovering your options. We’ve come up with some ideas for you, that we hope will help guide you to the right next-step for you.
Set a Mind Frame: You want to change the world? Step out into the world and change it! Part of being a student, and the best part of being young is this is the time to follow your dreams. Don’t let obstacles hold you back!
On Starting Your Own Business: If starting your own business is your thing, then come up with a proper business plan, and talk to people in the field. The worst thing you can do is get into a field you don’t know much about. It’s challenging as a student to start your business – the planning, and finding, and hiring and more. Remember, its experience, not age that holds you back.
If you find that lack of experience, or lack of money is your problem, consider…
Joining a Company: On joining a company we say this – if you want to change the world, and money holds you back, jump in to a company who is changing the world! Rather than grab a menial job, or something you will only do for a few years, consider connecting with a company that will give you transferable skills. You want to do developmental work and you don’t have the money to fund a trip to Africa? Connect with a company who works in areas abroad and learn from them. After you get some hands on experience, you can run with it and try it out on some of your own great ideas
It’s a bit like building a house – you could jump in on your own with a hammer, or you can do a six-month internship with a contractor and learn everything you need to know. Why re-invent the wheel? Even if you can, it is so much easier to learn from a pro.
If a running a business isn’t for you…
Go to Graduate School: You’d be surprised how much a second degree will help you in the market! Some times a business idea doesn’t pan out, sometimes you don’t find a company that really captures your interests or personal goals, and some times, you just need a bit more time. I hate to say this, because I believe graduate school should never be looked at this way, but pursuing a second degree can be a progressive, effective way of gaining time. If you need some time to think and hold off the real world at bay, why not become a little more marketable in the meantime?
And you don’t have to go back to school for a graduate degree. Instead you can go back to school to find a degree that compliments your skills and interests, which can open new doors for the future.
For example, if you are really interested in – oh, I don’t know – lets say … flipping and selling houses. And lets say you currently have a degree that focuses on real estate development or the real estate market, buying and selling trends etc. What are your options now? Well, you could join an established sales company and learn from a pro, or buy a house on your own and jump in and learn on the job, OR, if you don’t want to do either, you could go back to school, and take a 1 year house-decorating course, that will compliment your degree in real estate to enhance your skills and potential for future employment opportunities. See what I mean? By holding back a couple of years, you can get a few more skills that make you a more unique candidate in the job field, or at least give you a more multi-faceted perspective of your job if you decide to start out on your own. Now, you know not only when the market indicates a good time to sell the house, but what the house has to look like in order for someone to buy it!!!
In the end, George, I guess you have to decide what is right for you. There is no shortage of options – no lack of opportunity to start on your own, or gain experience in your field, or go back to school and better yourself while you make up your mind. The trick is to decide what path is right for you, and then pursue it with a vengeance, and without regrets.
And the important thing is, you don’t have to do it on your own. Even though you have graduated, talk to a career counselor at your school, get ideas from family and friends, and do a lot of research about companies you could join, or programs you could pursue before you make up your mind. Nothing wrong with getting some help – especially when your school has plenty of programs and services still available for you to use, even as an alumni.
Hope we’ve helped! Good luck!
p.s. Do you have a question for us? Send us an email and we will write a specialized post answering your question – just for you!