Advice for the Graduate

jobCongratulations! You’ve graduated. Now what? If you’re like some high school graduates, you may not be overly impressed with the thought of racking up a mountain of debt by attending XYZ University (which MIGHT provide an advantage, but certainly won’t guarantee success). Nor are you enthused, if you’re a college graduate, about your prospects in a fiercely competitive job market, where you could find the next 40 plus years of your life grinding away for “The Man”. So what do you do? Well, we’ve been there and have experienced those same frustrations. So we thought with it being graduation season, some of the following tips or ideas might help.

There’s hope! First of all, regardless of what the establishment might push, there can be a whole lot more to life than worker bee servitude. Don’t let yourself get down by thinking there are only a handful of fairly unappealing options available to you (i.e.: flipping burgers, or pursuing a potentially useless four-year degree). And as stereotypical as it might sound, it will take self-discipline and some hard work – BUT that’s not to say you can’t have fun or find purpose in doing it!

Volunteer Service: As a recent graduate, now might be an ideal time to serve in a volunteer capacity in your local community. Not only will you make some great connections and learn some valuable skills, but your service will look great on a resume too. Plus, serving others always helps an individual discover purpose and meaning in life.

Internships: Finding an internship or someone willing to take on an apprentice is a good way to beef up your skill-set and resume. Plus, it might help you learn more about a particular career path to decide if it’s something you’d really want to do for a long period of time. Apprenticeships may not be common these days, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for an owner of a small business who is interested in taking on an enthusiastic individual to help out and learn the trade.

Trade School or 2 year degree: Look into gaining certification or adding skills to your resume by attending a trade school, mechanic school, technical school, local career center, art school, or community college offering a 2 year degree. It will be much more cost effective than a four year degree, and may be just as lucrative to an employer. Plus, many of these schools may offer online education, which not only offers affordability, but flexibility with your schedule, too. Whatever you do, do NOT get into debt. School debt will haunt you for decades after graduation. Explore all available options that will allow you to pay your own way while continuing your education.

Look at being an entrepreneur: Graduates usually are in a unique, more flexible stage of life where the development of their own business might be more feasible. If you’re a graphic artist, consider building up a freelance business. If you enjoy landscaping, start a mowing business and build upon it. If you know something about construction, start your own handyman business. The point here is that as most high school graduates haven’t incurred a lot of bills or other financial responsibilities, many may find it a little more feasible to live on a tight budget while getting their own business up and running. If you are a college graduate with no student loans or family obligations, the same is true for you.

Don’t stop learning! Regardless of whether you’re a graduate from a high school, or a graduate from college, some of the best education you can get is the kind where you do it on your own or with other like-minded people. And best of all, it usually doesn’t cost a lot! Find books at the library or used bookstores on subjects that interest you, and read as much as you can from a variety of sources and viewpoints. Listen to podcasts and check out youtube “how to” videos on your subject of interest. And perhaps most importantly, find those in your community who might be interested in sharing knowledge or a particular skill, and introduce yourself to them. You might be surprised how many people would love to share what they know!

Networking: For people who might be a little more introverted, the traditional view of networking conjures up visions of a large conference room full of boisterous people wearing suits and name tags. However, the kind of networking we’re suggesting doesn’t mean you have to be the life of the party. All it means is forming meaningful relationships with others in your community. This can be one-on-one, or with a small group of people who share similar interests. However you go about it, having people who know about you and what you can do may lead to an opportunity down the road.

Have fun: Lastly, be sure to make time to hang out with friends or family, and find a fun place to get out of town whenever you might have a day off. Life is pretty short, and although work is great for putting food on the table and a way to live with purpose, it can also be a means to allow people to be able to enjoy developing a hobby, taking a great trip, and doing nice things for other people too.

In the end, whatever you do – it’s up to you. What do you think? If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know. As always, we enjoy hearing from you! Also, please share Libertopia with a friend, or help donate if you appreciate what we’re doing! Until next time, have a great day!

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