Post-College Flowchart Image: Dan Iggers via Flickr

Post-College Flowchart
Image: Dan Iggers via Flickr

Most people assume that after completing their undergraduate college education that the next step in life is to go out into the real world and get a job or go on to higher education at graduate school. For many, the job search can be drudgery and may take quite a bit of time depending on experience and field of interest.

But certainly one path in life does not fit all. There tends to be this “ideal” of coming out of school and instantly falling into an amazing career. However, this is hardly a reality. For one, people’s careers develop overtime. Feel like you’re lost and don’t have any idea what career you want to pursue? This is completely normal. Essentially, for many people, we wander around like chickens with our heads cut off for some time. We take jobs for the money, for the experience, because we’re bored, because we want to try it out, and a combination of these reasons. Eventually opportunities open, one thing leads to another, and our career will rather than fall into place will develop overtime.

If you sit down and chat with a career counselor they will most likely tell you that your major in college does not determine what kind of job you will get in the future. Now if you major in English and wish to pursue astronautics after college, well, other additional education may be required. But in the end if you ask a friend about their educational background, it is not uncommon to find a discrepancy between their major and the career they have currently.

Now a day people only stay at a job for 3-5 years. Some people even make drastic changes by pursuing other fields later in life (that’s why you hear about and see so many middle-aged adults going back to school).

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Learning doesn’t end once you leave school
  • Who says you can’t go into paleontology after working for years in advertising?
  • Careers develop overtime, not over night
  • One path does not it all

So if you are finding that neither the “ideal” post college routes are a fit for you, no need to fret. Find you passion and chase after it; money will come later. Here are some alternative post-graduation paths that many seniors today are taking on:

  • Teach For America—checkout our profile for Teach For America
  • Travel the world
  • Volunteer/community service
  • Work on a cruise ship
  • Peace Corps
  • Teach English in another country
  • Join the military
  • Start your own business!