I would like to congratulate you again for your new achievement – surviving college life. What are your plans now? Most of the time the next step of a college student after graduation is to seek employment. But nowadays, there are other paths to choose from rather than immediately getting a job. A lot of fresh graduates are taking advantage of time abundance post graduation to experiment on other things before they commit themselves to a job. No idea what you want to do yet? Here are some of the activities that you can do.
1. Take that well-deserved rest.
After years of sleepless nights and endless activities in college, you can finally have a full eight-hour sleep every day with afternoon naps on the side. It is also the time for you to do the things that you’d been doing when you were procrastinating on school days – sans the added guilt. Read books on your TBR list. Catch up on your favorite TV series. Have a movie marathon. Indulge, my dear. Because when you started working, you will hardly have time to do these things.
Just go to places that you’ve been wanting to go to. It can be at the beach, the mountains or the museum. Also, bring your friends and family with you because you definitely need people to share those precious moments with. The more, the merrier! Don’t forget to take pictures for your Instagram feed as well. *winks*
3. Spend quality time with your family and friends.
Been neglecting your lil bro during your exams week? Or ignoring your mom’s sweet text because you were way too busy with org activities? Catch up with them because you haven’t spent enough time together when you were still studying. Travel together, go shopping, play sports, eat at a restaurant or even a simple ‘kwentuhan’ at home would suffice if you are with the most wonderful people in the world.
4. Do volunteer work.
What is a better way to give back than by volunteering for a good cause? You can search online or better yet, ask your college dean, student government leaders or your local government unit if there are volunteer activities that you can participate in.
To give you an idea of the volunteer organizations in the country, you can check these out:
- 10 Places in the Philippines Where You Can Volunteer by Spot.Ph
- List: Volunteer Organizations in the Manila Where You Can Join by Philippine Primer
5. Make your personal brand
Today it is important to have your personal brand. But what is it anyway and why it is important? According to The Balance, personal branding is the process of developing a ‘mark’ that is created around your name or your career. This mark is used to show your skills and personality. It can aid you to get the right job, promotion or client.
A common way to show your personal brand is through an online presence. You can use website builders like WordPress, Tumblr, Squarespace, Wix and Weebly or landing pages like about.me, carrd.co and persona.co. College career vlogger Thomas Frank provides a detailed step by step guide to building your own personal website on WordPress.
6. Build good habits.
This is also the perfect time for you to build those good habits that you failed to form when you were younger like exercising regularly, eating healthy and reading every day. List all the habits that you want to have. Make sure to choose a few priorities first so you wouldn’t be overwhelmed with the changes and give up. Baby steps, dear! Track your progress. And yes, by the time you’re hired it will be easier for you to incorporate those newly-acquired habits in your everyday life.
Take it from the most successful people in the world. Arianna Huffington sleeps for 8 hours every day. Bill Gates spends an hour reading a book every night. Richard Branson plays sports (tennis, biking, running and kite surfing).
7. Do your passion.
If you love to draw, bring out your materials and draw. If you love to dance, join a troupe. Take the time to do the things you love to do. If you don’t know what you want yet, try different activities. If the result is terrible and realized that it is not for you, move on to another hobby. Trying on things will help you discover what you like and don’t like doing. Having a passion project is important because of the benefits it can give you. Some of the most well-known personalities have one (or even more). Warren Buffet plays the ukulele. Meryl Streep knits. George W. Bush is into painting.
8. Do freelance work.
Just because you are jobless, does not mean you can’t earn money. Nowadays, there are a lot of freelance opportunities that you can apply to. Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is a global freelancing platform where businesses connect with independent professionals. Freelancers can be hired for jobs on app and software development, engineering, graphic design, and writing etc.
Upwork can be intimidating for beginners but there are other freelance job sites to choose from. To find out more, check Manillenials’ extensive list of freelance websites for Filipinos. Entrepreneur Philippines also provides a complete guide to freelancing in the country.
9. Take the Civil Service Examination.
You might be done with your academic tests but there is another one that you might be interested in taking if you consider working in the government.
Visit the Civil Service Commission site to know more.
10. Start your own business.
An important key to overcoming unemployment is entrepreneurship. With the world opening up to innovation and out-of-this-world ideologies, it also opened lots of opportunities for entrepreneurship. Consumers nowadays are always on the lookout for something new. That is why it is easier to introduce new products and/or services to them. You also have access to every resource – capital, manpower, equipment, and machinery. The life of an entrepreneur is now more convenient, if not easier. At the same time, having your own business gives you privileges that you will not earn when you work for someone. You are your own boss. Your terms, your ways. It is also a good time for you to start your business because you have all the time, energy and attention you need in running a business.
I know! I know! Hearing the word study makes you groan with frustration and thinks of packing your bags to Africa. You just came there. But life is a continuous process of learning and progress. If there is no progress, then you are in no way better than being dead. Make full use of your Internet connection because it offers endless possibilities of learning. Coursera, Edx, Udemy, Alison, Udacity and Khan Academy are some of the sites that offer free and paid courses. Gutenberg provides free e-books. You can go to other sites to learn like Moz for SEO, Neil Patel’s blog for digital marketing, PSE Academy for stock investing and Codecademy for coding basics.
That is pretty much it for the things that you can do during your unemployment phase and I hope you pick a thing or two. Make sure to choose the activities that you know will help you grow in your career and in life too. Enjoy!
How about you?
- What did you do after graduation? Did you dive into the corporate world right away or did you take a break first? How is the experience?