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4 "Outside Of The Box" Job Options For New Grads

If you recently graduated from college or are expecting to do so in the coming months, then you know that the current job market offers challenges to job seekers not seen in more than a generation. This is no consolation for grads who must work, typically young people finding that available jobs are scarce.

Inasmuch as most students expected to find a thriving job market as recently as one year ago, things today are vastly different, perhaps permanently changed as far as someone's career choice goes. The technology grad may have discovered that her software design field has shrunk while the history major may have learned that important government cutbacks in paleontology research will delay new hiring for many years.

Visualize Success Arriving In Different Ways

Planning an "outside of the box" job hunt means that new grads are going to have to look for ways to find work by nontraditional means. To that end we've come up with some methods to help you land yourself a job, utilizing ideas you may never have considered previously:

Temp To Perm -- Temporary workers continue to supplement the workforce and will always do so. True, in a severe downturn "temp" employees are usually the first to be let go, but they're also the first people a company will look to bring back on board before permanent hiring begins. That company on your "A List" may not have room for you as a full-time, permanent employee but they might considering hiring you on a contractual basis. If you prove to be an excellent worker, then when the economy improves you could be offered "perm" employment -- going from temp to perm.

Volunteer Your Services -- New grads often sorely lack the variety of skills that today's employers want. However, to get those skills you need on-the-job training -- but no one will hire you. Instead, consider applying for a short term volunteer position, perhaps managing the books for a local nonprofit, overhauling the website for a local homeless shelter or volunteering at your church's food pantry. Though you might not consider full time, paid employment with a nonprofit if that opportunity were to arise, you'd come away from that gig with new skills and valuable employment references.

Start A Business -- It used to be that entrepreneurs would need thousands of dollars in seed money to launch their own business. These days all you need is a computer and internet connection to get your business started. If you are a decent writer, consider marketing yourself as a resume or article writer. If you know something about blogs, market your writing or blog development skills. And, if you have a service that you can promote online such as marketing, creating a tutorial, fixing a computer problem, etc., then use a free online service such as Craigslist, Kijiji or Oodle to help spread the word.

Take Anything -- When unemployment climbs into the double digits, then the job market has certainly turned sour. This means that you'll be competing with more experienced people for jobs, requiring that you lower your financial expectations accordingly. However, even in the worst economy some businesses continue to thrive including food service, discount stores and auto repair. Consider taking any available position with a company who is hiring, using your spare time to find something more to your liking. And don't forget that many of these same types of employers need people like you to work at their home or regional office. Get your foot in the door and then check to see if other opportunities are available (such as an accountant in the company's home or regional office).

No one can say for certain when or how the current economic climate will change and what that will mean for new grads looking for work. What you don't want to do is spend the next year unproductively which might mean that come next summer you'll be competing against a fresh batch of grads for a limited number of openings. Take some risks -- consider "outside of the box" thinking as you look for a new job.

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