Well guys, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but the job market is pretty crappy right now. But does that mean you're destined to be unemployed after school? Not exactly. Being unemployed isn't a requirement if you carefully plan your job search strategy. Now, some of you will read this and Google the nearest grad school, and some of you will polish your resume for fall – hunting season in the corporate world – and brace yourself for a double-wide. (Cubicle, that is.) And some of you will develop a side hustle. Side hustles used to sprout from an entrepreneurial passion. We’ve all heard stories of the widget-maker with a dream who hits it big. But more often these days, they come as a result of economic necessity. Regardless of your driver, it’s never been easier – or cheaper – to get started. All you need is a good idea, a good computer, and a good coffee shop that won’t kick you out after one latte in five hours. (If you really want to be successful, you’ll also need an unearthly amount of faith and blind ambition – but hey - at least you won’t have to sell your plasma anymore.) I know I’m making this sound simple. As an entrepreneur myself, I can tell you first-hand it’s not. Of course, being one of the 1 million+ unemployed graduates in the U.S. isn’t exactly Disney World either. Hey Gen Y, still feel “entitled?” “The ‘work hard, get good grades and go to college to get a job’ mantra is dead,” says twenty-something self-confessed hustler Scott Gerber, author of Never Get a “Real” Job: How To Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke. So, here’s the deal: You are on the cusp of a truly defining moment. That is, if the current trend holds, you will become the most unemployed generation in recent times – OR the most entrepreneurial ever. Do you see the patterns forming? If you are destined to become the most self-accountable cohort in human history – what better time to get started then right now? You don’t need to wait until you’re out in “the real world” to take full responsibility for your success. “The real world” is BS anyway. It’s a myth. You’re living in the real world now. A piece of cardstock with a seal on it really isn’t going to change that much. So, students – start hustln’. Photography, dance lessons, web design, editing, baking, baby sitting… whatever. Find something (legal) that will allow you to build a business and see where it goes. At best, you’ll earn enough to stay afloat for the long haul. At worst, your initiative will help you land a ‘traditional’ job post-graduation. Of course, by then the double-wide may not look so hot after all.
April 25, 2013