The traditional 9-to-5 job might be hard to come by for the Class of 2011. In today’s competitive job market, you might have to look at other options for getting entry-level experience (and making that much needed money to pay back student loans) if you’re a recent graduate.
Don’t know what else is available? Here are some alternatives to a traditional entry-level job to consider:
Although it might not sound ideal, part-time work can actually be a great alternative to a full-time job. Two or three part-time jobs can match the pay you’d receive at a full-time opportunity, and having multiple positions can help you hone your skills in different ways. An obvious downside to part-time work is benefits—you probably won’t have any type of insurance. However, remember that the newest changes to insurance laws regarding dependents allow you to receive coverage until you’re 26.
If you choose to freelance, similar to working part-time, you’ll get to work with several different companies and clients on a daily basis. Another positive aspect for some is the chance to be your own boss and complete work on a flexible schedule. Downsides? Unreliable or difficult clients, having to deal with invoices and collecting payments, and no guarantee you’ll have work each month.
Companies are hiring contract workers in all areas—and because of the ease of working remotely, many of these positions are virtual, too. Just like part-time and freelance work, contracting can allow you to work with several companies or clients at once. It can also be highly flexible (as a contractor, you technically get to make your own hours). It’s important to note that you are in charge of paying your taxes, so if you do go this route, you must be disciplined in managing your money.
Have a great idea for a business or startup company? Today, you can start a company with practically no investment other than a website and a concept. Domain names can cost as little as $10 per year. You can work directly from your laptop. While there are other legalities and costs to consider, many job seekers are finding entrepreneurship profitable and rewarding.
While job searching, keep an open mind about your ideal position after graduation. Although it may be engrained in your mind to land a “traditional” job, these other options might work out better in the long run—and certainly help you gain experience and skills in similar ways to a full-time position.
What other advantages and disadvantages of the above options would you add? Any other options for recent grads to consider?