Despite what high school might have you believe, college won’t provide you with a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Statistically you’re more likely to reach the end of that rainbow and find miles of sewage to wade through before you’re offered a job that pays more than a few dollars an hour.
Beyond the college lifestyle, a world of unpaid internships, terse rejection letters, minimum wage employment and shattered dreams awaits – that is unless you prepare.
College isn’t a time when you should focus on one subject. Make your reading broad, your side projects varied and your social life a buzz.
The more skills you can accrue in your time with further education, the further you’ll get ahead in life. No matter what subject you’re studying, dipping in and out of various other professions can give you the perfect side line if your main field of study doesn’t pan out.
So what are your options for alternative career paths?
The niche side of beauty
Slapping on some makeup might not seem like a profitable enterprise – but the cosmetic and beauty industry is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Doesn’t that sound like a sector you should corner?
But the cosmetic industry is overloaded, and consumers are on the hunt for ever greater beauty heights.
Non-invasive cosmetic surgery is the forward, and it’s easy to learn online. Laser hair removal courses can be undertaken on the net, giving you a qualification for life.
Just make sure you’re performing procedures in a hygienic environment – no one wants to suffer an allergic reaction while trying to look stunning.
Make art pay
Most creative types don’t expect their artistic endeavours to pay well, if at all. But the internet has produced an effective side line for many people.
You can post your music on BandCamp and enjoy people paying for a download of your album; you can launch an ebook on Amazon and see the fruits of your labour pay off; or you could post a movie on Vimeo on Demand and make customers pay for the privilege.
Few but the truly talented will enjoy a profitable enough enterprise to turn their hobby into a fulltime job. But some of us can dream.
When you’re at college, there are plenty of societies looking for a boss to run the show. In some cases, as with admin or treasury positions for the student body, you could even make some regular wages from your newfound tasks.
Once you’ve graduated, these jobs could bolster your CV and show you’ve got what it takes to enter the big leagues.