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saraaaaaa's avatar

About to graduate and unsure what to do, any advice or suggestions?

Asked by saraaaaaa (2317points) June 3rd, 2009

This question goes out to all the final year students out there who don’t have structured career plans…
I’m about to graduate with an english degree and I have no idea what to do really, my only real plan is to go travelling in a years time when i have the money but I am scared that it won’t happen.
To be honest this is really getting me down at the minute, I’m not sure what I am working towards anymore.

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8 Answers

dynamicduo's avatar

What do you want to do in life?

Regardless of what the answer is, I guarantee you that money will make it easier to pursue your goals. Especially in this economic climate, I would advise you to get some type of job, not necessarily a career but a job, so that you can make some money.

If you want to travel, then yes it will happen if you plan for it and put money aside then take off time from work and do it. It really is that simple.

But I will warn you, at least in my case, working in the real world after getting a degree is like jumping into a fast moving river. I cannot believe how fast time has gone since getting a job. So it helps to have something to focus on, a goal or a plan or anything, so that you don’t get swept up in the river and become content with where it takes you.

DragonFace's avatar

Stop, Drop, and Roll

bezdomnaya's avatar

Go to grad school… totally put off the decision making for an extra year for me. Of course now I am in the same exact position I was in a year ago. Alas!

kevbo's avatar

The first thought that comes to mind is why don’t you get yourself working on the festival circuit? That’s traveling, culture, and income all rolled into one. To make it happen, recognize that you will probably have to be dogged in your pursuit of your first gig. After that, it should be easier since you will know people in that line of work and can ask them for leads/recommendations to other festival jobs.

You could also apply to teach English overseas. There are lots of those kinds of opportunities in Asia. A friend of mine did that and ended up spending a few years over there traveling and teaching.

If you decide to work for a year and then travel, mostly what will matter is making enough money. So budget how much you need to live on and how much you think you need to save and use that number to gauge whether a particular job will get you there in a year’s time.

Here’s my advice in all this (and this is coming from someone who graduated as a depressed English major and eventually got swept downriver): be eager, believe that the right opportunity is out there for you, and be respectful and responsive when other people try to help you. If you present yourself well to people, they will want to help find you something. That’s one advantage to being young. You have to do your part, though, and listen to their advice and apply it. What I’m trying to say is that they can’t help you if you’re wallowing in uncertainty. It’s okay to feel uncertain, but you will get some momentum from setting that aside for the moment and just figuring out some options and making a choice. You’ll know better what you like and dislike from work after just doing it for a little while.

So, dream up a list of options right away, pick something to get you started (depending on how soon you need to start), and if an idea really grabs you, then beg, borrow, and steal to make it happen. Be sincere and earnest with your goal and be responsive when others try to help you get there.

Darwin's avatar

Make sure you have some sort of marketable skill to tide you over while waiting for a job that wants an English major. If you want to travel you might consider a food handlers card, so you can serve as a waitress as well as @kevbo‘s suggestion of applying to teach English overseas.

My sister was an English major. She ended up getting her PhD and is now a tenured associate professor. However, she also worked as an auto mechanic, served as a copier repair person for Kinkos, and was a member of the dry wall union. For a while she also played sax in an all-girl jazz band in Kansas City.

marinelife's avatar

You might consider the Peace Corps. If you have office skills, you could probably get an administrative job. I love kebo’s festival idea!

RedPowerLady's avatar

I understand that feeling and I will mention that it is a completely “normal” reaction. The world outside of pursing a degree is so different in many ways. You know what I would suggest? I would suggest finding a job you are comfortable in, not your dream job yet, and enjoy life. You have no papers, no crazy deadlines, you don’t have to read a book a day. You can nurture your friendships so they survive past school. Take time to grow a garden. Volunteer in your community. Just enjoy life. If you can learn to enjoy life in a mediocre job then you know you are on the right path :) And it’ll give you time to save money to travel. When I took the time to do this I was amazed at the whole different world that opened up.

And in the meantime, while being part of “typical” life, you will start to learn what it is you really want to do with that degree.

saraaaaaa's avatar

Thanks for the repsonses, I was hoping for some people who had gotten through it all and had ideas.
The festival option sounds like my kinda thing, I do work at the minute but its at a cinema, and whilst there is lots of fun to be had its not stable or well paid enough to get me anywhere. I have already sent an email off to someone I know who works in the festival industry today and am just hoping to hear back. I understand that I need to shed this negative energy in order for oppurtunities to be had. I’m both excited and nervous and so many other things. Lol, I’ll get there…hopefully.

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