Things You Need to Do Between College and Your First Job

By lisasmith

You’re reading Things You Need to Do Between College and Your First Job, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

What’s next?” This is the most common question that plagues and stresses out millions of recent college graduates. The traditional answer used to be looking for and landing a new job. However, due to downward hiring trends and unstabilized global economies, finding a job right after college has proven difficult.

In addition, more and more new grads are less inclined to dive deep into the real world right away. They still want to mull over their lives and their place in the world. Or, most millennial new grads may just want to step back and take a breather from their daily lives.

So for those who are in that awkward (and hopefully, temporary) phase between college and your first job, we have prepared a list of practical things that you can do and occupy yourself with during this transition period.

Check them out below and follow the option that you think will best match your personality and personal goals.



One of the best ways to spend your first few months or year as a new college grad is by becoming a volunteer. For example, you can volunteer in your local community library or in other non-profit organizations.

Volunteer work is perfect for those who are interested in offering their services to the needy and underprivileged. But this is not all there is to volunteerism.

You may also volunteer your services for political campaigns or even for building water wells and houses. Doing volunteer work will allow you to explore different places and spend time with people whom you may not have cause to interact with your normal life.



If you intend to take it easy during your gap year but still want to earn a little money on the side. You can try out going back to babysitting. This is something that most college graduates nowadays may already have prior experience in doing since this is an example that most teenage kids do during summer breaks.

As a new college grad, you may even be offered higher babysitting rates. In addition, you will have control over your babysitting schedule allowing you to plenty of free time to relax and plan out the rest of your life.

Work Abroad

work abroad

Working abroad is another way to fill in your gap year after graduating from college. It is important to remember that the kind of work you choose to do during your gap year should not be solely focused on advancing your career later on.

What this means is looking for working opportunities that will allow you to explore your passions or just do things that you like to try out doing.

Today, there are multiple works abroad options for new college grads like teaching English in foreign countries, becoming a nanny or au pair, or even by becoming a tour guide.

What is important is that you choose a position that allows you to earn money while exploring a new country and culture. Working abroad will also allow you to learn a new language – something that might be useful when you land your dream job.



Using your photography skills as a way to keep you busy during the period of time between college graduation and getting a real course-related job is another path that most new grads follow nowadays.

This is often an easy path to follow since most millennial graduates may already know how to use a camera and other image editing apps.

After School Teacher or Tutor


If you are still waiting for that defining moment when it suddenly dawns on you what to do for the rest of your life, then perhaps being a tutor or after-school teacher will appeal to you.

If you have the patience and related experience, being a tutor can allow you to rake in money while waiting for the elusive dream first job.



It is common for most students to overly romanticize what their lives will be after college. Of course, there will always those batchmates who will land their ideal jobs right away. But others, getting that coveted position or job will be filled with twists and turns.

That is why, if you are still in this period of uncertainty between finishing college and getting your first degree-related job, you may have to be creative and explore other working options instead. This is where freelancing comes.

By being a freelancer, you can look for one-time or temporary working opportunities related to your field (or not) and use this to gain experience and earn money along the way.

For example, if you have a Visual Arts degree, you can freelance as a graphic designer where you can create mockups, designs, and printables like resumes and logo designs for different business clients.


Another productive way to spend your gap year on is by being a blogger. This is an effective strategy if you do not yet want to expose yourself to the whole world while still allowing yourself to express your thoughts about anything under the sun.

On top of that, you may also monetize your blog or website allowing you to earn while in that transition phase after graduation.

Learn Soft Skills

One of the most common reasons why employers turn down job applicants is if they see that a potential candidate does not have the necessary soft skills needed in order to be competent in the jobs that they are offering. And this is one of the main things that many millennial new grads seem to lack nowadays.

So if you want to increase your chances of getting hired, new grads can begin by spending their gap years honing their own soft skills. Examples of soft skills are learning how to work in a team, being flexible, and not having an ‘attitude’. Too often, these skills cannot be learned in school.

That is why it is doubly important to get real-world experience before you start your first real job. By doing any of things suggested on this list, you will be on the right track.

Are You Ready for Your First Real Job?

All the gap year job suggestions that we have listed above will not benefit you if you do not put conscious effort into improving yourself and enjoying this phase in your life.

Remember, what you think you want for your first real job now may not always be your dream job down the road. It is better to let yourself discover this during that gap year after college graduation and not risk regretting this decision later on.

You’ve read Things You Need to Do Between College and Your First Job, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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