Stream of Consciousness

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The 20-something Hustle

Recently graduated and realizing there's not many full-time desk job opportunities just waiting to fall into your lap? Welcome to our 20-something hustle.

With all the news about layoffs and the serious lack of companies looking to hire entry-level people, a lot of us are left wondering what we should do. And while I keep tossing around the idea of grad school, I know that I really don't want to be back in a classroom quite yet. What I've discovered instead is actually a schedule and a lifestyle (minus having to work on weekends) that works way better for me than if I had settled for a full 9-to-5 right away.

As a 20-something I have the luxury of only needing to support myself and my bills, no kids, no dog, and no ailing parents that need my care. I've always been a person who likes to keep busy and keep my options open, and working on a variety of projects has let me do just that.

My 20-something hustle line-up
  • Working part-time in communications at a health care policy institute. This let's me work on another aspect of communications - mostly PR - while exploring a new industry (I was in financials before). Plus it pays the bills.
  • Working part-time in retail. Again, paying the bills. But I also like the opportunity to connect with really great clients and see my friends.
  • Consulting for a start-up. I've done a web design & usability project for them and now I'm working on teaching myself SEO stuff so I can present it to them. If they use it - great! And if they don't - well now I know SEO and have something pretty cool to add to my resume.
  • Editing a book about people that are passionate about their jobs. I still owe the author my edits (which I should do this morning). This one is a great example of why I think we should go back to the barter system (more on this later). But basically I edit the book for free and get a little shoutout at the end. Plus it's a cause I totally believe in.
  • Facilitating training for Girl Scouts. I haven't started this yet, because I still need to attend a train-the-trainer session, but I'm excited to be able to spread an organization that I believe so strongly in, especially in the inner city where it's harder to find training.
So what are you doing to keep busy post-graduation? Working on any interesting projects? Please share!

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