What does the future hold? IF23016

Graduates and School Leavers Starting Out In Difficult Times

In the difficult economic times many college and school leavers struggle to get on the career ladder. Rather than getting stressed it is an opportunity to think differently about work and life.

Many young people entering the job market do not have a clear idea of what career they wish to follow. Also many have had little experience beyond school, college and their home town. It is then all too easy to fall into a job and a career by default and be trapped by a regular salary in work they do not enjoy. Soon they are looking forward to that "some day" when they will do something different; before they know it they are waiting for their retirement.

Using the Time and Experience Using the Gap to Improve Employability

As jobs are scarce many new graduates  facing a gap before they can start their career can use the forced break as a time to do something exciting. It is an opportunity that may not come again until retirement so it is a great chance to do something out of the ordinary.

By using the time for adventure, travel or even major charitable fund-raising it will allow the young person to discover themselves. Used effectively a self directed period will improve their employability in a career that will satisfy because it will be chosen with greater self-awareness. If nothing else it will be more fun than taking any job just for the money.

The timing is also very good. It is much easier to do this straight out of education whilst still used to living on a modest income rather than having to downgrade from a more prosperous career lifestyle.

Portfolio Careers

Tamara Erickson in Retire Retirement explores portfolio careers. Jobs for life, even in the professions, have largely disappeared over the last couple of decades. So the new graduate has to expect, and many want, a different career structure to their parents and grand-parents. They no longer have the certainty of working for thirty or so years and then having an affluent retirement on an occupational pension. Fortunately there are models for careers and lifestyles that suit the new times.

Life of the New Rich and Mini-Retirements

Tim Ferriss in The 4-hour Work Week introduced the idea of living the life of the new rich. He suggests that one can enjoy a series of mini-retirements can be achieved on modest incomes whilst still young and fit. He outlines a way of living that fits with Tamara Erickson's and others' ideas on portfolio careers.

It is all about the flexibility of doing the things that one dreams of as gaps between spells working on a portfolio of several jobs. Today the new graduate should welcome the forced gap as a valuable opportunity to balance work and life by getting used to a portfolio career punctuated by mini-breaks. Do not wait for "some day" enjoy life today by living the life of the new rich.

Dare to Dream and use these difficult times as opportunity to find the real person; and  life and career that matches the real person.

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