It’s no secret that a college degree isn’t what it used to be. The days of finding a good job immediately post-graduation and spending the rest of your career there are long gone. And with the cost of tuition rising every year, many students feel pressure to choose their degree carefully.
So what do you do if you graduate and realize that you hate your degree? Or that you’re not passionate about the field you’ve chosen? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. According to a new study from the New York Federal Reserve Bank, only 26% of college graduates end up working in their field of study.
Don’t panic! Plenty of other options are available to you, and you just need to know where to look. In this article, we’ll discuss some steps you can take post-graduation to follow your passions and find a career you love.
Why it’s important to follow your passions
Your twenties are a time of exploration, and it’s a time to try new things and figure out what you want to do with your life. So if you find yourself graduated and uninspired by your degree, it’s essential to take some time to explore your options.
It’s important not to feel obligated to enter the workforce just because you have a degree. The most important thing is to find a career that makes you happy. A job is just a job, but a career is something you build over time. It’s something that should challenge and inspire you.
If you rush into a job you hate just because it’s what you’re supposed to do, you’ll quickly become disillusioned and unhappy. A good exercise is to imagine your life in five years if you stay on the same path. If the thought of it fills you with dread, it’s time to make a change.
The good news for you is that you were born at the perfect time to make a change. In the past, it was much harder to pursue your passions post-graduation because you were limited by geography. But with the internet, there are endless opportunities to make a living doing what you love.
You may be surprised that your skills are transferable to other industries. And with the rise of the gig economy, there are more opportunities than ever before.
How to determine what you’re passionate about
The first step to finding a career you love is figuring out what you’re passionate about. This can be harder than it sounds, especially if you’ve spent the last four years studying something you don’t care about.
Some of the top ways to determine your passions include:
- Taking an online quiz or personality test: Some personality quizzes offer deep insights into what you might be passionate about. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, for example, is a famous personality test that can help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses.
- Identifying your values: What’s important to you? Do you value creativity, independence, or helping others? Once you know your values, finding a career that aligns with them will be easier.
- Exploring your hobbies: What do you like to do in your free time? Your hobbies can give you clues about what you’re passionate about. If you enjoy cooking, for example, maybe a career in the food industry would be a good fit.
- Asking yourself what you loved to do as a child: Unlike adults, children aren’t afraid to dream. Thinking back to what you wanted to be when you were a kid might give you some insight into your passions.
- Check out a day in the life career videos on youtube: If you’re unsure about what you want to do, spend some time exploring different careers. There are tons of videos on YouTube that show a day in the life of various professionals. This can be a great way to understand what different careers entail and see if anything interests you.
- Talking to people in different fields: One of the best ways to figure out what you want is to talk to people already doing it. If you know someone in an area you’re interested in, ask them about their job and see if it’s something you could see yourself doing.
- Look at your youtube and google search history: Many people don’t realize that their internet usage can be a good indicator of their interests. If you’re constantly searching for information about a particular topic, it’s likely that you’re interested in it and could potentially have a career in that field.
The benefits of a career you love
There are countless benefits to having a career you love.
For starters, you’ll enjoy going to work every day and feel challenged and motivated instead of bored and dreading each day. This can have a significant impact on your mental health and overall wellbeing.
Additionally, studies have shown that people who love their careers are more productive and successful than those who don’t. If you’re passionate about what you do, you’re more likely to put in the extra effort to ensure it’s done well.
Finally, pursuing a career you love can lead to a sense of fulfillment that goes beyond just making money. When you’re doing something you care about, it’s easy to feel like your life has purpose and meaning.
How much money do you want to make?
Of course, one of the main concerns people have about following their passions is whether or not they’ll be able to make enough money.
Many people are willing to compromise on their passion if it means they’ll have a stable job with a good salary. But the truth is, you can make a lot of money doing something you love.
In fact, studies have shown that people who are passionate about their work are more likely to be successful and earn higher salaries. So even though it might seem like following your passion will mean sacrificing financial stability, in reality, it could lead to greater success and earnings.
In addition, if you choose to work for yourself, you’ll have the opportunity to make as much money as you want. When you’re your own boss, the sky’s the limit regarding earnings.
What kind of lifestyle do you want to lead post-graduation?
Another essential factor to consider when deciding whether or not to follow your passion is the kind of lifestyle you want to lead.
If you value freedom and flexibility, a traditional nine-to-five job might not be the best fit for you. But if you’re willing to freelance or work for yourself, following your passion can allow you to live the lifestyle you want.
For example, if you love to travel, working as a freelancer means you can pick up writing gigs from anywhere in the world. This gives you the freedom to travel as much as you want while earning a six-figure+ income.
Becoming a freelancer post-graduation
If you’re not happy with your degree and don’t want to work in the field you studied, becoming a freelancer is a great option.
Some of the top benefits of becoming a freelancer include:
- You can work from anywhere in the world: One of the best things about being a freelancer is that you can work from anywhere in the world. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection, and you can make money from anywhere in the world. Want to work from a beach in Bali? No problem.
- You can make as much money as you want: When you’re a freelancer, there are no limits to how much money you can make. You can easily make six or more figures per year if you’re willing to put in the work. In fact, more and more freelancers every day are becoming millionaires through their businesses. This is because an hourly wage or salary does not restrict you, and you can also work with people worldwide who are willing to pay top dollar for your services.
- You can choose your own hours: One of the best things about freelancing is choosing your own hours. If you want to work four hours per day, so you have more time to travel or pursue other interests, you can easily do that. This flexibility is something that many people crave, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why freelancing has become so popular in recent years.
- You don’t have a boss: When you’re a freelancer, you don’t have a boss telling you what to do or when to do it. This can be liberating, and it’s one of the reasons why so many people love working for themselves. You won’t ever have to ask permission from your boss to take a vacation or a day off.
- You have complete control over your work: When you’re a freelancer, you have full control over your work. This means you can choose the projects that align with your interests and values, and you can also choose the clients you want to work with.
Popular freelancer jobs
If you’re not sure what kind of freelancing you want to do, here are some popular freelance jobs that can help you get started:
- Writer: Writers are in high demand, and businesses and individuals always need content. This is because content is essential to all companies looking to rank higher on search engines and drive traffic to their website. If you’re a good writer, you can easily make a six-figure income by writing articles, blog posts, eBooks, and more. The best part is that writers can now use AI tools to create the content for them. This drastically breaks down the time it takes to make articles, and allows writers to work a few hours a day while still earning a great income.
- Designer: Designers, especially web and graphic designers, are also in high demand. If you have experience with design software like Photoshop or Illustrator, you can start freelancing as a designer and earn a high income. Companies need logos, marketing materials, and other visuals created regularly, and they’re often willing to pay top dollar for high-quality designs.
- Social media expert: Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are essential for businesses looking to reach new customers. If you’re good at social media, you can start freelancing as a social media expert and help companies grow their social media presence. Building skills in this area will also help you to grow your own personal brand online.
- Web developer: If you have experience with coding and web development, you can start freelancing as a web developer. The great news is that businesses always need websites, and many no-code platforms make it easy to create websites without any experience.
- SEO consultant: Search engine optimization is essential for businesses looking to rank higher on Google and other search engines. If you’re good at SEO, you can start freelancing as an SEO consultant and help companies to improve their organic traffic.
- Virtual assistant: A virtual assistant provides administrative support to businesses and individuals from remote locations. This can include customer service, scheduling appointments, data entry, and more. If you have experience with administrative work, you can start freelancing as a virtual assistant.
- Photographer/Videographer: Businesses need high-quality photos and videos to create marketing materials. If you’re good at photography or videography, you can start freelancing as a photographer or videographer. What’s more, if you work with travel brands, you may even be able to get paid to travel the world and take photos and videos.
As you can see, many freelancing jobs are available for post-university graduates. And best of all, this is only a tiny sampling of the freelancing jobs out there. So, if you’re unhappy with your degree, don’t worry! There are plenty of other options available to you.
Where to gain these skills post-graduation?
If you don’t have any experience in the freelance jobs mentioned above, don’t worry! There are many ways to gain the skills you need to be successful. Here are a few ideas:
- Take an online course: Many online courses can teach you the skills you need to be a successful freelancer. Platforms like Udemy and Skillshare offer thousands of courses on everything from social media marketing to web development. And, best of all, they’re typically very affordable.
- Read books and blogs: If you want to learn about a particular topic, many books and blogs can help you gain the knowledge you need. For example, if you want to learn more about SEO, you can read blog posts and books on the topic.
- Join a community: Many online communities can help you learn new skills and connect with other freelancers. Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Reddit all have active communities of freelancers who are always willing to help others.
- Watch endless YouTube videos: YouTube is an excellent resource for learning new skills. There are millions of videos available on every topic imaginable. So, if you want to learn how to design a logo, all you need to do is search for “logo design tutorial” on YouTube, and you’ll find plenty of videos to help you get started.
So, what are you waiting for? If you’re not happy with your degree or you don’t want to work in a job that doesn’t make use of your skills and passions, it’s time to start freelancing. The great thing about freelancing is that there are many different jobs available, so you can find one that best suits your skills and interests. And, best of all, freelancing allows you to work from anywhere in the world. So, if you’re ready to follow your passions and travel the world simultaneously, start freelancing today!