The traditional college student, or even the adult college student, may begin his or her educational path without a distinct plan of what to do afterwards. The truth is that plenty of people have a strong sense of what they don't enjoy or what they find boring, but aren't sure what they are passionate enough about to pursue for a lifelong career. Fortunately, there are several options that allow some "wiggle room" after college graduation.
This covers a pretty wide range of possibilities. Check the wanted ads in your local newspaper and you'll notice that a lot of companies, large and small, are constantly looking for entry-level players such as receptionists, office managers and assistants. These positions are often a great way to get your foot into the door of an industry that you find appealing. For example, if you decided a career in publishing might be right for you, but your degree is in Literature, it might be wise to get a job at the front desk of a publishing firm and work your way up.
Are you an outgoing person with a natural talent for convincing others to eat out of your hand? A career in sales makes a challenging and interesting life path for many people. One of the key benefits of a job in sales is that each day is different, so if you are the type of person who thrives on constant change, then sales may be the right choice. And if you have exceptional time-management skills, creating your own schedule can be rewarding.
Did you major in a program such as Creative Writing or Studio Art only to have people constantly ask you what you are going to do with it? Well, be sure to inform those people that marketing and advertising is a fast-growing industry (especially online) with plenty of opportunity for creative individuals. If you can write copy or if you can create eye-catching art, you will probably find a place in this industry.
Retail also covers a wide range of topics, from cookbooks to hardware. If you dread the idea of cubical-land after graduation, retail can offer a fun and diverse career path with plenty of movement (forget being stuck behind a desk) and interpersonal communication. And retail isn't all big-box stores; plenty of small businesses offer good environments for gaining product knowledge, communication skills and management skills--all of which stand out on a resume.
Another option for creative and technical personalities alike is the enormous world of media. Television, film, radio, web and print are all sectors of media that require more than one skill set, from building web sites to budgeting and editing. It's important to remember how much work goes into making a blockbuster film or running a television station; your talents just might find a niche.
Education is a mainstay in every city, and both private and public schools are constantly looking for college graduates who can teach, run after-school enrichment programs, work as office administrators and excel as team players.
Another wise choice for those who love to work with others is the hospitality industry, which can mean anything from catering a wedding to supervising a bed and breakfast. The opportunity to make people feel happy and relaxed is rewarding, and if your career takes you to a sunny place, well, that's even better.
After reading over this list you may have noticed something important: practically any career can be yours as long as you are persistent and open-minded. So instead of worrying that you won't have enough options upon finishing your degree, consider that choosing one might be the hardest part!
LIzzie Wann, the author of this post is the Content Director for Bridgepoint Education. She oversees all website content and works closely with New Media, Career Services, and Student Services for Ashford University.