How to Be Your Own Boss Right Out of College
The news is all around us: college graduates are graduating with more debt than ever before, and they are finding it nearly impossible to land a job despite their new degrees. In fact, data shows that 13.8% of 18- to 29-year-old Americans are out of work, which is more than double the national jobless rate of 5.4%. One solution is for new college graduates to consider self-employment. Self-employment may be a better option because of the instability of jobs today, the ability to create upward mobility, and the freedom of creating a more flexible lifestyle. If you want to be your own boss right out of college, here are some tips to get you started.
Do Some Soul Searching
Starting your own business and becoming self-employed involves some risk and is not an easy fix for being unemployed upon college graduation. One of the very first things you should do is conduct a personal evaluation and determine your best skills and the industries you know best. Then, think about what you love to do and which businesses and roles will utilize your skills best and have the potential to grow the most without costing too much.
You need to be honest with yourself from the beginning, once you decide to be your own boss right out of college. Can you afford it? Do you have a solid business plan? Do you know how to get financing without jeopardizing your credit or that of your friends and family who graciously offer to invest in your business?
Get Started in eBay Sales
If you have an eye for finding items that people want, or if you can create items that people desire, you could become successful in eBay sales. Maybe you peruse yard sales, flea markets, or thrift stores and sell the items online. Or, maybe you create one-of-a-kind pottery or other items using your art degree and peddle them on the Internet. No matter the commodity, if you can purchase it or make it more cheaply than you sell it, you can make a living being your own boss and getting started in eBay sales.
Get Involved in the Sharing Economy
Depending on the assets you have as a college graduate, you could get involved in the sharing economy and be your own boss right out of college. Peer-to-peer asset sharing is becoming a huge business, as Airbnb, Uber, and other startups are showing. Whether you become a TaskRabbit and run errands for someone in your neighborhood, rent a room in your home, or become a rideshare driver, the sharing economy has nearly limitless possibilities for college graduates who are resourceful.
Other options, especially for people who love dogs, include becoming a dog walker or pet sitter. Quality, affordable pet care is in high demand today and these types of businesses offer a great way to turn a love of animals into a profitable business that allows you to set your own hours and choose your own clients.
Become a Freelance Writer
College graduates know how to read and write proficiently, and one of the ways to be your own boss right out of college is to keep up with your English skills by becoming a freelance writer. There are several online sites that look for people with college degrees to become freelance writers, and typically they require a sample of your writing before they offer assignments to you. You also can send pitches to blogs and online journals and magazines to expand your chances of getting picked up as a freelancer writer. Freelance writers determine their workload and enjoy a great deal of flexibility in their day.
Whether you can’t stand the thought of working in a cubicle from 9-5 or can’t find gainful employment upon graduation, you could become your own boss right out of college. By considering your strengths and the things you enjoy doing, you will narrow your choices to those options that are the best fit for you. You may just find that self-employment is better than any job you thought you would land with your degree.
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