Five Years Ago I Graduated College Without a Job or a Clue — Here’s How I Turned It Around

Mitchell Earl
May 31, 2019 · 16 min read
This is not me. But you can imagine, right? Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash.

It’s difficult to put into words just how embarrassing it felt to graduate college without a job.

I never thought about it as “a career.” I just tried a bunch of stuff that seemed fun (and paid the bills).

Optimize Your Early Career For Experiments, Not Earnings

Every job offers a lesson. My biggest lesson: stay at a job until something else interests you more.

Wait a minute! I thought I went to college so I wouldn’t have to start at the bottom. What does this have to do with me? Can’t I just go straight to a good job?

Disconnected work experiences can lead to surprising opportunities. Or, you can take the safe, boring route.
I love this graphic applied to careers. Find a way to test at every step — instead of preparing for some day in the future when the time is right or you’re ready. (Credit: Henrik Kniberg).

If you already know what you want to do, then good news: whatever it is, no matter how hard or unattainable or intimidating it seems it’s still doable in today’s world.

H/T to Matt Legrice for creating this graphic and Isaac Morehouse for inspiring it.

If you don’t already know what you want to do, then here’s some more good news: it’s completely okay to not know.

So, why should you work at a startup early in your career?

Startups

Later-stage startups

Unicorns

SMBs

Corporate

Non-Profits

So why are startups the best place to launch your career:

Okay, okay, okay, now I know which types of jobs I should look for, but how do I even go about getting a job like that at a startup? Isn’t getting hired at startup hard? It seems really intimidating.

So, what do you do once you get the meeting?

Thank You notes are like goodwill sorcery — an easy and cheap way to show someone you actually care. It’s a good habit to find reasons to write them, not limited to your job hunt! Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.

And here’s where you really win it:

Then, the pitch.

On Breaking the Mold

Where unconventional paths in entrepreneurship, personal…

Mitchell Earl

Written by

COO @DiscoverPraxis | I write education, career, and money advice for young adults who are just getting started. New book coming summer ‘21.

On Breaking the Mold

Where unconventional paths in entrepreneurship, personal development, and education meet. Learn more at discoverpraxis.com

Mitchell Earl

Written by

COO @DiscoverPraxis | I write education, career, and money advice for young adults who are just getting started. New book coming summer ‘21.

On Breaking the Mold

Where unconventional paths in entrepreneurship, personal development, and education meet. Learn more at discoverpraxis.com

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