Career, Lifestyle, Make More Money

Recent Graduates Don’t Have to Be Broke

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Did you graduate recently? Maybe you didn’t get your dream job. Or maybe your job barely pays you above minimum wage. Don’t worry. It’s happens to more people than you would be lead to believe.

The truth is, no matter how many clubs you were a member of, how good your grades were, or how many leadership positions you had while in college, nothing can compensate for years of on the job experience.

It’s a frustrating place to be. We’ve all been there. You’ve probably thought to yourself, “How can I get more experience when no one will give me a shot?”

I’m going to let you in on a secret today.

You don’t have to be a broke recent college grad.

Opportunities Aren’t Going to Chase You

The reality is, we accept what we think we are worth. Obviously, as a recent college grad, employers aren’t typically going to jump at you with high salaries and flashy benefits. You’re going to have to work even harder to find opportunities for yourself.

You may feel like the minimum wage job is all you can find and accept that as your worth.

But here’s the thing most college graduates don’t realize.

You can always change where you are.

Maybe to you this means searching for a higher paying job. Or maybe it means switching industries entirely in order to earn more. Or, for many of us, I hope that this means starting a side hustle to earn extra cash on the side.

You Need a Side Hustle

From personal experience, the best thing I ever did when I graduated was to start a side hustle. I tried quite a few things, such as editing resumes and babysitting and now I blog and have a freelance writing career.

Even when I was just starting out, the extra $100 a month I earned helped me better my finances drastically. I was able to pay more to my student loans and give myself a little wiggle room in my budget.

If you would have told me today that my little side hustle would be my job, I would have laughed in your face.

Not only did my side hustle help me when I wasn’t earning that much at my first job, but it also gave me a career and a lifestyle I never could have had with a regular 9-5.

Jobs Suck

Honestly, it doesn’t even matter what your initial starting salary is. Most people will agree that their first job just sucks. No one wants to be the person at the bottom of the totem pole, and unfortunately, you will be for a few years.

If you aren’t willing to venture from a traditional career path, you will have to accept that being entry-level is simply a part of the process. That’s not to say that you can’t get a raise or find a higher level position. But you’ll have to be more patient with the process. There is only so much you can control here. You can’t control whether a company has a job opening, their salary range, or the type of work a position will demand.

Side Hustles Provide Control

On the other hand, the amazing thing about a side hustle is that it moves quickly. You control your rates and your business model. Even if your side hustle is something simple like pet sitting, you can still operate it like a serious business (and make serious money).

It will take a lot of work, but you can grow a side hustle from earning a few hundreds to a few thousands relatively quickly.

It Takes Effort

A side hustle does stink sometimes. There are so many days after work where I come home from work and am fried. The last thing I want to do is work on my blog or freelance business.

People often ask me how I can balance both a successful day job and freelance writing business. I’m always kind of at a loss of what to say. I’m really not special. I don’t think I got lucky. I guess my only advice was that I was committed to betterign my financial situation.

It takes a lot of hard work and committment to earn money on the side. But to me, that was the only way I could silence the nearly $30,000 of debt I had post-graduation. I chose to take control.

Truly, anyone can change their financial situation. While it might take some time to grow into your career (and see your income grow with it), there is nothing holding you back from finding a few babysitting gigs every month or selling items in your closet for money.

Are you a recent graduate? What have you done (or could you do) to better your financial situation?

2 thoughts on “Recent Graduates Don’t Have to Be Broke

  1. You know, I’d go a step further and say that nobody really has to be broke! Many of us have the ability to improve our situation, no matter where we are in life. But, especially when you’re starting out, you don’t have to give in to the stereotype of “broke young person.”

    I do think side hustles can be beneficial, but mostly when you find yourself with a surplus of time and little money. It’s key to develop professional skills during this time at your full-time job, too.

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