Can’t Find a Job? 5 Secret Alternatives You’re Overlooking

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A recent Gallup poll indicated that only 43.6 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 had a full-time job in June 2013. That’s right — more than half of young Americans are un- or underemployed. This further proves how hard it is for young professionals to not only enter the workforce, but to find a stable gig that keeps them happy, engaged and productive.

Consider this: If you’ve been on the job search for months or years on end after college, is it time to explore alternative forms of employment? Below is a list of options that may not have been on your radar before, but should definitely be a part of your job search plan moving forward:

Look into flexible opportunities

A flexible job is a great way to enter the market as it may have less competition and therefore be easier to acquire. For example, many employers hire seasonal workers or part-time employees during busy periods. This helps you to get your foot in the door by building contacts and your resume at the same time.

Work with your alma mater

Your alma mater is a hotspot for career opportunities, connections and mentorship. Just because you’re about to graduate or have already walked the stage, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use your college for professional opportunities. On the contrary, your alma mater wants you to succeed! From using the university’s career listserv to getting job tips to attending tailored networking events, using your alma mater is a net positive for your job search.

Go abroad

Let’s say you have wanderlust and want to see the world. Here’s the problem though: You need the funds to do so. Well, you’re in luck. Many programs exist that allow you to teach, work, or volunteer abroad. Most provide an actual income, or at least a stipend, on which you can survive. This allows you to see different places, get experience in your industry, and fill your pockets as well.

Intern after college

Now, I know it may not be something you may have imagined, but interning after college is becoming more and more prevalent. Plus, it has dual benefits. You get to learn about your industry and your preferred job of choice. You also increase your chances at getting hired after your internship: 69 percent of companies with 100 or more employees offered full-time jobs to their interns in 2012.

Start your own company

If you’re hitting a brick wall, it may be time to go your own way. That is, start the kind of venture that will allow you to create your own success and keep you happy. Though this may not be easy and will likely take years of hard work, starting your own business or organization will allow you to do the type of work that fulfills your interests while allowing you to be in control of your own professional fate. Plus, you get to wake up every day knowing you’re providing yourself with the kind of work you’ve been hunting for. It doesn’t get much better than that.

When you’ve hit your limit in the job search, check out these five secret alternatives that you may have overlooked, like your alma mater or interning after college. You may find that hidden gem you’ve been looking for.

What do you think? What are some other job search alternatives you could be overlooking?

Photo courtesy of Shawn Rossi; Flickr

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the co-owner and leader of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, LinkedIn.