If you’re a senior, you’re probably getting that question a lot these days. If you know the answer, it’s annoying enough. But if you have absolutely no clue what you’re going to be doing come May, it’s probably getting really hard not to flip out every time someone tries to make small talk.
elieve it or not, you still have time to come up with a plan. Here are a few last-minute ideas for something to do that you might not have thought about – dedicated to everyone who dropped out of the pre-med program three years ago.
Lobster fishermanA surprising amount of college students and recent graduates pick up money this way. Lobster fishermen can pull in up to $300 a day if the fishing is good. The catch – you’ll have to wake up early and engage in some hard physical labor. Lobster fishermen in Maine typically wake up around three or four in the morning to go out on boats and check their traps. The good thing about getting up so early is that you’re done with work by noon, and you’re free to go hang out in bars with the other lobster fishermen. Not too many women are employed this way, although it’s not unheard of.
AmericorpsAmericorps is like the domestic cousin of the Peace Corps, only you have a say in where you go and what you do and the term of service is only a year. Like the Peace Corps, Americorps will give you a stipend while you’re completing your service. When you’re done, you get some money to help pay off student loans as well. Assignments range from helping restore coastlines to working in urban schools. Go to http://www.americorps.org for more information.
Flight AttendantFlight attendants get decent money and great benefits, including free travel – even when they’re not working. In exchange, you have to be really good with people and be willing to spend a few nights in a row away from home. A lot of flight attendants are recent graduates who are biding time and getting some traveling in while they come up with a more permanent career. Check out the one-year minimum JetBlue program at http://www.jetblue.com/workhere/jobdescdisplay.aspx?jbid=130, or take a look at http://www.airlinecareer.com for a generally informative look at this job.
English TeacherIt is possible to get a job teaching English abroad for a year or so, even without any teaching certification. You won’t get paid well, but you’ll get to live in a foreign country, and it will look good on your rsum when you come back. The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme, for example, will send you to teach English in a high school in Japan. They pay about $28,000 a year and you don’t even need to know Japanese. The deadline for this year has passed for that particular program, but check out their Web site in September for an application for 2004. In the meantime, there are plenty of other programs to check out – look at http://www.goabroad.com.
Secret ShopperWant to make money while shopping instead of losing it? Become a mystery shopper. You can get paid a part-time wage to shop in stores undercover and evaluate their level of service. There are plenty of different companies that employ mystery shoppers – check out http://www.secretshopnet.com or http://www.customerperspectives.com/become-a-mystery-shopper.html.
Movie ExtraYou could pick up some money in show business if you are living in New York or Los Angeles. It’s not as glamorous as it seems, though – being an extra usually pays about $100 a day in exchange for a whole lot of waiting around doing nothing. If you’re interested in doing this, register with a casting agency, or just take the opportunity if you see a crew shooting on location that needs extras.
Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.