Apply for every open job you find. After all, your professors always said the Wizarding Arts were applicable to any field. Embarrass yourself in interviews. Ask if “Excel” is a hex or a charm. Point out your high scores on the O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s with increasing desperation. Your typing skills may be subpar, but you can summon a Patronus. You can read ancient runes! Leave angry. You went to fucking Hogwarts. You didn’t study under Professor McGonagall for nothing.
Call your unemployment a blessing—a time to focus on your craft. Sell your broom and robes and move to the city. Talk your parents into supporting you for a few months. Stay on couches while you look for a place of your own. Plan on practicing the magic arts for twelve hours a day, and immersing yourself in art and culture every night. Spend most of your time watching television or walking aimlessly. Get into the best shape of your life after years of Apparating and brooms as central modes of transportation. Spend some of your free time volunteering for Muggle-Born rights organizations. Feel really good about yourself.
Have an anxiety attack when you realize you grossly overestimated the value of a Galleon since you took Care of Magical Creatures instead of Economics. Start pacing, smoking, and feeling bad about your lack of productivity. Think about how few wizards you know who are able to get by on magic alone. Be amazed by how many of them are teachers. Send a constant stream of owls to your old professors asking for guidance. Receive replies assuring you that if you work hard enough at your art, someone will notice and everything will be fine in the end.
Look for a job at an independent bookseller or quaint wand shop when your parents stop footing your bills. Take a job as a barista. Justify this by telling yourself you were always good in Potions class. Resist the urge to tell every customer that the job is temporary. That you are an artist. That you’re more than the non-practicing wizard who forgot to make their four-dollar cappuccino extra dry.
Make just enough to take a studio in a sketchy part of town. Tell your friends back home that it’s not that bad—you once faced Dementors, after all. Weigh the practical use of Defense Against the Dark Arts against muggers when you walk home at night. Use an Incendio spell to heat your kettle because you fear your utility bills. Savor the Cauldron Cakes your mom sends you on holidays like they’re the greatest delicacy man could ask for.
Get dumped by your Hogwarts girlfriend over the phone. Listen as she tells you it’s because she wants to focus on her career at Gringotts, but accuse her of never getting over her ex, even when he became a Death Eater. Feel bad when she bursts into tears and tells you she wishes she could Accio the way things used to be. Spend money you don’t have on Butterbeer before switching to cheap whiskey. Wake up in someone else’s flat. Sneak out while they’re in the shower. Worry you made an Unbreakable Vow that you don’t remember.
Seethe quietly. Blame Howgwarts for not adequately preparing you for the real world. Regret the “Dumbledore’s Army” tattoo you got in Diagon Alley on your seventeenth birthday. Complain that the Hufflepuff alumni network is not near as strong as Gryffindor’s. Question the validity of the Sorting Hat’s decisions, positing yourself as a victim of school politics, though you would be unable to elaborate on what this means were someone to ask you.
Hate yourself. Hate that you loved Herbology more than business. Wish you’d had a knack for Quidditch. Miss the breakfast spreads, the elaborate dances, the house elves—even the goddamned talking portraits. Briefly wonder if you’d be more revered were you to Avada Kedavra yourself. Realize you haven’t produced any magic worth mentioning since you graduated.
Miss Hogwarts earnestly for the first time since you graduated. Try to remind yourself why you moved to the city in the first place. Start practicing magic with renewed passion. Quit your part-time job in favor of trying to hack it as a wizard. Construct fake Horcruxes for wealthy Muggles. Sell Polyjuice Potion on the internet until you can’t stop imagining Ministry officials raiding your apartment. Tutor young wizards. Eventually start writing papers for them at a nice profit.
Start looking in to Masters of Wizarding Arts programs. Apply with money you borrow from your parents. Decide to attend the prestigious, overpriced school in London over the perfectly reasonable but less impressive school in Hogsmeade. Repeatedly tell yourself that the connections and networking are worth the loans. Float between concentrations before finally settling on Muggle Studies. Stay in your program as long as you can, buying yourself time to do what it is you love. And if you can’t live off your magic alone, well, there’s always Plan B. The MWA is a terminal degree. You can always teach.