It’s the biggest question you have to address when you graduate: what now?
The post grad years are arguably more formative than your actual college years.
While the past four years have been structured towards a clear goal, your post grad years present the burden of adulthood responsibility but ultimately the opportunity to start your adult life and forge a career.
Many of us are driven by our dispositions and pursuing our passions but acknowledge that money, responsibilities and a working career now take precedent. We’ve all met that expatriate in Thailand who quit their day job to open a party hostel, or seen the Instagram account of that attractive yoga goddess and surmise that this awe-inspiring life isn’t applicable to the average person.
For the millennial that wants to lead this life but is battling a mountain of student debt, a hopeless job market and the pressure to start building a career I have viable solution for you: Go Teach Abroad.
It’s something that is universally applicable to post grads that most people aren’t aware how financially viable it is. After researching many of these programs and personally knowing several people in them, I can tell you that it is a feasible way to earn an international living while supplementing your travels.
Whether you want to go to Europe, South America or Asia, there remains a high demand for English teachers across the world.
While there are several factors that hinder people from moving abroad, money is usually the biggest hindrance so I’ll give a quick anecdote to prove otherwise.
As a teacher in Spain’s Auxiliary program, you can make $1100 a month for working only 16 hours a week, four days a week. Add in private lessons for another$500 plus the low cost of living and you’ll be able to take budget flights and travel Europe on the weekends (probably more Eastern Europe than Scandinavia if we’re being honest though).
However if you want to make a substantially higher salary then check out programs in South Korea and Japan where you can make 20-35k a year with free room and board. Not only do you get to live and travel within Asia but you are making thousands without having to pay for rent or food. South America presents its fair share of opportunities as well.
If you thought slaving away at a sales job and living with your parents was the only way to pay off your student loans and start a career think again. You could be traveling the world, learning new cultures and making a positive impact on future generations all while paying off your loans and adding international experience to your resume. The transversal skills you gain and adaptability you learn will be applicable to nearly any career moving forward.
Regardless of what your excuse is, if you really want to work abroad it’s doable. It may not be as common place in the U.S. yet but thousands of regular students partake in these programs each year.
Millennials have become disillusioned with the thought of following societies 9-5 and living for 10 vacation days a year. We covet a life of fulfillment, adventure and happiness but most aren’t willing to take the plunge to make it happen.
The natural trajectory of life leads you to obtaining things such as a mortgage, car payments, a spouse, kids, 401ks, etc. making it significantly harder to travel as you grow older.
I can’t speak for everyone, but from personal experience deciding to work abroad at a start-up has been my most rewarding decision to date. While there are times I’ve felt lost or doubtful, the moments of happiness and fulfilment eclipses any adversity. Working abroad has given me perspective on what I truly value and what I want to get out of my career. Ultimately it has enabled me to financially support myself, build a career and become an adult.
There’s no definitive answer to what you should do after you graduate.
Maybe I should have done something safer, more conventional. Maybe the appeal of living in a foreign city and always being slightly out of my comfort zone will fade. Maybe eating exotic foods and speaking a different language will lose its novelty.
Or maybe it won’t.
Maybe I’ll always be seeking to better myself. To derive knowledge and wisdom from the world. To maintain my sense of youth and yearning for adventure. To continue to explore and discover things that attribute meaning to my life.
I’m not sure if I will always be able to live this life but isn’t it pretty to think so?