Without a doubt, many graduates find it hard to get into work. After all, the reality is that a degree is not enough to secure full-time and permanent employment.

Never fear! There are many alternatives to standard full-time employment. In fact, pursuing a different course to your peers can offer numerous benefits, including:

  • A flexible schedule
  • A chance to be your own boss and to start up (or work on) your latest venture
  • The work-life balance, and more time to yourself and to socialise and take on hobbies
  • The chance to hone your skills and discover (or work on) your passions
  • The ability to be as creative as you would like to be, as well as gaining creative control.

For those of you struggling to enter the world of traditional employment – or simply fancy a change – here are some alternative paths to enter and explore.

Students graduating

1. Freelancing and entrepreneurship

Perhaps in response to the gig economy and Millennial influx, freelancing and entrepreneurship are fast becoming popular routes of work. The global world of work is changing and it is predicted that by the year 2020 around half of all people of working age will be self-employed.

This option can be great as a ‘stop-gap’ while you search for a permanent role, or it can be a great way to carve out your dream career in your own right. Freelance gigs also offer the chance to make some dosh for the time being or even long-term!

2. Interning

A degree is not enough anymore. For some careers - such as journalism and the media – taking on an internship (or two) may be the key to entering your chosen profession, as well as gaining the essential skills and experiences you need to work in specific industries.

Paid internships for graduates are becoming more and more available. In addition to this, there are recruitment agencies out there – such as Inspiring Interns – that help, assist and support graduates and students to find the perfect internship and work placement.

3. Temporary work

If you need to earn as soon as possible and you’re willing to take on most jobs, then temping and contractual work may just be your option for the time being. Temporary and contractual jobs tend to last for a ‘fixed-term’ period, such a three months. This is ideal if you want to earn money in a particular role (i.e. retail assistant) but don’t want to work in that role in the long-term. Plus, working in a temporary job can be flexible and you can gain transferrable skills along the way.

Female barista

4. Casual work

Casual jobs are also known as zero-hours contracts. Over the years, zero-hours contracts have become much more common in the world of work and have gained a lot of negative coverage. Without a doubt, zero-hours contracts are not sustainable or feasible if you have major financial commitments (i.e. a mortgage, kids, rent, bills, car payments, etc.)

However, if you are a student at university, or if you are a recent graduate and you are living at home rent/board-free and currently searching for job roles, then taking on casual jobs (such as working as a brand ambassador) may be your best bet. A casual job is flexible, you can fit it around your schedule or lifestyle and you can top up your bank balance.

And there you have it! Four alternative options to traditional employment that are worth considering if you are a graduate or student looking for a job in order to gain experience, earn money, gain skills or all three of these reasons. Do you have any other suggestions? If so, then leave your comments below this article.




Chichi Ogwe writes for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs, visit their website.

Share this article

Popular posts