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3 things to do after graduation when you can’t find a job

(NC) So you’ve spent the last four years of your life at university. You’ve dedicated your time in equal portions to studying in the library and making lifelong friends. You’ve had the best time of your life and are ready to walk out those ivy-covered walls with your diploma in hand.

Unfortunately, graduating university in the 21st century no longer guarantees a six-figure job in your chosen field. If you’re one of the many students struggling to figure it all out after graduation, here are three alternative suggestions to finding a job.

Apply to graduate school. If you are truly passionate about what you studied in university, you may consider going into academia as a career. Applying to grad school is a long and grueling process but many find the outcome very rewarding. Take what you’ve learned in your undergraduate education and apply it to a larger thesis or research project to study in a master’s or doctorate program.

Take a gap year to travel. Maybe you were able to save some extra money waiting tables the past few years. If that’s the case, why not expand your horizons with a trip to a new and exotic destination? Go somewhere exciting, learn the language, and embrace the local culture.

Volunteer at a local organization. With that extra time you have now, try doing some good in your community. Check out a local soup kitchen, animal shelter or international organization and spend a few hours a day making a difference — you may even get a great reference out of it.

If volunteer work seems like the right decision for you, check out Toronto-based charity Beautiful World Canada. Working with partners in Uganda, Rwanda and Sierra Leone, the organization provides scholarships to young women to attend post-secondary school. Their work helps women to graduate with a better chance of finding employment and to focus on bettering themselves and their community.

Find more information at www.beautifulworldcanada.org.