What to Do After High School: Starting a Startup ? If you’ve recently graduated high school, or you’re about to, congratulations! Completing more than a decade of schooling is no joke.
It’s an exciting time in your life. You have more freedom now than ever before… and we know it can feel a little scary, especially if you haven’t quite figured out what to do next.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you navigate life after high school. Keep reading for an in-depth breakdown of the ways you can set yourself up for success and accelerate your self-discovery process.
Section 1: Decide what you want to do with your life
“For a few months, I told myself I was going to be a music teacher. Then, I started to think about how much I hate big groups of people, and how being a music teacher involves a lot of traveling. So I decided to be a graphic designer instead. I spent about a month playing around with Photoshop, before finally deciding to enroll at [College of Communication] at [University of Miami].”
If you were wondering what it’s like to consider a major based off what you’re passionate about, it can seem a bit overwhelming.
Don’t worry, that’s not the end of the world. You just have to know where to start.
Get a job or go to college
A lot of graduates give up when they realize how challenging it is to be a college student.
Even if you don’t believe it, your friends probably think it’s awkward to see you every day.
Now, while there’s nothing wrong with being a college student, there’s also nothing wrong with working full-time, too.
But if you’re in college, or if you want to go to school, one thing is for sure: You’re almost certainly taking out student loans.
That debt, coupled with the fact that your cash flow is going to be tight as hell right out of the gate, can make life seem overwhelming.
If you’re like most people, you’ll take the path of least resistance and go to work at a minimum wage job. Most people do.
That’s fine, but we’ve seen first-hand that it doesn’t lead to fulfillment.
Consider work-study programs
Many universities have programs that are designed specifically to assist you with paying your tuition.
“There are also a wide variety of work-study options for students looking to get jobs and work-study funds, including any number of part-time jobs that do not require full-time work,” explains Robin Sullivan, director of financial aid at the University of Southern Maine.
These programs are often used to support other students with funding, and if you’re hired by a school in need, you could earn extra pay.
Visit jobstoday.com for a list of a variety of schools offering work-study programs. You’ll find many that have both part-time and full-time opportunities, ranging from retail to food service and even more lucrative work — like IT and medical research.
Learn new skills
There are a ton of great resources out there to help you learn and improve your skills. Start by looking through the job descriptions for your dream positions, and pick up a few new skills. Maybe it’s the ability to learn new languages, or your photography skills.
If you don’t have a lot of time to learn a new skill, give yourself a month or two. Take a look through your library for some free online courses on skills you’d like to improve, and spend some time learning something new.
You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn in such a short time.
Get a job
It’s not easy to get a job when you’re not employed. Not many teenagers are out there trying to get work!
It’s okay though. Many of the work opportunities that do arise are likely your dream jobs.
Launch a startup
If there was ever a time in your life to start something you’re passionate about and do something you’re good at, now’s it.
According to a study conducted by IBM, 80 percent of college students don’t know what they want to do with their life when they graduate.
How do you solve this problem? The answer’s simple: get involved in an industry, technology, or subject you’re interested in.
As adults, it can be challenging to take a break from work to develop your interests and dreams, but the longer you wait, the less likely it is that you’ll become immersed in what you’re truly passionate about.
For example, the more you learn about entrepreneurship, the easier it is to start your own business.
Apply for internships and fellowships
Once you’ve made the decision to get a career off the ground, now is the time to start applying for internships and fellowships. Your first step will be to conduct some basic research on how to get into internships, depending on your interest.
For example, if you’re interested in tech, try searching for “jobs with coding required” or “job openings in tech.” If you’re a fashion lover, try looking for “job openings in fashion” or “job openings for designers.”
The more specific you are in your search, the better. If you’re applying for a position at a company, make sure to add the names of at least two people you’d like to meet with.
Another important step to take is to understand how to appropriately use LinkedIn.
Look for mentors
There are many people to ask for help, but one of the best places to start is your family and friends. Most high school kids are too focused on their own dreams to spend time thinking about yours, so take advantage of this valuable free guidance!
Your family can be your biggest cheerleaders and greatest help. Not only will they have a ton of valuable insight into your own personal motivations, but they can also share resources and connections that you may not have seen coming.
As a millennial, I can attest to how much families can influence your views. They love you and want you to be happy. If they see you doing something that makes you happy, they’ll support it even if it’s not their own personal passion.
However, you can also use other resources.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur at heart or you want to start your own business someday, it’s a given that you’re going to need a ton of skills and knowledge to be successful.
But it’s also a fact that each one of us has a unique set of skills, skills, skills, and so much more to offer the world.
Learning new skills, building on what you already know, and applying it to your passions is how you can finally make your mark on the world. And we’ve got all the guides you need to do that.
Whether you’re a creative, an entrepreneur, or a digital nomad, we’re here to help you to make the most of your life and your journey.
Completing high school is a milestone, not a burden. It’s your time to explore, discover, and create. So what are you waiting for?