What makes a college graduate ready to actually work? Is it really the classes they take or is it prior work experience? It could be both or either one, but it seems as though sometimes even when we get that degree we are still not able to find jobs.

Looking for a job requires a resume and what you put on it can determine your eligibility for that particular job. The problem many college students are facing nowadays is they don’t have anything to put on a resume. They were either privileged and their parents never required them to work for their money, school might have been more of the priority, or they simply didn’t have the jump-start they needed.

One door opens another, and so on. It’s getting that very first job that sets up your predicament for the future. Now, a suggestion for future teenagers would be to attempt to work a little bit in high school. The good news is that most of the time in high school your parents are supporting you, so you don’t necessarily need to get paid. Volunteering also looks good on a resume.

Any kind of outside work is a plus, not just for your resume. When you are working, doing something outside of school for a common purpose, you are building life skills. Sitting in class will definitely NOT prepare you for an 8 hour work day and doing mental and physical work with a small break. School will teach you structure and concepts, yes, but in order to be prepared for the working field, you need to get your hands dirty.

If you didn’t start working a little in high school, don’t worry. You can make up for it in college by getting an internship in your field to start you off. If you can’t get something in your field without a degree, consider getting another kind of job. It is very important to learn outside of the classroom. School is a different atmosphere than the real world. Yes, it is freer and you are more of an independent student so college helps you adjust to that kind of independence, but don’t forget the next step is creating your life.

To create the life that you want, you most likely will need money. If you want to travel the world before settling down, or even if grad school is your next step after undergrad, you’re going to need funds to pay for it. Unfortunately, life is built in the way that you need to earn your right to enjoy your life basically. You can live any life you want but you need to support yourself in order to do that.

When potential employers look at your application, they are going to be looking for any experience that has to do with the job you are applying for. Someone applying for a job needs to at least look like they can do the job at hand. My advice to current college students who haven’t worked yet would be maybe you think you know enough for your field, but in case you do get rejected, I would just get any job I can after college, even something that has nothing to do with your major. Also, you can look for an unpaid internship in your field where you can build the skills and work your way up. It’s definitely not over for you.

Internships and volunteering don’t go unnoticed in the work field. And even if you aren’t at your dream job by 21, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. Keep trying and keep building. Get experience in that field of yours and surely through a process you may get where you want to be. It is all a process no matter how it happens.