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“What are your plans after college?” Ugh.
This is the LAST question college grads across the country want to answer.
Everywhere you go, people want to ask about your future plans. Whether it’s the teller at your bank or your mom’s best friend, people everywhere are so eager to find out what you plan to do with your college degree.
According to a recent poll by AfterCollege, four out of five college seniors don’t have a job lined up for after graduation. Although 73 percent of these college seniors are actively searching for jobs, the majority of them aren’t having any luck landing a full-time gig.
If you’re like most college grads who don’t have anything lined up yet, you’re probably dreading the infamous question. Although this is a seemingly innocent question, it actually creates a lot of pressure for college grads who are trying very hard to find a job. Unfortunately, many parents, grandparents, and relatives don’t realize how difficult it is for Millennials to find a job.
So the next time your great-grandmother or next door neighbor asks you about your plans after graduation, here are 18 things you could say:
1. I’m keeping my options open.
Life’s an open road after graduation, and no one really has a precise plan of what to do. Maybe you’ll take on an entry-level job or maybe you’ll decide to backpack across South America. Whatever it is you plan to do, just say you’re open to whatever opportunity comes your way.
2. I’m waiting for the right opportunity.
Maybe you’ve had a job offer or two, but they weren’t the right fit. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, people will want to know why you’re turning down jobs. Simply tell your friends and family you’re waiting for the right job to come along. They might think you’re crazy, but at least you’re staying true to your heart.
3. I’m sorry, but this is personal.
This is a good response if a stranger or acquaintance asks you about your future plans. No one but your close friends and family really need to know what you plan on doing. If you feel uncomfortable telling people you don’t have any plans, just tell them your future is a personal matter.
4. Stare blankly at the person.
Just keep staring. They’ll get the picture.
5. I’m going to do some soul searching.
If you really want to throw people off guard, tell them you’re going to spend the next year searching for the meaning of life. You can explain how the last four years just wasn’t enough time for soul searching, and so, in the next year, you’ll really be able to figure life out.
6. I’ll let you know when I find a job.
Since you’ve probably spent the last five months or so applying for jobs, just explain you’ll be continuing your job search and will keep them posted if you score a job.
7. I hear McDonald’s is hiring.
The reality is 32 percent of college graduates end up working jobs unrelated to their field of study. Why not give your loved ones a scare by telling them you have other plans for your degree.
8. I’m going back to school.
Everyone knows, if you can’t find a job, your next best option is grad school, right? This way you’ll be able to break the news of your unemployment without sounding like your future is hopeless.
9. I’m moving back home with mom and dad.
Another thing you could always tell people that you plan to live with mom and dad for an indefinite period time. No one can blame you since that’s what the majority of Millennials do.
10. I’m applying for the Peace Corp.
If you really want to shock people, tell them you’re joining the Peace Corp. Not only can you explain how this is your chance to give back to society, but also you’ll have some time to discover what you want to do.
11. I really want to channel my inner Yogi.
In addition to telling friends and family you’ll be doing some soul searching after college, why not tell them you’re going to pursue a new lifestyle filled with yoga and mediation. Maybe channeling all of this positive energy will help you find a job.
12. Just start crying.
Unemployment is definitely a situation that calls for tears to be shed.
13. Or laugh hysterically.
If you don’t feel like crying, just laugh hysterically. Sometimes you need a little laughter to lighten the situation.
14. I’m going to live off the land.
This is exactly what every parent or relative wants to hear, right? Just tell everyone you’re going to become a hippie, backpack across the country, and write a book about your experience. And then maybe you’ll make millions when you return home.
15. I’m going to find an internship.
If you’re looking for a more realistic response, tell people you’re looking to gain more experience so you can become qualified for a job. After all, most people think internships are the new entry-level job, right?
16. I’m going to start my own business.
For those of you feeling like entrepreneurs, tell everyone you’re going to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. This will really show them your ambition for a successful future.
17. I’m going to write a book about my college experience.
Instead of jumping into a job or more school, tell people you’re going to write a book that provides advice for generations to come on how not to be unemployed after college.
18. Of course, you can just tell them you’ll keep applying for jobs until you land one.
If you want to be completely honest with everyone, just tell them your situation. Explain to your friends, family, and strangers that you’ve been working really hard to find a job. In today’s workforce, it’s difficult to find a job even if you have a college education. Most people should be understanding and see that you’re making an honest effort to launch your career as a young professional.
Life after college can be scary because so much of your future is unknown. If you’re tired of people asking about your next step, just use one of these responses and hopefully they’ll leave you and your future alone.
What do you tell people when they ask about your plans for the future?
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