With graduation approaching for many of us and the rest of Lancaster University faced with three months to fill over the summer, the importance of finding work experience, part-time jobs and long-term careers prospects, is steadily reaching the top of many of our to-do lists. Some may say that money isn’t everything but if we want to continue enjoying the lifestyle we have become so accustomed to at university, gaining some much needed financial backing is an essential place to start.
We are constantly told through the media that with so many graduates, having a degree is now no longer enough to make you stand out in the world of work. I read this like many whilst studying for such a degree and hoping that I have done enough in my three years at university to launch successfully into the workplace. An undergraduate in 2011 needs more than just a 2:1 to secure their dream career, they according to some of the job applications I have been reading, need to be almost superhuman.
This highly prized candidate needs to be someone who can juggle their academic workload alongside a part-time job, voluntary experience, and of course relevant work experience is an absolute must. Needless to say most employers will want candidates to be a member of at least one or more university society as a mediatory requirement. However, for those who may fall short of superhuman, help is at hand.
Step aside Alan Sugar because challenging the assumption that it’s a rich man’s world outside of our Lancaster bubble, are self-made billionaires Xiuli Hawken and Dame Mary Perkins. Who according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2011, are now two of over a 100 women who feature amongst the country’s 1000 wealthiest individuals.Yes if all else fails and no employer will take you, there’s always the option of sharpening your entrepreneurial skills and becoming self-employed.
It might be a leap into the unknown but as this year’s Apprentice demonstrates all you need is some creativity and some technological know-how to create the next must have app for your smartphone or be savvy with your spending and turn a small investment into profit.
The Guardian has also come up with eleven helpful ways of making money in 2011. Which range from the usual routes of inventing things and buying and selling shares, to more remote and invasive ventures, such as taking part in clinical trials or one for the chaps, sperm donation (from which you can apparently claim back expenses and be compensated for loss of earnings).
It’s fair to say that some of these eleven many appear slightly odd at face value. So from one student to another I have been researching the alternative: yes that’s right, a life completely money free.
This pioneer of green living is Mark Boyle and he well and truly lives without cash. With his toothpaste made from washed-up cuttlefish bones and a compost toilet, his lifestyle may not sound that appealing but he’s achieved media fame from his lifestyle of choice. In order to live the Mark Boyle way, it’s not completely back to basics, as he still uses a solar powered laptop and phone and gives talks on alternative living (the perfect opportunity to see how it’s done first hand.)
So despite this lifestyle not being one of our first choices, after a year it would definitely give you something to write on your job application form that would well and truly set you apart from the competition. However, whether I explore this option myself still remains to be seen.