While most college students have no idea what they want to do before college, they might have a better idea after four or five years in school. If you're like me, you still might be a bit more open to different opportunities. My 47th job was at a ranch in Arkansas called Bar J Ranch. I found it to be an unlikely place for college graduates to take on an internship in the interim before starting their careers.
I expected to be the lone city boy out in the country, and after meeting the first few employees on the farm I definitely felt that way. But when I asked a couple people where they were from, I was surprised to hear places like New Jersey thrown into the mix.
As it turns out, this ranch offers year long internships for high school and college graduates who might possibly be interested in pursuing ranching. While the internship is unpaid, you have all your meals and lodging taken care of. The beauty of this type of internship after college is that it's low pressure. It offers you an opportunity to explore a job, see if you like it and if so, then you can continue looking for work on a ranch. It's almost like a mini version of Hourly America, in the sense that you have a short stint to try out a job and see if you like it.
Many of the workers had degrees in varying subjects that were completely unrelated to farming or ranching, yet the idea of putting everything off for a year to try something completely unconventional sounded like a great plan. I agree. As college graduates, we often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to "have it all figured out", but figuring it out takes time. I would recommend experimenting more with internships such as this while you're in college or while you're young in general.
Who says that by the time you reach a certain age you have to know exactly what you want to do? While I don't plan on ranching for an entire year, the idea of trying out a new job with a clear end date is something very intriguing to me. From a company's perspective, they have strong incentives to keep you on board for 10 or 20 years. But what is the likelihood that you're going to take one job out of college and enjoy it so much that you want to stay forever? The benefit of trying unconventional internships and unlikely jobs allows you to explore with your career, see what elements of different jobs light you up and what industries you could see yourself in long term.
I'm well aware 99.9 percent of people will never travel the country and work as many jobs as I did. That's totally fine, but why not try out five different jobs one summer and see which one you like best? If not all of them will hire you for a short period of time, offer your services free for a couple days just to get a taste of the job and see if you'd like to keep going. More often than not it doesn't take too long to learn whether or not you enjoy doing something. The added bonus to the "work for free method" is you more than likely will receive a job opportunity to keep working, that is, if you're a good worker.
End takeaway: Don't be afraid to explore unconventional jobs for short periods of time while you're figuring out what you want to do with your life.