Exploration Preparation

Alternatives to the Traditional “9-to-5” Job

Has the pandemic upended your plans for work after graduation? Perhaps hiring is down or delayed in the field you have targeted. Maybe you just haven’t had the bandwidth this year to sort out what you really want to do. Or perhaps you want to explore some fun or challenging options that may only be available within a few years of graduation. 

Below are some suggestions that may inspire you to find the right challenge, one that will suit your values rather than forcing you to value suits.

Keep in mind that your options with specific organizations may be limited or remote, depending on the choices those organizations have made in response to the pandemic. You can always speak with a career coach at the BC Career Center about your ideas and options.


Have an Outdoor Experience. 

Get a job with the National Park Service; help at-risk teens start to turn their lives around by working for a therapeutic wilderness program; do an expenses-paid environmental internship or job, lasting from 3 to 12 months, with the Student Conservation Association – open to recent college grads, too! 

TIP: Coolworks also lists lots of “jobs in great places.”


Have a Service Experience.

Explore your passions, learn new skills, build community, and make a difference for and with others. In the past few years, graduating Boston College seniors have chosen a year of service with a wide variety of organizations, including Red Cloud Volunteer Program, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and Habitat for Humanity. Two good sources of full-time opportunities are the Catholic Volunteer Network and Americorps.

Many organizations provide room, food and living expenses, and some offer the opportunity to live in intentional communities. Options are available for a few weeks, a few months, or a year or more. 

TIP: Contact Kate Daly in the Volunteer and Service Learning Center to chat about opportunities and options.


Have an Artistic Experience. 

The Diversity Apprenticeship Program is an initiative by The Broad to create career opportunities for underrepresented communities in the museum field, particularly art handling. The Brave New Fellows Program offers activist storytellers from communities of color and/or economically marginalized communities a 1-year, paid opportunity to work with Brave New Films and learn how to create and distribute media that makes a difference. 

TIP: Find more arts and humanities fellowships on ProFellow.com.

As art and music festivals return to in-person settings, many will offer internships and paid jobs. For example, the Spoleto Festival USA produces over 120 performing arts events in 17 days, playing to an international audience at sites throughout historic Charleston, South Carolina. 

TIP: The Music Festival Wizard will help you identify a great variety of festivals. 


Have an International Experience. 

Jobs teaching English abroad are abundant and relatively easy to land – read this unbiased overview.  Or maybe organic farming is your thing – WOOFF – Willing Workers On Organic Farms can place you on farms around the world! 

TIP: At Transitions Abroad, you’ll find information on a huge variety of jobs abroad.


Have a Professional Fellowship Experience. 

For those with a commitment to social change, some of the most intriguing work opportunities are provided through professional fellowship programs. Life Together is a ten-month fellowship and leadership development project that matches emerging young leaders with mission-based non-profit organizations and churches throughout the greater Boston area. The Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, provides recent college and graduate school alumni with the opportunity to gain a Washington perspective on key issues of peace and security. 

TIP: Visit ProFellow to identify more fellowships in education, policy, social service and the arts and humanities.

Peter Hunt
—By Peter Hunt, Assistant Director, Career Education

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