5 Reasons It's OK to be Unemployed After Graduation


We reported last month on a Federal Reserve study that suggested your lifetime earnings will likely be determined in your 20s. This meant that millennials today should be aiming to find work as soon as possible and increase their earnings power as much as they can. No partying, no sloth, no joking around.

Over the past few years, we are inundated with reports, articles and studies highlighting the fact that the labor market for millennials is increasingly difficult and ultra competitive. Indeed, no one could ever dispute this fact. However, is it really necessary to be employed as soon as a graduate exits the university or college campus?

Although it is a prudent idea to find a job after tossing your cap into the air and grabbing that piece of paper, some people aren’t ready to lead an adult lifestyle. In fact, it can be okay to be out of a job upon graduation as long as you aren’t leading a life of crime, sitting in your parents basement or wasting your time playing video games and smoking weed.

For some, life is a journey and they are still discovering who they are, what they want to do and how they want to live. For others, they already have their lives mapped out. Perhaps being unemployed for a year out of school isn’t such a bad idea, particularly if it can lead to a plentiful life.

This is actually illustrated in the 1946 motion picture titled "The Razor’s Edge" starring Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, Ann Baxter and Herbert Marshall. A man returns home after WWI and isn’t satisfied with his life upon his return. He wanted to find himself, his meaning and his passion. He eventually found some answers and lived a modest lifestyle moving forward.

Here are 5 reasons why it’s OK to be unemployed after graduation:

1. Finding Yourself

We may not have had the proper upbringing in our childhood. We may have been pushed too hard to get a degree in a marketable skill. We may have been too busy with friends to internalize. Spending time after college to find yourself can be a remarkable adventure and perhaps even a spiritual awakening. In a world where time is so precious and everyone is hustling to find that extra dollar, discovering who you exactly are may actually be a wise investment.

2. Experiencing Life

So many of us spend more time at the office than with those we love or doing things we are passionate about. Though it may take additional funds, experiencing life after college isn’t exactly a bad way to spend your time. This could consist of traveling, learning new hobbies and crossing items off of your to-do or bucket list before you join the rat race.

3. Locating the Right Job

You spent four to six years finishing your degree in computer engineering or quantum physics. However, you were never passionate or excited about these fields. After school, you now have time to think about how you can use these skills but in different capacities and industries, whether it’s in marketing, sports analytics or culinary arts.

4. Getting New Skills

After spending so much time mastering your field of study, you didn’t have many hours to learn new things, like economics, cooking, literature or painting. The exams are over; the bell has rung and school is out. Why not spend this free time garnering new skills that are either marketable or just for fun? No one can ever learn too many skills in one’s life.

5. You're Still Young

The average person will spend between 30 and 35 years of their life working. Is this a meaningful existence? It can be debated, but for some it’s not fulfilling. If you’re only 23 years old then why should you start hitting the concrete jungle and clocking in 10-hour days almost immediately? You’re still young and have an abundance of time to earn a paycheck.

Everyone should have a job, contribute to the economy and be a working member of society without leeching off the taxpayers and family members. With that being said, self-discovery, actually living life and learning new things could be much more important than purchasing stuff.

See Also: What You Should Do On Your Gap Year

Tip: before making that gigantic leap of excusing yourself from the labor force for a year, think it over and speak with those who are older and wiser than you. Many of them will have wished that they didn’t plunge themselves into the corporate world right away.