I am frequently asked, “Why did you take a part-time job? Were you unable to secure a full-time job? What happened?” They imply that something went wrong, or that I was incapable of getting a 9-5 job.
A lot of people believe if you don't get a full time job out of college it’s because you couldn’t or you aren't “good” enough for Corporate America. I'm here to tell you, I don't care what those people think and you shouldn't either.
With that said, I wouldn’t suggest taking a random part-time job just to avoid the real world. However, if a job you absolutely love is available, I say go for it. Make the most of your time while you can because you never know what the future has in store.
Here are the four reasons I took a part-time job after graduating from USC.
1. Have Fun
Just because you graduate from college doesn’t mean you want work 9-5 everyday. You have the rest of your life to do that, so why not take a part-time job you are passionate about? If you have an opportunity to work for a company you love, take it. Life is about having fun along the journey so if the right part-time job comes along, take it because it may be a once in a lifetime chance.
I was offered a position to work for the Lakers as a part time Corporate Partnerships Assistant. As soon as I received that offer, I jumped for joy! It's not often you get the opportunity to work for the greatest franchise in sports, so I knew I couldn't pass up the chance. I turned down several full-time offers to take this job because I wanted to have fun and capitalize on this experience. We have a room in my house dedicated to the Lakers for crying out loud. The walls are purple and gold and there's a plethora of memorabilia ranging from signed basketballs, championship pennants, old ticket stubs, and more. I know I am biased, but I think it is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Not only was I able to work for the Lakers, but I can share this experience with my friends and family who love the Lakers and hearing my stories.
2. Pursue Other Passions
Taking a part time job is a great segue from college to the real world if you have other passions you want to explore. When you take a part-time job in something you love, it gives you the time and freedom to pursue your other passions. These other passions could end up becoming your full-time jobs. Time and time again, you hear stories about people who created side hustle businesses only to make that their full-time job. If you never try, you won't know what could have been.
In my situation, taking a part-time job gave me the freedom to pursue my entrepreneurial desires. Since I would be working a few days a week, I could use the other days to start a business or create a platform to inspire people around the world. Since graduating last May, I've worked for the Lakers, developed my relationships in the sports agency world, created Fundamental Mindset and am finishing my first book.
3. Spend Time with Family
Another benefit of taking a part-time job is being able to to spend more time with family and often times, you get to live for free and save money. A lot of parents will welcome their children back with open arms. I’m not saying that living with my friends wouldn’t be better, but it is nice to spend time with your family when they need you.
Taking the Lakers job and enabled me to pursue my entrepreneurial passions because I have parents who love, support me and believe in me. They told me to pursue my dreams and if I need to live at home for a year or two after college it is okay. Without their understanding, I would have had to get a full-time job right away.
My mom is going through an emotional time as she handles an illness, and my dad is working harder than ever to provide for our family. Not only that, but he has an awesome new sports sweatshirt he got patented and it is his dream to see what can happen with it. By taking a part-time job, I've been able to spend more time with my mom and help my dad get his company off the ground.
4. Travel the World
When you take a part-time job, your schedule becomes much more flexible than if you had a full-time job. It gives you the chance to schedule trips around the country and world. Once you start working a 9-5 job, your paid vacation time is minimal, so why not use the part-time job as a way to see the world? I know everyone might not have the funds to do this, but if it is possible, I highly recommend it.
My best friend and I are planning an upcoming trip to travel the world and the only reason I can is because I took a part-time job after graduating. I’ve been saving money and making extra money from my other endeavors to make this trip happen. Ten years from now, I will look back and thank myself for taking a part time job and giving myself the opportunity to travel the globe. This experience will be one I remember for the rest of my life.
Taking a part-time job isn’t always the smartest or best move to make after you graduate college. However, if the right job arises and you want to take advantage of the opportunity, go for it. You have the rest of your life to get a full-time job and pay your bills.
“Don’t be quick to judge. You may not know the hardships that people don’t speak of.” – Guru
Whether you have a part-time or full-time job, people will always form opinions about you. As long as you stay true to yourself, work hard and believe in what you are doing, everything will work out for the best.
I know I am just starting my journey but I will continue having a blast doing the things I love.
Jake Kelfer is a lifestyle entrepreneur and creator of Fundamental Mindset. As a public speaker, motivator, and life enthusiast, he aims to inspire people on their journey to personal success and happiness. He's a southern California native and is always open to meeting new people and playing a game of pickup basketball. You can connect with him on his website, like his Facebook page or follow him on all social channels @jakekelfer.