A post-graduate year checklist

I reread Seth Godin’s idea of a post-graduate year for unemployed graduates today. I found this post when it was posted–a month after I graduated. Since over a year has passed, let’s check on my progress.

Spend twenty hours a week running a project for a non-profit.
One could argue that Wikiwrimo fits the bill. Yes, it’s an unofficial project, and yes, it’s just getting off the ground, but I’ve spent much more than twenty hours a week on it at some points over the past two months. Actually, I’ve spent more than twenty hours a week on it most weeks over the past two months.

Teach yourself Java, HTML, Flash, PHP and SQL. Not a little, but mastery. [Clarification: I know you can’t become a master programmer of all these in a year. I used the word mastery to distinguish it from ‘familiarity’ which is what you get from one of those Dummies type books. I would hope you could write code that solves problems, works and is reasonably clear, not that you can program well enough to work for Joel Spolsky. Sorry if I ruffled feathers.]
I’m starting to teach myself Python. I also learned some WordPress and MediaWiki, both of which run on PHP. I already know HTML. I’m also deciding what language to learn for another web project.

Volunteer to coach or assistant coach a kids sports team.
This assumes I like sports and children. I’m okay with kids, but have you seen me play a sport? I played tennis about a week ago, and it took me days to recover. That’s a far cry from the most improved plaque on my wall. (To be fair, I did improve in the hour or so that I played. Guess there’s something to be said about muscle memory.)

Start, run and grow an online community.
Again, Wikiwrimo, though the community comes from a pre-existing community. Not to be confused with pre-existing condition.

Give a speech a week to local organizations.
I can’t say I’ve done this one.

Write a regular newsletter or blog about an industry you care about.
See this site. However, I don’t care about just one so-called industry, so I try to cover the things I am interested in, industries be damned. Look for some things that could be covered under industries in upcoming days.

Learn a foreign language fluently.
I’m still not quite fluent, but see the degree. I should brush up on that and Spanish, though.

Write three detailed business plans for projects in the industry you care about.
Not yet. I wouldn’t go so far to call them business plans, but I have something in the pipeline for upcoming posts.

Self-publish a book.
Nope, but I have written two novel first drafts and one first draft of a musical. You can read one of them!

Run a marathon.
Again, assumes physical fitness. This can be built, but I doubt running a marathon would increase my job prospects.

Let’s see. How’d I do? Given that I didn’t use this list as a checklist or even look at the list for the past year, I’d say decently by Godin standards. How are my job prospects? Nonexistent at the moment.

3 thoughts on “A post-graduate year checklist

  1. Didn’t even know this list existed until just now! Seems like a pretty cool list, so maybe I can challenge myself a bit for next year.

  2. Hah.

    That’s a funny list.

    When you’re carless, it makes everything hella harder.

    Plus I’m about as stupid as it comes when we’re talking computers, so learning one of those things is ridiculously out of the question. As with you, I’m not overfond of small children. I’ve also not written any business plans for anything, because…well, that’s not exactly where I excel, either.

    (and as for the nonprofit thing…they still have to want to *hire* you, even if it’s unpaid).

    I’d also not be much use giving speeches to anyone, as I don’t really know much about anything that anyone else would want to hear. *shrugs*

    Whee…failed something else!

    • I’m carless too, so I can definitely relate there. I found the list funny when reading it the first time, too, but I surprised myself. Who would have thought?

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