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.