Yes, Virginia there is life after graduation

    Please do not tell me that you are planning on spending your entire summer after graduation working at Wal-Mart. There are much more rewarding jobs out there.

    Who cares if you have a degree in communications and have no idea what you want to do for the rest of your life? Looking into interesting occupations is worth it. The pay can be better, the location always is, and the stories are sure to be passed on through generations.

    As a theater major, I have no clue what I will do after graduation. So, I thought, why not work and travel at the same time?

    I was looking on the call board in the theater department and noticed a flyer for Stiletto Entertainment. It’s a casting agency for singers and dancers who work on cruise liners.

    I know this job may not be for everyone, thankfully. But this got me thinking about other positions that might be available on cruise ships. I searched online and discovered many different positions that need to be filled: those of hosts, waiters, bartenders, areas in retail, cooking staff, crew and more.

    Although I do not want to be an out-of-work actor (a.k.a. waitress) for my summer job, after researching the pay that these people make on a cruise liner, I am seriously reconsidering. Try $2,000 to $4,000 per month for positions that receive tips. Remember, if the passengers have enough money to take a cruise, they generally have enough money to tip well. And regardless of occupation, base pay is still $300-$500 a week.

    Ever wish someone would pay you to visit the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, Mexico, Alaska, Europe, Hawaii or South America? These are some of the places cruise liners sail, which is far better than staying in the same town I’ve lived in as far back as I can remember.

    Location is everything. Although one might not get as much time on land (this is, after all, a job), the time on shore leave is priceless. Tell me about another occupation in which someone else pays for your food, lodging and travel to places most of us would never otherwise see.

    Perhaps the ocean does not quite wet one’s whistle. There are still other opportunities for more interesting and adventurous occupations than one can find at Safeway. For example, working as a ranch hand has great rewards for those wanting to stay on land and still get away from skyscrapers and rush-hour traffic. Not all ranches provide riding lessons for their beginning workers, but there is always room to advance.

    For those living in California, Yosemite National Park is always hiring summer help, including trail guides and camp crew.

    If you like rafting, there are opportunities to be river guides at various whitewater locations such as the Colorado River and the Snake River.

    Yes, these jobs sound like a ton of fun, but what’s the catch? You have to be willing to take a leap of faith and try something you have never done before. You must be willing to give up a summer or more of being a couch potato and living off your parents. You have to be willing to make money and take time to think about what you really want to do for the rest of your life. You must be willing to work harder than you’ve probably ever worked before.

    That’s all there is to it. The hours on cruise liners are long, and the work on a ranch or at a national park is physical. Still, I would rather be out in the sun sweating or singing on a stage than sitting behind a desk filing someone else’s crap for eight hours a day.

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