Career switches: nothing to fear

As a senior set to graduate in May, I am more than a little concerned about what to do with my life for the next couple of years. I’m sure there are plenty of soon-to-be

As a senior set to graduate in May, I am more than a little concerned about what to do with my life for the next couple of years. I’m sure there are plenty of soon-to-be Temple grads in the same boat as I am. Maybe we didn’t get the anticipated response from all of those resumes we sent into the world, hoping for someone to love them.Or, perhaps we slacked our way through those last couple of months and haven’t sent any out at all. (Not me, honestly. I’m just guessing.) However we got to this point, without any real plans, we all have to be asking, “What am I going to do now?”Personally, I’m not going to panic; at least I’m not an English major. The key word in “what am I going to do now?” is “now.” Your first job out of college won’t be your last job, and there will probably be a few complete career changes in between.I always look to aging stars of the ’70s and’80s for inspiration. (Thank you again, Suzanne Somers, for inspiring me to reshape my butt and thighs.)Take former Incredible Hulk star Lou Ferrigno, for example. The incredible Ferrigno was deputized by the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department on Feb. 13. The Associated Press reported the ex-Mr. Universe and TV star will serve 20 hours a month as a reserve deputy, mostly speaking at schools and working with abused children.This is one in a long line of career metamorphoses for Ferrigno. He was the youngest man to become Mr. Universe at age 21, and he made history when he won again at 22. Ferrigno has been an actor, author, motivational speaker, personal trainer and now a sheriff’s deputy. Like Sylvester Stallone so poignantly said in Rocky IV, “If I can change and you can change, anybody can change” jobs, that is.But it doesn’t take super-human strength, or even green paint, to change your career after college.Temple alumna (and former Temple Newser) Leah Blewett graduated in spring 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in English.(Fun Fact: Did you know the physical degree Temple gives English majors is actually smaller in size than the ones other graduates get? It’s the university’s way of being fair but still mocking them.)Perhaps the problem for some soon-to-be grads is not choosing a job from the big pile of offers (you know who you are, chemical engineering majors). Maybe the issue is finding someone who will hire you. Have faith. Job opportunities do not have to come from the traditional resumes and job fair searches. They can show up out of nowhere, like a prize in a cereal box.Matt Younkle, the current president and chief technologies officer at Laminar Technologies, came up with his company’s most popular product, the TurboTap, when he was a student at the University of Wisconsin while waiting in line for beer.CNN reported that Younkle entered his idea into an invention contest and used the first place prize money to patent the TurboTap, which is said to waste less beer than the usual taps by creating an even, less foamy pour.In 2005, Younkle’s company installed almost 4,000 TurboTaps in stadiums and bars in the United States. This year, they expect to sell 10 times that many. This guy created a company, a career and a heap of money from some random thought he had waiting in line for beer.Don’t fret seniors. Eventually, some of you should send out a resume or two. But, for the rest of you, take it easy; the job offers will come. In the meantime, check out the Spring Career Expo at the Liacouras Center today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.Personally, I’m going to hit the town with my buddy Fritz and hope for that big idea to come waiting in one line or another.Natalie Lavelle can be reached at

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