How I Got a Six-Figure Salary Straight Out Of College

Who says you have to be old before you start making the good money?

When I graduated college, I had 14 job offers, two of them for more than $100,000 a year. No, I didn’t go to a prestigious school like Harvard or Stanford. And no, I didn’t graduate with an advanced degree in law or medicine. Although you can very easily receive a six figure salary out of school by completing a mba degree program, I chose a different route.

I had a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. By all accounts, I should’ve been making only about $30,000 a year. Maybe less.

Instead, I took a job with a salary higher than most people achieve in their lifetimes. And I was only 21 years old.

Let me show you how I did it.

Start Building Your Resume Early

Work experience. It’s a bitch, but employers want you to prove yourself before they hand over the big bucks. It can take a long time to convince them too — like a decade.

The trick to making a lot of money when you’re young is to start that decade as soon as possible. I started building my resume at the age of 12, so when I graduated at 21, I had nine years of work experience.

I worked as a videogame designer for six years, eventually starting my own company at the age of 18 to build virtual-reality software that would teach people languages. After that, I got involved with the university, getting a job as the Chief of Staff of our Student Government Association. Then I started a campus radio station, run 24 hours a day by a staff of about 60 volunteers.

By the time I graduated, my resume was already several pages long and accompanied by a stack of articles, newspaper clippings, and work examples. I also had five years of management experience. In other words, I had the resume of a 31 year-old (or older) person.

Am I saying that you have to start working at the age of 12? No, but if you want a good job after college, you’d better have more on your resume than three years of waiting tables at Denny’s. Start building relevant work experience as soon as possible.

Get Noticed by the Right People

Then again, work experience by itself isn’t enough. You need the right people to notice your talent and to believe in you.

Having a resume like mine at the age of 21 was already enough to raise eyebrows, but my disability made me stand out even more. The advantage to being severely disabled is no one expects much of you, and when you do anything worth talking about, they think it’s amazing.

The combination of the things I was doing and my disability got me a lot of attention. I was frequently in the newspaper, and everyone from the janitors to the Chancellor knew me. Plus, I got to know dozens of local business owners by doing promotions with the radio station.

The point is, I got the attention of all of the right people. If you want to make a six-figure salary straight out of college, you want dozens of employers to be counting the days until you graduate, so they fall all over themselves trying to snatch you up.

Of course, they have to know who you are first. So spend some time networking within your industry while you’re in college. Volunteer to work for free, send press releases to local newspapers about your accomplishments, write articles for trade journals, and continually ask people to introduce you to others.

Get to know everybody and let them see your talent. Otherwise, you’ll just be another nameless graduate, entering the workforce with a horde of other nameless graduates, destined to fight for that same $32,000, entry-level job.

Forget about Doing What You Love for a While

When you’re in college, everyone from your parents to your professors to career advisors give you the same career advice: “Do what you love.”

In my opinion, that’s just stupid.

You didn’t go to college to find fulfillment. You went so that you could get a well-paying job. Plus, you’re barely out of adolescence. How are you supposed to have any idea what career is going to fulfill you? Maybe you will decide that having a MBA degree is more fulfilling to your bank account than the career your originally wanted.

I went to school to become an English teacher. After graduating, I even got a job offer from a local high school to start teaching… for a grand total of $28,000 per year. I’m sure I would’ve loved it, but I’m also sure I would’ve been miserable. I’m not the type of person that enjoys poverty.

Instead, I took a job in real estate development. I never really enjoyed the work, but it helped me to buy the lifestyle that I did enjoy. It’s also allowed me to retire at the age of 25 and do exactly what I want to do: write this blog post.

If you want my advice, forget about fulfillment for a while. Get out there and make some money. You can always experiment with other careers later, and it’s a lot easier to make the transition if you’ve got a decent bankroll.

In the future, I’m going to write a lot more about this, but for now, we can boil it down to this: if you get a six-figure job offer, accept it for gods sake.

Enough about Me. Let’s Talk about You.

So far on this blog, I’ve written a lot of theory about how to make more money. I also wanted to take a post and introduce you to a little of my history. If you’re going to start reading a new blog, knowing a little about the author sure helps. That, and I love to brag.

But this blog isn’t about me. It’s about you. In upcoming posts, I’m going to fill your head with all sorts of tips that will help you make more money. Since it’s the biggest source of income for most people, we’re going to start with how to make more money in your career.

I highly recommend you stick around for it. If you haven’t already, subscribe now.

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