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What to do after High school?

I’m a 17 year old in high school and I graduate at the end of next month, and I’m very excited to because it means I finally have the freedom to do whatever I want. Although I’m also terrified because I don’t know what to do. College doesn’t interest me, I’d rather go to trade school or something similar.
I don’t want to be stuck putting in hard work for someone else but myself. I would love to start my online business but I don’t know where to start!
I’ll get a job soon in order to pay for all of that. I would love to start flipping smaller stuff first until I can afford to buy cheaper cars and motorcycles that need work and sell those. I would like some tips on how I should go about making money on my own.
I enjoy working with my hands and maybe I can find something that requires me to do just that and maybe I can sell it (Wood carving, furniture building, repairing vehicles and houses, and building computers).

Please let me know what you think and recommend for the next chapter in my life.

19 thoughts on “What to do after High school?

  1. Get a valuable skill to get a basic job. You’ll have to work for someone else. In your spare time, try to start the side hustle stuff and scale it up. If the side hustle stuff starts making decent money to live off of then you can do that full time instead.

    If you are going to pay for training/education make sure to only do it to get a valuable skill or something that is valuable to employers. Don’t go to any scam schools/universities. Avoid student loans at all costs and all other forms of debt, especially credit card debt. I would recommend to start working full time immediately. It sucks but in the end you will be much better off than making nothing. Open a ROTH ira and try to at least max it out every year. Don’t spent your money on stupid crap.

    1. Thank you! That’s what I plan on doing. Although I’ve never heard of ROTH Ira, I’ll have to look that up in a bit.

      1. Basically a ROTH IRA is a retirement account. You put money into the account, limited to $6,000 per year. Then you basically invest that money into stocks, bonds etc. The benefit of the account is that any money withdrawn from the account after 59 1/2 years of age is tax free. So after all those years your $6,000 might actually be worth 50k and you can take all that money out, tax free when you retire.

        Make sure you learn the basics of financial planning and tax planning, otherwise you will get screwed sooner or later.

          1. The problem is if you don’t start saving for your retirement when you are young then you’ll be screwed in your old age. The reason is the earlier you invest, the more valuable the investment will be in the end. Also when you are young, you can take advantage of the savers credit…which is basically free money to invest.

  2. I would go electrical or plumbing trade school. The online work you will find wont pay anywhere near what you can make on your daily job plus side work. Once you are in the trades there is tons of extra side work to be had.

    1. Yea I wouldn’t mind doing electrical work. I just have to get a job and pay for trade school first but that’s nothing.

      1. Years ago I helped an electrician friend do some weekend side jobs. Picked up a lot of practical experience and now I can do anything home electrical. I like it personally and if I had not gone to college I would do it full time.

  3. If you decide to do any online work I suggest you learn as much as you can, as thoroughly as you can. Without knowing your skill level as it stands it is incredibly difficult to point you in the right direction. Despite that you should look at [W3 Schools](https://www.w3schools.com/), [Wikibooks](https://en.wikibooks.org), [Wikiversity](https://en.wikiversity.org), and other resources. Note that you will be competing with people who have been coding all their lives and spend practically all their waking time online.

    Flipping isn’t easy, though it is a fascinating way to learn (often undocumented) history, discover unusual items and meet great people. You’ll need to know what things are worth, which means you are going to have to do a lot of internet research on the kind of things you will be looking at, or hit up your local library for texts which aren’t available online (or are ridiculously overpriced) so that you aren’t spending too much on items. There are specialist price guides (for everything from marbles, comics, tinplate toys, and firearms) as well as more traditional tomes (on furniture, jewelry, paintings, and other mature markets) to consider.

    The best advice I ever received, and which I’ve repeated often IRL and online, is to find a niche. The one thing that people will think of, when they think of you, should be future-proof – don’t be afraid to specialize in an obscure topic. You’ve seen those shows where the auction house / pawnbrokers / flippers go to someone they call “The [specialist subject] Guy”? Well, those specialists will always have a place.

    However (there is *always* a however) you have to consider everything. Look to the job opportunities around you, and don’t turn down work merely because it doesn’t sound interesting – there are always going to be a need for people with skills, and you can learn a **lot** more by working for someone else at the start of your working life than you can on your own. You’ve started right by asking a question here. Don’t stop that – always be asking questions. Learn as much as you can, in as many subjects as you can. You’ll never know when what you learn will come in handy, but it will. Eventually…

    Good luck. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your kind words and tips! I have been researching for the past 2 years and also have been talking to people that have good online businesses.
      I do enjoy learning about everything I can. Too bad public schools nowadays are no longer for learning, only memorizing. The only classes I have learned anything in my years of high school are woodworking and architecture design class, which I thoroughly enjoy. I’m currently working in my architecture class to get a solid works cad certificate, so there’s that. Hopefully I can pass the tests and maybe get a job in that area.

  4. Look to see if there are any career fairs near you. Its a good way to browse various career paths and they can inform you on what you’d need to obtain any of them. Also look to get any job available in a field you are interested in, just getting your foot in the door is half the battle. Then you can work your way up/into various other positions in that field.

  5. Agree with Throwaway. Unless you are insanely rich, you would need to work for someone else before being your own boss.

      1. I hear ya, save save save. Limit your expenses, stay living with your parents as long as possible, I moved out at 26, I wish I hadn’t haha.

  6. if u actually wanted to do the smartest things for your life you would go to the military. sign up for the least amount of time as possible. go for anything but infantry and get out with honors as soon as possible.

    Having that Vet status will get you 100 benefits throughout yourlife.
    All college can be completely waived for free via the GI bill.
    Don’t get me started on the benefits you get while you are enrolled. like rent and medical. being in the military gets you benefits all over the nation like free entry into roller coaster parks. the discounts are forever.

    being a vet will get you housing when your older and youll never worry about help with utilities or help with medications. if you need any assistance and they will redesign your house for mobility, they will do sooo much.

    Go to the military
    -go to school for a trade. get it paid for while you enjoy free housing.

    1. I have talked to a marine recruiter and went to training before. I would like to join as an aircraft or land vehicle mechanic. If I don’t do good in the next 2 to 3 years, military is for sure my way to go.

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