Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May Grads 2009 - is there hope?

Jobs for May Grads 2009

For many May grads this year the excitement, pride, and celebration of finally finishing has been smeared with anxiety and trepidation due to the lovely state of our economy.

As a small business owner, I have had the pleasure of interviewing some of these May grads for my Entry Level positions. I have asked most all of them how they feel about competing with the umpteen May grads of 2009 and of course all the others that have recently been forced to find new careers. Their answers for the most part include some description of being scared out of their minds…

So what is the answer to finding employment as an individual graduating in a recession?

Find something that will get your foot in an industry. It might not include all the glamorous projects you had hoped for as a freshman, but it’s something that you can learn from – its FREE education! I personally would rather be an assistant to someone who has the job I want then work at the local coffee shop because my dream job wasn’t hiring.

Open your mind. Look into industries you hadn’t originally considered. Sales shouldn’t be a four letter word to college grads anymore. Sales positions are always in demand and can provide good income if you have some personality.

Summer work. I know it isn’t as exciting, but taking a summer hourly wage position could give you the money to pay the bills – and the time to freelance or volunteer! Look for some temp work to ease your mind this summer and give your free time to something that will help build your resume. I’m sure any company out there could use free writing, graphic design, or coordination.

Ask for advice. Ask family members or people you know who are doing well for themselves about the industry they are in and how they got started. I would, however, beware of the advice encouraging you to travel or rush back into school – this tends to be an easier decision, but will increase your debt and when you are done who’s to say the economy will be any better…

Finally, my message to May grads this year is: Relax. Despite what people have told you, your first job out of college does not determine your future. According to the US dept. of Labor, the average tenure at a position for an adult between 25 and 34 is only 2 years. Meaning, recession or not, you will have multiple jobs in your life. Gain some experience and try to enjoy it!