Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tips For College Graduates Without a Job

The attached Article from HuffPost discusses the very real plight of recent college graduates attempting to enter the workforce.  Another Article, from BNET, cites abysmal statistics for those who graduated in between 2006 and 2010. 

NOTE:  News is better for 2011 grads.  Click Here to read more.

The upshot? Many are working only part-time jobs.  Many are working in jobs that do not require a college degree.  A significant percentage believe they will not exceed their parents' earnings (what a switch for a Boomer Baby like me), and are living with their folks. 

No one has a silver bullet for how to avoid this truly awful situation.  Traditionally, though, it is well-established that, when it comes to getting a job, it is "who you know" not "what you know" that controls. The key, then, is expanding upon who you know (right now it is your friends from college, who likely won't be able to help you land a job).

In the past, we have blogged on the best and worst areas to focus on for college students.  We have also posted a number of hopefully helpful articles on various topics of interest to college students, discussing things such as summer internships, using the Internet in your job search, etc.

This type of advice is very helpful for those who know exactly what they want to do with their lives.  The problem is, many very intelligent, passionate and industrious students don't actually know what they want to do with their lives. Stated otherwise, perhaps, they know what they find interesting and compelling, but don't know how to find a job suited to their interests.  Years ago, it was easy to find an entry level job in a field we found interesting, which served as a portal to a future career choice.  Nowadays, finding any sort of entry level job is difficult. 

What to do?  Of course, there are the old stand-by options:  network (but how?); go to graduate school; do whatever you can to "get in the door" in your field of choice (accept a lower paying salary, be willing to move, etc.).  However, none of those tactics guarantee that you will be working in your field of choice anytime soon.

So, I have another idea - one that I think represents how mainstream society is operating today.

If you cannot get a job in your field of choice, or if you don't know what jobs there are that involve your area of interest, try to become a recognized authority in an area of your choosing.  How do you do that?  One great way is to start a Blog.  Read everything you can about the area in question, think about it, turn it over, post about it with helpful links.  Get a Twitter account and Tweet your Blog.  Link everything to Facebook.  Get on Linked-In, and post things to that as well.  Over time, you may gain followers, and recognition as an "expert" in the field.  You will expand your network, and thus "who you know."  At the very least, if you work hard at your Blog, you will learn valuable information and develop constructive ideas that will make you a more attractive candidate for employment down the road.

And, another thing - if you work hard enough at your endeavor, you may see possibilities for opening up your own business.  You are young, you are strong, you are educated, you are passionate.  These are the ingredients for success, no?

This is America, the Land of Opportunity.  To succeed in any field, you cannot wait for success to come to you.  Rather, one must create one's own success.  Do not wait for the miracle to arrive at your door.  Do not give up hope.  Life is long, and hard work and initiative are among the most attractive qualities that an employer seeks.  If you cannot find that job that you desire, create your own niche and expand your network by researching and writing about the things that interest you most. One day, success will find you.  As Mom says, "when you are given lemons, make some lemonade!"

A final thought or two.  One, it is much easier to find a job if you have a job.  So, starting your own business provides you with a "job!"  Two, your parents will have a much easier time "accepting" the half-empty water bottles, missing remotes, extra laundry, absence of food, etc., if they see you doing something productive to advance in this World.  Three, doing something for oneself is empowering.  It won't be long before you hear yourself  talking with pride about what you are doing at the next kegger (Lord knows you won't be able to afford clubbing anymore). 

Meanwhile, you may want to click on some of the below links to learn more about jobs in America:

Hottest Jobs for 2011 Graduates

Who are the 100 Best Companies to Work For in the World?

Who Are the Top Employers in America?

What Are Going to Be the Hottest Jobs in the Coming Decade?

Here Are 150,000 Jobs Available at Top Companies

How to Use the Internet to Look for a Job

Top Ten Best Retail Jobs in America

What Do Employees Have to Say About Working for Some of the Biggest Companies in the World?

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