You may have graduated a few months ago, but the prospects are slim. If the jobs have not been as plentiful as you had hoped, don’t despair. There are important steps you can take to protect your future and pursue the career you have always wanted.
- Protect yourself from financial catastrophe. If you are no longer covered by your parents’ health insurance, make sure you get at least major medical to protect yourself from large medical bills if you become sick or have a car accident. You can check with an agent at a place like The Health Insurance Group, or you can seek a part-time job that has health insurance benefits. (Yes, there are still a few jobs out there that offer benefits with part-time work such as UPS and Starbuck’s.)
- Conserve your money. If your funds are dwindling, consider, at least temporarily, moving back in with your parents, if they are agreeable. This can help you conserve your cash until you have a stable source of income.
- Get on LinkedIn. If you aren’t already registered on LinkedIn, take advantage of your free time now to make a complete profile. Employers who are looking for employees may find you, and you can also scour the job boards. Try to make as many connections as possible through LinkedIn to widen your circle of opportunity.
- Consider volunteering or taking an internship. True, you won’t make much money (if any) with these types of positions, but you will get valuable experience and make connections. Plus, you never know when the company you are working for may have a need for a part-time or full-time employee.
- Think carefully before going back to school. Too often recent graduates panic when they don’t find employment right away and decide to go back to school to get an advanced degree. Unfortunately, this often just leads to more student loans and a tougher financial situation, not a job.
- Take a position that you consider beneath you. This is still a tough job market. While you may believe that with your education and talent you should be making 6 figures, that is unlikely to happen. Be willing to take a position at a much lower rate of pay. Often, these positions are gateway positions that can lead to better jobs within the same company in a few years.
If you are a recent graduate and still unemployed, realize that you aren’t alone. Then, make plans to minimize the financial strain and get out and start networking.
What other tips do you have for recent college graduates?