As graduation draws near, the class of 2011 is anxious about being done with school but nervous about what comes next. The job market has been shaky since the recession, leaving many graduates without their right-out-of-college job opportunities they thought were a sure thing. “So—now what?”–is the lingering question so many ask. Do I go back to school? Should I get a job? —Take a year off and travel? Decisions, decisions.
As a recent grad myself, I know of such taunting questions. It was only a year ago I was in their shoes. Graduating in Spring of 2010 was rough. I was unemployed for 6 months, submitting job application after the other. Jobs that should have been a no brainer to get were turning me down. Reminiscing my struggles, I wonder if the job market has changed in the last year? The economy seems to be doing a bit better. According to a CNN report on American Morning, jobs are up 19% for new graduates than last year. I decided to ask the current graduates from my alma mater, The Florida State University, to see if the climate has changed.
Vanessa Ralston, a double major in Political Science and Editing, Wring, and Media; has found herself feeling a little pessimistic about the current job market. After applying for a government job last week she was shocked by their confirmation email. The email confirmed her application had been received—along with 10,000 others and they would call her if she qualified for an interview. “That amount of applications is huge and it is an indicator of our nation’s current state within the recession. Either we’re getting worse or everyone just wants a government job,” said Ralston. She’s deciding to take 6 months to a year off, before maybe attending a graduate program. In this time she’ll attempt to narrow down what she really wants to do, travel a little, and work down some of the debt accumulated over the past few years of school. “In a way I would love to stay in college forever, but I’m also excited to start the next part of my life. I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t just a little scared though.”
A finance student seems to be looking at the glass half full. Although Ashley Liz does not have a current job offer, she’s excited about being done with school.At one point she thought about getting her MBA right after undergrad, but now she’s singing to different tune.“I realized I just want a break from school and start making some “real money.” But looking for a job has not been easy, a competitive market and a lot of rejection is what to be expected now-a-days. But Ashley maintains a go-getter demeanor, “Even with a degree, it’s been difficult to even land an interview. However, I do believe there are job opportunities out there–they just have to be found.”
Persistence is Key for today’s job market. Also remember the market is competitive and rejection doesn’t mean you’re not qualified. Some recent graduates can easily become defeated if they don’t try to keep a positive outlook.
And if looking for a job right away isn’t completely necessary, maybe consider taking a alternative route—like a 30 day trip to a foreign country. Juda A. Borrayo , a Management major is going on a fun filled quest of self discovery to Costa Rica! “I plan on climbing an active Volcano, visiting a coffee plantation, killing a chicken, visiting a cloud forest, mingling with the locals, trying to surf for the first time, etc., and I will be video-blogging about it all.” Wanting a career in Social Media and Marketing, Borrayo has decided to do this trip as a start to his professional development by “vlogging”( video-blogging) and maintaining a website called www.30daysintoit.com. He plans to stretch his independence and have fun while doing it.
The transition after graduation is scary. A lot of questions come up, your insecurities are at their highest, and trying to figure out what one wants out of life is challenging. But know, the world can be your playground; make what you will of it. There will be trial and error but you do what you can, achieve the impossible, and dream the unimaginable. Because if you don’t, what was the purpose of going to school anyway?—to get a piece of paper and just work the rest of your life…I think not.