Congratulations… Now What???
It’s that time of the year again, Graduation Time!, for many college seniors. So let me start by extending my congratulations to the Class of 2012 for all their dedication and hard work. However, as many (all) of you should know, the economy is still very rough and job prospects remain bleak.
Half of young college graduates [are] either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully utilize their skills and knowledge.
You may be ready to embark on the next stage of your life, but for many, what’s the next step?
Well, the obvious answer is that you should never give up on your dream career so keep plugging those resumes and cover letters to potential employers. In this economic climate though, it may take awhile before you get your first offer so what should you do in the meantime?
Suggestions that some people have given include:
1. Move back home - Paying monthly rent for an apartment or house can be a big expense so many 'experts' advise graduates to move back home with their parents.
Unless you're strapped financially or live in close proximity to where you went to school, I might actually advise against this. As a Class of 2011 graduate myself, I moved back home and have been unable to find a full - time job. If you live close to/at school, you can access the college's career services center much more easily along with its resources and you're more cognizant of networking opportunities. Plus, if your friends also stayed in the college area, you can hang out with them and this may help alleviate the symptoms of uncertainty and anxiety, common to the unemployed college graduate.
2. Defer loan repayments - If you have federal student loans, you don't have to start repaying until six months after you finish school. If you're unemployed, you may qualify to defer repayment for up to 3 years. For more info, go to studentaid.ed.gov.
3. Get Insurance - Once you graduate, you typically have 30 days before your student health plan expires. Because of the Affordable Care Act, young adults can now stay on their parent's health plan until age 26. If your parent's don't have group policy coverage, consider buying individual health insurance to get low premiums while you're still young and healthy.
To those employed/unemployed out there, what other advice (career, life, etc.) would you give to prospective young monkeys?