Where to Hide Out During a Bad Economy

It's no secret this past year has led to a tremendous correction in layoffs and hiring freezes. For recent graduates, where typical Finance or Tech fields are not hiring, where can you go to add something interesting to your resume? 

I have pondered the Military or TFA but still open to other ideas from those that experienced this when graduating (07-09 graduates please chime in).



The problem is I already paid tons of money for college. Will the military reimburse already paid tuition?

I’m not sure, but they would pay for an advanced degree when you get out through the 9/11 GI Bill.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee


The problem is I already paid tons of money for college. Will the military reimburse already paid tuition?

My buddy was average in his class at a nontarget law school. He saw the tough road ahead and decided to join the military. He has had all of his loans forgiven (undergrad and law) after some 10 year program.


Be careful about the military cause you are signing for life away for a number of years and cannot just quit if you don’t like it. Has lots of nice perks on the other side but unless you want to really commit there are other options out there. Try public accounting if all else fails.

Most Helpful

I graduated in 09.

Spent 8 years in military then got my MBA for free. Joined banking in a boom market.

Most of my peers who didn't do military worked random min wage jobs for a few years as no one was hiring new grads.  Many got masters degrees straight out of undergrad(sparking the student debt crisis millennial are famous for).  Despite the economic crash colleges were all too eager to help people hide during the recession.  I honestly only know one person who got a legit corporate role after graduating(I went to a nice school too).

I will say...it eventually all worked out for my peers.  Some languished at Starbucks or some low paying job for a bit but eventually they got their break and built decent careers.  Just need to be patient and stop freaking out about your resume.  In a few years no one will care what you did fall of 2023.

You are still young.  I had a friend who became an airline pilot at like age 30. Now he's making bank flying.  Another buddy went to med school early 30s.   You have tons of time to figure this out.



I graduated 09 as well. People have no idea how bad it was. I went from top of my class to minimum wage retail position. Had to take tons of debt, as you noted, to go to grad school and kick off my career. Even then, it wasn't until Trump's presidency that my career/income really took off. 

Can’t stress this enough. Many have no idea how bad it really was from 2008 to 2012ish. I knew a CFA charterholder stocking shelves at CVS. I knew a target MBA grad working in fast food to get some income. I’ll add he was a power lifter and ate tons of this fast food anyway, lol.


Things worked themselves out 2013 to 2017 for my peers(high school friend group that went to a range of nice colleges).  But I'd say first 3 years post 2009 were lost career years for nearly everyone (straight up), and wasn't until trump years that people finally got decent wages to allow new car purchases, saving for down-payment etc.

I had a close friend that worked at rei as a retail associate for several years while he took masters online courses until he finally got a break and started a corporate career.   


Government-run investment funds. Idk about the US, but in Canada the pension funds are very reputable private equity investors, public funds also include the Canada Infrastructure Bank, World Bank’s IFC, EU’s European Investment Bank, etc. Pay is lower but there’s stability and prestige and tremendous opportunity to lateral into buy-side or good MBA programs


Problem is every corp dev professional I have spoken to has said you need IB/Consulting experience. But no consultants or banks are hiring, adding to the never ending loop of frustration. 


Any job is better than no job.  Take what you can.  I worked security for a number of years, but with the downturn I may have to go back to it.  

Tech layoffs are affecting everyone I know, and many roles are receiving 75+ applications with a lot of talent in the MS/PhD area.  Most companies I know of are on a hiring freeze.  

Military isn't a bad route.  The salaries you see are the pay, but the benefits (including Basic Allowance Housing) have many perks to it, so the salary (total comp) is actually higher.  


As someone who was in the military after undergrad, I would think very long and hard about your decision to do that. You can absolutely go wrong joining. Each branch is its own animal and has even more nuance. Since you’ve got a degree, you’d most likely want to go the OCS route, which is about a 3 year commitment (for Army at least). There’s a lot of luck involved with what you could be spending that commitment doing. You might go in thinking it would be cool to be an intelligence officer and be stuck as a logistics officer instead (no offense to logistics officers, it’s an important job). After that, your best bet for banking is to get your MBA, so add another 2 years. Now you’re talking about 5 years of your life before you start in banking because of 1 bad recruiting year (assuming it doesn’t get worse next year).

I don’t regret my military experience for a second, but I also have to acknowledge that my career has taken a much different path than those from my school who went straight into banking.

Just my $.02.


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