Do You Have Some Advice For An
Unemployed College Graduate?
My 25-year-old son has been out of college for 3 years now and can’t seem to find a job.
Mark has an Engineering Degree but there are no jobs in his chosen field. For every position he applies to there are 500 other applicants, many of whom have previous experience.
He’s currently working as a waiter at a local Olive Garden and barely making ends meet. What money Mark makes barely keeps him afloat (we take a small amount as rent) and he still has a lot of college debt to pay off.
He’s getting more and more depressed and barely leaves the house now aside from work.
Can you offer any advice or solutions Rene?
Worried Mom in Washington
Oh, that stinks! I can only imagine how frustrated Mark must be. Here he invested all this time and you, all this money in a degree and the two of you probably fear it is not going to pay off. Before I give you my advice it’s important to remember that in all things, in all situations, nothing stays the same forever. So here goes.
4. Take Action!
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I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, you can’t steer a still ship. As a local news reporter there were times I was incredibly frustrated with my situation. What I found was that when I mapped out a strategy and did something everyday to further that goal, I felt more in control. Some days it was working on my resume, other days I would be sending out tapes or making calls. Mark needs to approach looking for a job as if it WERE a job. He should “clock in” everyday and spend a certain amount of time working toward his goal. Mark also needs to think outside the box by harnessing the power of social media and using it to his advantage. I would also join professional organizations and attend their events because so much of life is about contacts and connections. Instead of being a sterile piece of paper among 500 applicants Mark just might be “that nice young man I met at the mixer.” Believe me, it makes a difference.
Those are but a few ideas and I would go over this list with Mark as he might have a few of his own. The key is for you to continue to support him and help him take ownership of the situation which will empower him and make him feel like he has a say in his own destiny.
Good luck, mommy!
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(Editor's Note: This piece ran in its original format on 3/4/2011)