If you just read “haven’t found a job yet,” then had a mini panic attack that’s totally normal. Because if you are a recent grad and haven’t found a job yet, that’s okay. Hey? Hey? Seriously, it’s okay. Repeat that to yourself as many times as necessary before your breathing returns to normal. And feel free to do that throughout the day when that unemployment-related panic attack creeps up again.
But, apart from breathing exercises, there are a few other things that can put your mind at ease. And those are facts and stats. Let’s get some! And let’s get them from Slate.com because the article with these stats features a picture of students at NYU, my Alma Mater, chugging booze at what appears to be last year’s commencement ceremony. You stay classy Violets.
Today’s crop of new B.A.s are staring at roughly 8.5 percent unemployment, 16.8 percent underemployment. Close to half of those who land work won’t immediately find a job that requires their degree, and for those stuck in that situation, there are fewer “good” jobs to go around. Welcome to adulthood, class of 2014.
Wow Jenny, that really made me feel better. Only 8.5% of my peers are unemployed. Thanks.
No it didn’t make you feel better. I know that. But that’s because we haven’t put it in context yet, mk?
- Unemployment is not the only number you should care about because “underemployment” means you’re either in that “job-hunting” phase; working part-time because you haven’t found full-time work; or have been looking for a job for the past year, didn’t find one, and gave up the search. So let’s go ahead and add that 16.8 percent to our “unemployed” number because a lot of us fall into that category rather than just outright unemployed. Now we’re at 25.3 percent, for those not following along.
- Then we have the group that is underemployed in a different way i.e., they are too smart for their jobs. So those guys have jobs, but those jobs do not require a bachelor’s degree. And that number, according to a January 2014 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is roughly 44 percent of recent grads between 22 to 27 with a bachelor’s degree or higher. So yes, you can be over-educated, over-qualified, over-achieving and not be where you should be professionally.
- Now, I feel like it is completely appropriate to add those guys to our number tally here, because – while they are technically employed – they are not doing what they went to college to do, so they are just as miserable as you right now. So now we’re at 69.3 percent. That means over 2/3 of us are in the same boat. We’re in that boat together my friends. And we’re all having panic attacks while paddling the boat. And doesn’t it feel so much better to be part of a collective panic attack than your own panic attack?
Now, before we wrap this up I have some words of encouragement that were handed down to me quite recently from a previous boss I admire very much.
- Sometimes (a lot of times) finding a job is more about the stars aligning than what’s on your resume or the great skill set you have.
- Remember that you’re not marrying your job, so try to find something you can learn from and that will add to your resume.
- Don’t worry about the job being the perfect fit right now. It is your first job and within a year you could be somewhere else.
So never fear my friends. There are many of us to whom the description ,”recent grad and haven’t found a job yet” applies. And it’s nothing to be ashamed of.