How to Help Your New Graduate Find the Perfect Job

Work-Life Balance on 05.28.12
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Photo: Laura St. John / Courtesy of Cathy Thompson

Just when I thought our job market was already tough, a new pool of college grads are adding thousands and thousands of more resumes to the already-big pile this month. Where are they going with their degrees?

Glass Half Empty -- or Half Full?

Since I recently launched our company's young entrepreneur program, I've become interested in keeping a pulse on today's job market for these young, fresh minds. Like everything in life, you view the same stats in either a positive or negative light. Some reports say the hardest job today's grads will have is actually the process of finding a job -- any job -- while other reports claim today's graduates are getting multiple job offers, especially related to specific degrees like nursing, teaching, accounting, and computer science. Really? If you find me a graduating teacher who is getting multiple job offers, I would love to meet her.

Either way, the weak job market has many of today's kids who even find a job in very underemployed positions that have nothing to do with their degrees. So they have the piece of paper hanging on their wall, but they may be lucky to get a job as a local waitress. Not that there's anything wrong with being a waitress: It's just a shame to watch people's passion or talent go so underutilized, especially when 94% of students now borrow money to pay for a degree and have accumulated about $1 trillion in student loans. Ouch!

Putting Your Eggs in One Basket

One way to tap into these bright minds if you can't find a job is to turn to fresh entrepreneurial ideas. Rather than be underemployed, let your grads brainstorm ways they can use their degrees in creative ventures. For example, I work with a lot of young entrepreneurs who love working with kids, and instead of finding a teaching position, they learn to turn their passion into a business.

young gradyoung grad
Photo: Travis Moran of Quinnipiac University 

"Some of my friends are kind of 'experimenting' with these next few years. They're either trying to start up new jobs or even small companies, or they are doing something temporary like the Peace Corps and seeing where that leads them," explains Travis Moran, who is going for his masters and doctorate in Physical Therapy at Quinnipiac University. "Everyone seems relatively optimistic and confident about pursuing their passions."

I've been there, launching a business when I was just 19 years old, and you learn a lot -- fast. The most important thing I learned at a young age is that when you start up your own business, you put all your eggs in one basket. That's got its own risks, but I'd rather my eggs be in my own basket: I can see them, understand them, and I learned to manage them. When you work for someone else, all your eggs are in someone else's basket. Your employer controls your fate.

Maybe I'm too much of a control freak, but I don't want someone else managing my eggs. I'm happy for all the graduates who are finding success in today's job market. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing: Rather than writing a resume, I'd much rather spend the time working on my new businses plan.

Laura St. John oversees the fast-growing network of entrepreneurs -- who get to work with kids, make a difference, and create a flexible work schedule -- by offering Discovery Kids Puterbugs technology classes in their local market. Young entrepreneur programs are now available. Interested in learning more? Listen to Laura's free webinar on about becoming an entrepreneur or register for an online packet of information.

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