Navigating the Job Search for Recent College Grads
I spent most of my 20’s living in Manhattan’s East Village. NYU built a large dormitory right next to my apartment so twice a year the parents were double parked on my street. In September they sobbed into their steering wheels saying goodbye to their sons and daughters. It was always a very emotional scene. Strangers hugging and crying because they shared the bond of the looming “empty nest” syndrome. But, a strange thing happened in May as the dorms were packed up and many recent grads were returning home. You could feel the weight of their uncertainty. The students -who tasted a bit of freedom living away from home – were now heading back to their high school bedrooms and forced with the task of figuring out their (gulp…) futures. In contrast to the wide-eyed students and sobbing adults of September, the May experience was very different.
Graduation Day for the college student is a myriad of emotions that begins with relief from the pressures of school and a true sense of accomplishment to sheer panic about the future. It’s not so different for the parents. Communication between parents and recent grads can be tense with students longing for a bit of time in denial about the pressures of adulthood and parents trying to offer “helpful advice.” Having worked in higher education career services, and having much younger brothers who are fairly recent grads, I have had countless conversations with grads and parents who don’t seem to have great success communicating with each other on the topic of job search.
A 2013 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 13% of recent college graduates are unemployed and an additional 44% take jobs they are over-qualified for.
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To all of you getting ready to don your caps and gowns in a few weeks, congratulations!
By Tava Auslan