You have your degree, but times have changed. New grads need to redefine what success means in a struggling economy.
By Ursula Lauriston
These days, everyone is feeling the squeeze. But with bachelor and master degree’s in hand, Twenty Something’s have long been experiencing a unique kind of struggle. The idea of the white picket fence, a great career and overall success in exchange of a college education is quickly growing further and further apart. More and more people in their 20’s are living at home, seeking more education because they can’t find jobs, or ducking the ever present (and ever annoying) student loan company.
Recently, CBS came out with an article stating that more people have been unemployed longer today then they were during the Great Depression. That means college grads, mothers, fathers, and teens have been unable to find a job for as long as six months to two years or more. I’m not saying this to give you an ulcer. What I do want however, is for you to get strategic.
Here are 5 tricks to getting ahead in a down economy:
1. Get a title change
I recently ran into a Twenty Something who has been working for a company for three years (in Twenty Something years that’s like your whole life). She’s the only person in the Communications department in her organization and her boss sometimes introduces her to clients as the Communications Director. Yet for three years she has remained the Communications Associate.
If you are young, fabulous and oozing with great ideas, I’m here to tell you that right now is not the time to chase money. Instead of money you need to be chasing experience and TITLES. Negotiating a title change in some situations can be better than money because you are building your resume and setting yourself up for more money in the future.
If you’re unemployed and can afford transportation or live in a central location, consider looking for internship and volunteer opportunities. Even if you volunteer at a major event like next months Boy & Girls Club BBQ Battle, its not a full time job but it is an opportunity to talk to and get to know a host of people in the D.C. area.
I talk about this every chance I get because it’s so critical. Everyone around you has some type of talent. Learning how to use the people around you as resources is one of the most important skills you’ll ever master.
4. Research and reach out
There are so many scholarships, programs and opportunities out there that we never benefit from because we don’t take the time to do our research. Information is critical to finding a great opportunity and having it benefit you.
5. Start something
More millionaires strike it rich during recessions and depressions then any other period. If you have a great idea, get some contacts together and make it happen.
You’re welcome Twenty Something’s. See you at the BBQ Battle!!
Ursula Lauriston is the author of Twenty Something, a social diary blog where she sounds off weekly on dating, D.C nightlife and events, career etiquette, and more. During the day, Ursula stays in step with the pulse of DC with her work as a Deputy Press Secretary on Capitol Hill. Follow me on Twitter.