Problems Finding a Job? Some Special Advice for the Class of 2009

Barry Lenson

Problems Finding a Job? Some Special Advice for the Class of 2009

There seems to be some good news for people who graduated college in 2010. A number of sources say that the job outlook is improving for them.

But the outlook is not so rosy for members of the class of 2009. In “Educated, Unemployed and Frustrated," New York Times reporter Matthew C. Klein writes, “My generation was taught that all we needed to succeed was an education and hard work. Tell that to my friend from high school who studied Chinese and international relations at a top-tier college. He had the misfortune to graduate in the class of 2009, and could find paid work only as a lifeguard and a personal trainer.  Unpaid internships at research institutes led to nothing.  After more than a year he moved back in with his parents.”

No question about it – members of the class of 2009 are at a disadvantage. Part of a demographic bubble, they were one of the biggest graduating classes ever. Members of the class of 2010 are also part of that bubble, but they have an advantage: they got out of school just as hiring was picking up. So they are moving into jobs, while members of the class of 2009 are starting to look like “stale goods” to prospective employers.

But here’s a little advice for the class of 2009. If you’re tired of beating your head against a door by applying for the same old jobs without getting hired, why not try something completely new?  If you take a few online courses, you can reposition yourself and apply for jobs that you couldn’t have qualified for before.

Whether you majored in English, Sociology, Biology or Political Science, why not take a college psychology course online and apply for a job in HR?  Or why not take a college accounting course online and get an entry-level job with an accounting firm?  Or why not polish up your writing chops with an online course and apply for a job writing website copy. (If you scan jobs on Craigslist and elsewhere, you’ll see some interesting jobs for people who can edit or write website copy.)

If you stop to think about it, you may only need a few online courses to open up plenty of new job opportunities. The key is to consider where hiring is taking place, and then add any skills that you’re lacking, so you can get in the door.

So if your current tack is not working, why not try something new? When the going gets tough, the tough think different.

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