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Graduate Grade: How to Handle Unemployment after Getting Your Diploma

Unemployed College GradAlthough unemployment rates have been decreasing, joblessness is still a very real and unpleasant reality many Americans face today. With the current job market being so tough, there are a great number of high school and college graduates facing unemployment. In fact, for the first time ever the majority of unemployed Americans today are degree holders. According to the Labor Department, of the 9 million unemployed, 4.7 million attended college. With graduates holding degrees ranging from business management to teaching and everything in between, seeking jobs unsuccessfully may seem grim. Although, not the desired outcome, there are ways to prepare for and cope with unemployment after graduation.

Set a Budget

It can be hard to learn to live without an income. A budget will be essential, although probably not much fun to create at first. Start by keeping track of every single penny that you spend. The small expenses often add up quickly. However you best keep track of your spending, whether paper and pen, computer program, or app, come up with a system that will help you keep track and control your spending. Find out how much you can afford each month and decide on things that can be cut out for a time.

Reduce Living Expenses

Luxuries such as eating out, cable television, and data packages on your cell phone plan are things you may not be able to afford. While job hunting, you must be willing to make major sacrifices. If you don’t know how to cook, learn the basics because cooking from scratch is much cheaper than ordering take out, or buying processed foods.

Set a Schedule

Don’t let being unemployed make you unmotivated. It is best to set a schedule and stick to it. Set an alarm, get up, and get ready. Spend your day job hunting and taking care of day to day obligations. Don’t get dragged down in self-pity, but rather try to greet each day with optimism.

Take Advantage of Your Network

Many schools offer advisers to help locate and match you with employment opportunities. Take advantage of these programs. Reach out to any other connections you have. Many people use the internet and social media for job hunting as well. Use every single resource at your disposal for getting ahead and finding somewhere you can use your talents.

Your school might also offer further education. Getting a masters in Civil Engineering may not have been part of your original plan, but if you can get it out of the way now, you might be better suited to find employment and internships later.

Look for Part-Time Opportunities

Take the time you have to seek out part-time work, internships, and volunteer work in your field. Although paid work is surely preferable, unpaid work is still beneficial. It shows prospective employers initiative and ambition.

Unemployment is almost certainly a season. The best way to deal with it is prepare as best as you can, and be proactive in finding a solution. Don’t panic and don’t give up, but rather work to cope with your situation as it is and strive to make it better.

Written by

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.


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