Getting a Foot in the Door Might Require Lots of Baby Steps

March 29, 2012 - Kristin
A tough economy affects everyone, and high unemployment increases the competition for workers at all levels looking to land a job. But what about those of us at the earlier end of our careers, who may not have many years of experience or well-connected past or present colleagues to help us?
 
A recent CNN Money article describes a young woman who has already been laid off twice by age 24 — and who graduated college with $132,000 of debt! That wouldn’t be easy to pay off even with a steady job.
 
And without a steady job, it can be very difficult to maintain a completely independent lifestyle. According to another article, as many as 85 percent of college seniors graduating in May 2010 expected to move back in with their parents for some length of time. That’s probably not the situation many college graduates — or their parents — had hoped for, but at least it can buy them some time to get on their feet without worrying about rent.
 
So how can young workers eventually get a job and get on their feet financially? Like other workers, they will just have to be persistent and keep trying. And it doesn’t hurt to get something, anything remotely relevant, on your resume. It’s no surprise that internships can help workers gain skills and prepare for future jobs, but today’s young workers might be looking at more than just one or two, often without pay. One young woman profiled on CNN graduated in 2009 and has completed seven internships since graduation, and is still looking for a permanent job.
 
Getting a job just isn’t easy, especially in a time of high unemployment, and as a result, getting on solid financial footing can also be very difficult. What stories or ideas do you have about getting started in your career — and in your independent financial life — during such a challenging time? Let us know.  Also, see Out of College; Into the Frying Pan for more on this topic.

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