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Public Service Announcement: Hope for Grads in the Job Market!

This is no fairy tale, but your happily ever after still awaits…

By: Lashauna Harris

With the media throwing out negative connotations of the job market on a regular basis, the spirits of new college graduates seem low, but not for good reason. The outlook for 2011 college graduates actually is quite improved, and it would be a shame for low morale to prevent you from reaping the benefits. In reality, this issue of penetrating the job market and finding a job after graduation all boils down to where you stand on three things: Preparation, Perception, and Proof.  The Three Ps can make or break your job search. How is that?

Preparation: No employer is going to play your knight in shining armor…you have to put in the work.

The assumption that your degree alone will land you the perfect job can be a dangerous one. It is not so!  Like any other goal, finding a job takes planning and preparation and not just choosing your major. Active involvement in your career development, or evidence that you have been working proactively toward obtaining a job way before the point of submitting your resume, is the key. Participating in an internship, joining a student organization on campus, and showcasing these activities on your resume are things that will set you apart and ultimately attract the attention of prospective employers.

Perception: Don’t play the damsel in distress…a positive outlook could make for a positive outcome.

Whose comments are impacting your perception of the job market? What are you listening to? Your attitude toward the pursuit of a job is a powerful tool. How you react to unemployment and recession talk is your choice. If you allow it to weigh down on your job search, it will crush you, creating stress in your job search and rearing its ugly head every time you try to network or walk into the office for an interview. Embrace your challenges with a smile, and remember, you never know when an opportunity will present itself.

Proof:  Inadequate information will play the evil stepmother of your job search…but only if you let it.

The next time someone complains to you about their bad luck in the job market, ask why them why that is.  When they tell you there are no jobs out there, putting their blame on the market, DEMAND PROOF! If you’re not cautious, you will create a “glass ceiling” for yourself, knowing there’s something better out there, but not being able to reach it. What false proof have you let slip under your radar? You aren’t setting your expectations too high by believing that there’s a job out there with your name on it. Consider the following statistics:

  • 70% of the employers that attended UNC Charlotte’s Fall Career Expo project more job openings in their organizations than they had last year.
  • Moreover, employer attendance at Career Expo was up 45% over last fall.
  • Part-time/seasonal hiring is also on the rise, with one of the University Career Center’s student workers being offered 3 interviews during her first week of applying for seasonal employment.
  • Due to their serious, positive approach to the job market, two additional student workers have received full-time job offers after 4 and 6 interviews during this semester alone.
  • For those seeking opportunities in Charlotte, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce has announced several recent relocations and expansions.
  • The National Association of Colleges and Employers projects a better job outlook nationally for the class of 2011 v. the class of 2010.

If you’re wondering where to get started, the University Career Center will play the role of fairy godmother by assisting you with your job search plan and pointing you in the direction of resources for finding job opportunities, developing a resume, and connecting with employers.  We don’t turn pumpkins into carriages, however, so make a commitment to implement your action plan. Many opportunities await you if you’re willing to believe that and believe in yourself.

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