How to Overcome Three Greatest Challenges Facing College Grads

June 26, 2018


What a difference a year can make.  A year ago, jobs were plentiful and recruiters swept America’s college campuses armed with entry-level positions for nearly everyone.  Today, the economic landscape is much different.

Here are three challenges new graduates can anticipate, and more importantly, how to persevere.

1. Major lifestyle adjustments. The typical ‘go to college and get a good job’ trajectory is unrealistic for many millennials who will graduate this spring.  Some may have to move back home until they land a new job while others must be open to relocation away from family and friends.  Grads can lessen the negative impact of post-graduate social adjustments by applying Dale Carnegie’s principles to ‘Break the Worry Habit before It Breaks You’ which are as follows:

  • Keep busy.
  • Don’t fuss about trifles.
  • Use the law of averages to outlaw your worries.
  • Cooperate with the inevitable.
  • Decide just how much anxiety a thing may be worth and refuse to give it more.
  • Don’t worry about the past.

2. Lagging career opportunities. College degrees don’t guarantee tickets to a career fast track.  In fact, according to a recent Conference Board report, many employers are hiring workers with lower educational qualifications than in the recent past.  Also, recruiters are attending campus career fairs with less job openings on-hand, and some are cancelling college recruiting efforts altogether.  Lastly, competition is fiercer than ever.  Mimi Collins, a spokeswoman for the National Association of Colleges and Employers, recently stated, “Last year you could have had a degree in low demand, a lousy grade-point average and bad interpersonal skills, and still get a job, but that’s not the way it is anymore.”

Dale Carnegie said, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”  To maximize employment opportunities, graduates must be open to accepting roles in which they can gain on-the-job experience and learning opportunities.  Enhancing employment qualifications in the short-term will pay off as more attractive positions become available in the long-term.  In addition, graduates should network as much as possible—not only by using professional social sites such as LinkedIn and attending networking events, but by joining industry and trade organizations that appeal to them.

3. Excessive demands. In today’s highly competitive environment, it’s common for some new graduates to encounter employers mandating long hours and mentally demanding output.  While paying one’s dues is one ingredient to the formula for success, it shouldn’t continue forever.  Setting short- and long-term goals is essential in the long run.  While many graduates may have to hunker down and do everything possible to meet employers’ demands, they must stay focused on their long-term career goals by staying abreast of the job market; maximizing learning opportunities and networking on a consistent basis.

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