Time is Money in a Job Search

job search, college gradTime is money in a job search. Being unemployed, or underemployed, carries a hefty price tag.

If you just graduated from college, without a job, I have bad news for you. While the economy is strong and unemployment is at its lowest in years, the number of companies planning to hire new college graduates declined this spring. Clearly not the graduation gift you wanted.

According to NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average college graduate spends 7.4 months searching for their first post college professional role. That’s nearly as long as an academic year at almost the same cost.

A recent liberal arts graduate with a good GPA can expect a starting salary in the range of $45,000 to $60,000 or more, depending on major, field of work and job location.  So 7.4 months of unemployment equates to an average financial loss of over $32,000 dollars. That’s roughly equal to the average college debt a student carries upon graduation.

When you factor in the compounding effect of starting your career late, graduating without a job will cost you even more over your lifetime of earnings. Being underemployed (waiting tables or working as a barista at your local Starbucks) also has an impact. That’s because those seven months of lost earnings, or low earnings, put you behind in terms of pay raises and promotions.

So while you may be enjoying your first summer “off” in years, it’s costing you a lot of money.

Here are 9 thingsyou can do to kick-start your job search.

If you have not yet graduated, the best tip I can share is to start your job search early. As in the moment you step back on campus. Use this summer to update your resume.

Explore career options if you are unsure of your post graduation path. Meet with people who work in careers of possible interest to you. You can tap into your alumni network using LinkedIn’s alumni tool to set up meetings.

Contact your career office on campus to get a schedule of career fairs. Career fairs are a great way to meet several employers in a convenient, on-campus setting. Besides, campus career fairs are usually staffed with recent alumni from your college who are eager to help you.

Above all, don’t delay starting your search. No need to worry about getting it perfect, just take that all important first step and start.

And, as always, if you need help getting started, or re-booting your job search, please contact mefor a complimentary 30-minute coaching call. Sometimes, having an independent advisor give you a few tips is all you need to be off and running.

About Lisa

Chief Career Catalyst @C2C, former Fortune 500 businesswoman, dog lover, avid skier, mediocre tennis player, golfer, new SUPer, aspiring surfer, cyclist, yoga & exercise enthusiast, happy wife & home chef. I am a regular contributor to the Bangor Daily News, and have appeared on WCSH6 where I offer career advice for college students, recent graduates and young professionals.
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