• “Start in the mailroom and work your way up”

    Date: 09.01.09 | by Judge Tom.

    Starting at the bottom was the way your parents and grandparents went about their lives when they were starting out. You may have heard expressions similar to these while growing up.

    Studies indicate that recent college graduates are experiencing a significant downturn in finding work. More than half the graduating class of 2007 had job offers when they finished school. The number for the class of 2009 is less than 20%.

    The global economy and the worst U.S. economy since the Depression of the 1930s is obviously a contributing factor. Labor statistics for July, 2009, showed that 15.3% of Americans ages 20 to 24 were unemployed, compared to the overall jobless rate of 9.4%.

    Photo by m00by (Flickr)

    So what are these graduates doing? Many are prolonging their entry into the workforce by going to graduate school. Applications for admissions are up as much as 20% at some institutions. Likewise, volunteer and public service programs are seeing an increase in college graduates seeking positions. Teach for America, Americorps, and the Peace Corps have all seen an upswing in interest.

    Don’t despair. The economy will improve. Dealing with the current unemployment problem by furthering your education or public service will reap its own rewards. Can you think of other ways to spend your time and meet your obligations? Are you willing to settle for less in the workplace until something opens up in your field? Keep all your options open and a positive outlook, as hard as it may be.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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