Recent Grads, Keep Your Head (And Morale) Up - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Recent grads should remain optimistic despite the current job market (Image: Thinkstock)

I was almost at my wits’ end–not to mention, my always supportive parents were starting to wonder when I was going to begin making real money (actually, money in general)– when I got an email about a possible job offer. This offer, which panned out to be my current position at BlackEnterprise.com, didn’t materialize until five long months after I crossed the stage into adulthood. And even now, I consider myself extremely fortunate to have found a job less than six months after graduation, and in my actual field of study.

Looking back on those countless nights surfing the Web for job leads and tweaking various versions of my resume (and cover letter) only to be up by 7am to make it to two unpaid internships, I can see why I was losing my normal optimism. I tried to remain hopeful knowing I’d graduated around the time when the economy was beginning to see noticeable job gains. This was pretty hard to do when the questions about what exactly I was doing and why I was working for free surfaced from loved ones, family friends and even associates.  But hey, I’d tell myself, it could be a whole lot worse, right?

It’s a sentiment I’ve heard from the Class of 2011, and to them, I’d say: It gets better.

Academia has churned up a new batch of recent grads and the unemployment rate is of little comfort this go around. The national unemployment rate is 9.2%, down 0.3% from this time last year. Not to mention, the unemployment rate for African Americans is 16.2%. It’s something graduates should be mindful of, but must not let the statistics shake them. Instead, keep your head up. There were three pointers that really stuck with me throughout my job search; ones I’d like to share with this latest group of graduates.

By any means necessary

Do what you have to do–point blank.  Although volunteering or participating in an unpaid internship is not the ideal post-graduate plan, it’ll get your foot in the door and one step closer to a job. Keep in mind you’re staying up on your craft and making well-needed contacts.

Don’t be a serial job applicant

Customization is key. In today’s job search, employment seekers need to ensure they are search-optimizing their resume.

Stay up on the latest information and trends within your industry

Use your newfound free time wisely by going to the library to peruse through your industry’s top trade publications. While there (or at home), browse the Web for additional resources and materials.

Looking back, a year and two months out the gate, these are tips that helped ease the expected stress of the job seeking process. All will work itself out.

Class of 2011, I bid you well wishes on your latest endeavors.

Join the Conversation

Janel Martinez

With a focus on news and the under 35 crowd, Martinez develops engaging, daily reports for BlackEnterprise.com. She also pens the blog, After School Daze: Life After Undergrad, where she delves into the day-to-day issues and concerns of recent graduates trying to adapt to life off campus. Prior to Black Enterprise, the Bronx, N.Y. native contributed to Latina, Latina.com, Honeymag.com, Syracuse Record and The Post-Standard. When she's not writing articles, the self-proclaimed travelista is on the prowl for her next excursion.   Martinez holds a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism and sociology from Syracuse University.


MORE ON BlackEnterprise.com