Changing the “Terrible Economy” Conversation

It’s encouraging to hear that the unemployment rate is coming down at long last – now 8.8 for the first time since The Great Recession began in 2008. But I’ll bet you don’t know what the unemployment rate is if you are a college graduate or have a post-graduate education of some sort. None of my clients, mostly college graduates, seem to know that figure until I tell them.

That unemployment rate for college graduates and people with post-graduate educations is now 4.4, down from a fairly constant figure of 4.7 during the same Great Recession period (U.S. Dept. of Labor Statistics). Isn’t that something to think about for a few minutes before jumping right back into the terrible economy conversation that continues to pervade the marketplace?

The same news is not so good if you are not a college graduate, and it is much worse news for you if you have little or no education at all. The unemployment rate for people who do not have a high school diploma is upwards of 25%. This means that if you are unemployed, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get more education and/or training.

But whatever your situation, your attitude is going to play an extremely important part in determining what happens. Attitude is not exactly everything, but it is pretty damn important – as is your mood, your philosophy of life, and your character.

People hire people who, in addition to having a certain level of education and skill, are an offer of help, are of good character, and who embody a mood of willingness to learn, work hard and have a positive attitude. Who you are is as important as what you do.

For you, the college graduate, the unemployment rate right now is about as good as it gets. People are getting jobs every day, trust me. But of course it’s not automatic. No one is going to hire you just because you are a college graduate. These guidelines will help mightily:

1. You have to have something of value to offer an employer, and you have to know what it is.

2. You have to have a resume that is clear, contains no errors, and is an honest representation of who you are and what you can do.

3. You need to be the embodiment of your resume. You need to bring it to life, verbally, in the interview in a manner that is authentic and that displays your competence and character.

If any one of these things is a problem for you, your period of unemployment may be much longer than you think. Get some help. Don’t waste valuable time blaming everything on the bad economy. You can use this time to become a great candidate for the job you really want.

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