Generation Y: No jobs, lots of loans, grim future

Carol’s Summary:

The Generation Y population (those born in the 1980’s and 1990’s) is entering one of the worst job markets since the Great Depression. Students are graduating from college with Bachelors and Masters degrees with debts ranging anywhere between $15,000 and $100,000 from school loans, and finding a job that pays minimum wage if they are lucky.

Although the recession has affected workers of all ages, the unemployment rate for those aged 20-24 is 15.3 percent, which is more than double the rate of the other age groups not to mention a great deal higher than the overall unemployment rate of 9.5 percent.

Even though the Millennials’ population is seemingly the best-educated generation to date, the recession could in fact cause these people to delay their careers by up to 15 years and in turn lower their lifetime earning potential significantly. With this grim outlook ahead of them, what can the Generation Y population do to more effectively push themselves into the career they had hoped for upon graduation? The following are some suggestions:

1. Work for free. Many companies may not currently have a position available for hire, but a good way to get to know a company and the work they do is to participate in their internship program. If you work hard and get involved with the company, you are more likely to get hired when a position does become available. Even if you don’t get hired at the end of the internship, you are walking away with valuable experience and in most cases a valuable recommendation.

2. Outsource. If a company is unable to hire you full-time, offer your services on a contract or project basis. This will give you the opportunity to get real work experience and to stay connected to the professional world while you are looking for a full-time job.

3. Find a coach or a mentor. A good way to learn more about the career you are seeking is to find a seasoned professional to mentor you or if you can, hire a coach. Connecting with a mentor allows you to learn the “tricks of the trade” as well as get an inside look into your field of interest, while connecting with a coach can help identify as well as work on your weaknesses. A mentor can also help you get in touch with other professionals in which you can network with.

4. Get involved. Joining a professional association related to your field of interest can give you many opportunities to network with working professionals. This kind of networking can help you find jobs that are not listed for the public, as well as give you an inside scoop on how to get hired.

5. Maximize your resources. Many students fail at finding a job because they do not take advantage of the resources available to them. For example, a school’s career center is a great resource that is often underutilized. Many companies will work with career centers to find new hires instead of posting public job announcements because they know what they are getting when a school refers a graduate to them. In addition, a school’s career center is aware of student programs with the government and many other companies.

6. Do not give up. The most important thing to remember when looking for a job is not to give up. One must realize there are many people in their same position and it may take a while to find a job, but it will be worth it when you do.

The Generation Y population may have many obstacles to overcome, but there are just many opportunities for them to take advantage of. In addition to the suggestions above, LifeBound provides professional coaching for those who need some extra help finding their place in the professional world. For more information about LifeBound’s professional coaching, visit or email us at

Gen Y: No jobs, lots of loans, grim future
Millennials’ delay in starting their careers could wallop long-term finances

They are perhaps the best-educated generation ever, but they can’t find jobs. Many face staggering college loans and have moved back in with their parents. Even worse, their difficulty in getting careers launched could set them back financially for years.

The Millennials, broadly defined as those born in the 1980s and ’90s, are the first generation of American workers since World War II who have cloudier prospects than the generations that preceded them.

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