In these first 100 days, the Obama administration has already moved to help the economy recover by adding money into a variety of programs, including education and creating jobs. Since I have been applying to a variety of graduate programs, I’ve been talking to quite a number of students lately. One student responded in our general conversation, “I’m graduating this year and I don’t know what I’ll do.”
One thing I can say from my experience working for the Port of Seattle is that working for the government in any aspect can be a really good job complete with benefits such as health care and retirement pensions.
For more information on government job options, see websites like:
Many of the people I supported with computing services worked jobs where they wrote memos, handled marketing materials, documented meeting minutes, responded to customer service requests, even creating small MS Access databases and web pages etc. To get these jobs regardless of position from Police Officer to Maintenance Support required one important item that many college graduates forget: basic computer skills using MS Office and similar products.
#1Tough Economy Job Application Tip for Graduating College and High School Students
Learn MS Office products and the use of the internet. If you’re graduating and don’t know what you will do and don’t know how to use these products, take the class where you learn them, the more products the better. Most public libraries allow you to use these products on a free computer. There is no reason not to learn MS Office and very good reasons why you should learn to use MS Office. They make a difference in your desirability to employers. If you don’t have these skills, get them before you graduate.
#2 Tough Economy Job Application Tip for Graduating College and High School Students
On your job application and resume, specifically list all of your experience using computers and computer products like MS Office. If you answer an employer’s question on this topic, it will put you one step forward of those that don’t.
#3 Tough Economy Job Application Tip for Graduating College and High School Students
Work during summers. Get internships if you can. Work in a position as closely related to your career objective as possible. A college degree is one step up but real life work experience is one step better. Because I worked in the factory at Boeing before going to school, my job rating with them carried with me when I graduated. Employers care that you know how to work hard for long hours and for people who have done well for them.
#4 Tough Economy Job Application Tip for Graduating College and High School Students
Be ready to move and to take the best offer you can get. The people I know who are unemployed weren’t willing to leave their home. There is never a better time to be mobile than when you are young. Don’t have delusions about a job that is cool-go with the pay and think about cool when your bills are paid.
#5 Tough Economy Job Application Tip for Graduating and High School Students
Order you job offers based on pay, insurance, and 401K contributions first then on the work you will do. Quite frankly, if anyone asked me if I wanted to punch holes in the corners of little metal tags in a job environment where a drop of acid can cause you to lose an eye, a slip of the shear will take your finger off, and a breath of the wrong air can scar your lungs for life, the answer would be no. Triple minimum wage plus benefits made me say yes.
A friend of mine went back to work after raising a child and made little more than minimum wage in medical insurance rather than her hoped for career in nursing. I watched as she moved jobs every six months to get another $0.50 per hour, and then insurance and then finally someone that offered a 401K. I am very proud of her. She’s dealt with reality and that’s what you do when you have to look for a job in a tough economy.
Another friend is going back to school to become a prison warden. She’s moved a student into her house to help pay the rent. I admire her spirit. Survivors do what it takes.
Although President Obama’s budget in these first 100 days of office directly target many troubled sectors of the economy, they won’t reach every individual immediately. You are on your own even if friends and family help you, so take action to help yourself.