I’m sure this header got your attention! Especially for those of you that have invested thousands and thousands of dollars in a college education for your son or daughter. Of course you want them to become gainfully employed as soon as possible but that’s likely to be harder than you ever imagined.
It’s no secret that the job market today can be very challenging. There are generally hundreds of applicants for every position advertised so unless your child is the next Einstein with plenty of accolades and impressive internships on their resume; it might take a while for them to find a job within their field.
The clock starts ticking long before graduation. Upcoming rising-star graduates begin getting their credentials out there to prospective employers in their senior year and Mom and Dad begin to salivate over the end of the college money pit. Unfortunately, Forbes recently reported that only 17% of 2015 college grads will have a job upon graduation. Another 20% will get hired within 6 months and the balance will settle for being under employed. So..what happens if your son or daughter doesn’t get a job right away?
More often than not parents will encourage their college graduate to “just get a job…any job” while they’re waiting for the right opportunity. Unfortunately this can potentially negatively impact their chances of being noticed by the hiring films. After all, you don’t expect to find talented and marketable young people settling for the check-out counter in the local Walmart store. There certainly isn’t anything wrong with this type of job but it isn’t where you expect to find the marketable graduates. Although a strong work ethic and desire to be gainfully employed are to be admired, taking a job well below their desired field could backfire and cause them to placed at bottom of the resume pile in terms of “strong candidates”.
If a gap between graduation and placement expands beyond a month or two, it’s important to keep the resume “active”. In other words, it doesn’t look good to the hiring company for a “top notch” college grad to be overlooked by so many others. In the event there is down time, encourage your graduate to get involved in something that will serve as impressive filler on the resume. For example, your son or daughter could be volunteering for an organization that is directly (or indirectly) associated with the hiring firms within their field. Filling the down time with a meaningful project will speak volumes to the hiring firms and it will serve to fill in the gap for time lost looking for a job. There is no need to flag the fact that this is an unpaid volunteer job so your graduate is free to take that job at Walmart since it isn’t necessary to explain away the time gap on the resume. First impressions on paper make or break the chances of being noticed.
Another option that many college grads are pursuing is the start-up of their own business. Robert Kiyosaki, bestselling author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad recommends direct sales as a start-up option because the investment is minimal, the income can be far above average and your graduate will be surrounded by others willing to mentor and train in them in the business.
Back in the “old days” ambitious young people were recruited to sell encyclopedias and vacuum cleaners door-to-door while waiting for the dream job and this experience served as a lucrative stepping stone into the right job. If you ponder some of the most successful people that you know (or know of) you’ll see that this is precisely how they started out in business. By the way, Warren Buffet, (one of the richest men in the world and the one considered to be the most successful investor of the 20th century) owns a direct sales firm (Kirby) and he proudly confesses that investing in the direct sales business was one of his smartest investments. Before you discount direct sales as an option for your graduate, remember Warren Buffet and the countless other very successful people that started out this way.
There are plenty of direct sales options out there for your graduate that do not require a long-term commitment or a big investment. Furthermore, not all direct sales companies require that you sell millions of bottles of vitamins or cases of cosmetics just to make a few bucks. Do a little homework and you’ll be surprised at the options. Direct sales makes a lot more sense to the manufacturers of quality products than attempting to marketed them on a shelf.
Another huge plus is that when you are your own boss and the keeper of your time, scheduling job interviews whenever they arise is a piece-of- cake. Lastly, with the help of the Internet and your graduate’s high-tech skills, there is no longer a need for door-to-door sales (thank goodness).
I know of a number of brilliant college grads that opted for direct sales to bridge the gap financially while they waited for their dream job. Some of them have continued in direct sales on a part time basis to this day to supplement their full-time income and to take advantage of tremendous tax advantages for the self employed small business. Not only can this be a lucrative option, but it can also be priceless experience that will benefit your graduate in the long run. Running your own business, no matter how big or how small, offers you a front-row seat in management…a perspective that most employers find impressive.
Before you encourage your college graduate to rush off to Walmart for a temporary job, consider the bigger picture and how this time spent will be viewed on their resume.
If your college graduate is interested in starting their own business let me know. I’ve launched 4 kids of my own and I’m happy to help launch yours too!