This is an encouragement to all the post-grads eagerly searching to put their majors to use, who are still in limbo due to the economy, family pressure, and loan deadlines.
You are a recent grad who’s out of a job. After receiving your first telephone call from Sallie Mae and Mr. Perkins, you did the following:
- Updated your resume
- Drafted a cover letter
- Complied your references
- Pressed “submit”
And while you’re waiting for several weeks, you get a few follow-up emails, but still find yourself unemployed. After four years and two internships, you thought you’d be walking into your dream job, but instead, all you’re able to do is to move back into your parents’ house.
Imagine: You are an optimistic 25-year old African-American male, who recently received his Master’s Degree from a well-known Pennsylvania University. Excited for what lies ahead of you, you apply to jobs in several industries that you are qualified for (Education, Media, Broadcasting etc.), but to your dismay, you receive no results.
This, Ladies & Gentlemen, is the life and times of Tyree, a Black college graduate living in a post-recession economy. Unfortunately, my plight is not unique to me; it’s a trend among many African-American graduates today.
- In 2013, 12.4 percent of black college graduates between the ages of 22 and 27 were unemployed.
- Between 2007 and 2013, the unemployment rate for black recent college graduates nearly tripled.
- In 2013, more than half (56%) of employed black recent college graduates were “underemployed,” working in an occupation that typically does not require a four-year college degree.
Most graduates in this situation would look at these statistics in despair, but I urge you not to be discouraged. Consider the bright side: although you may be unemployed as of today, you’re still in demand. So take this opportunity to do the following:
- Volunteer! Creatively approach new ventures for entrepreneurship that utilize your degree and experiences.
- Strengthen your skillset. Develop the skills and qualities you already possess.
- Revamp your profile. Revise your resume, cover letters, and LinkedIn account to ensure that they reflect your current skillset.
- Reflect on your past. You’ll be surprised to see what you’ve accomplished thus far.
- Trust the process.
Trust the Process
What does it mean to trust the process? Trusting the process is having an unwavering confidence in the positive outcome that God has destined for you. Connie Chapman explains that, “even if you cannot understand what is unfolding right now, you (should) have an unshakeable sense of trust that the reason that this is happening is because circumstances are rearranging for your higher good.”
Furthermore, things are starting to look up! Even President Obama has announced a plan that seeks to lessen the burden of paying back student loans for college grads.
So, don’t be dissuaded by the above statistics. If you’re like me – 25, unemployed, and filling out job applications as you type—you’ve probably overcome worse situations. Remember to trust the process. You got this! You possess greatness; the process will only make you better.
-Tyree Boyd-Pates, A Black (Unemployed) Post-Grad