This week’s guest blogger, Tonya Vrba, talks about a topic that weighs heavily on nearly every college student’s mind: moving back home with your parents. You’ve been dubbed as the Boomerang Generation (here’s a nifty INFOGRAPHIC that provides more detail,) but you don’t have to fall into the stereotypical category. No, you can avoid being the 85%.
By Tonya Vrba
Times are hard, although I don’t ever remember a time where life was easy. People were talking about the recession before I ever had my first job. Nonetheless, people like to point at the economy, growing at a frustratingly slow pace, as the reason behind the high unemployment rate. As of this writing, the unemployment rate for those 20 to 24 years old is just over 13 percent. This rate lowers to eight percent for the 25 to 29 age group. Somehow, this is an excuse for a staggering 85 percent of college graduates to move back home. That just won’t do. We college graduates have (hopefully) worked our little hinnies off getting our degrees. Perhaps no one told 85 percent of us, but work does not end when we walk across the stage. Our work has only just begun. There is a way to avoid moving back in with parents, if only we try.
Any job is better than no job. Don’t go quitting your college job as soon as you graduate. There is no point in turning up a nose to all jobs which are beneath you. If you are holding out for your dream job, chances are they won’t be impressed to know you’re not working. Even if the only job you can find is a low wage restaurant gig, do it.
I say this as I have been frustrated with the number of 20-somethings I know who seem to be halfheartedly looking at jobs. My father told me stories about how wonderful life in his 20s was. His life wasn’t great because he got to sleep in until 2pm. He had a good job, worked hard and could afford all the crazy nights and parties he wanted. I know times are hard, but since when has finding a job been easy? Being underpaid is better than no pay at all.
Wake up early; you have a job to do. I confess, it has been hard getting used to waking up with the rest of the working world, especially when I don’t have any obligations to wake up to. Even though no one is making me be anywhere at 8am, I know I work best in the morning. It has only been in the past couple weeks that I truly understood the need to be up early. I’ve enlisted the help of my boyfriend, who calls me every morning as he drives to his full-time job. This usually gets me out the door by 8am. At noon, I have applied for nearly 10 job and I am ready for work.
Remember, your goal is to snag a full-time job. Eventually you will have to wake up early. There’s no better time than the present to get used to that sleep schedule. Grab a cup of coffee and apply like mad. I have been fully committed to this strategy for only a week, and so far, it has gotten me two interviews (fingers crossed).
Save up. I can’t stress this enough. It will be expensive to move to a new place. If the down payment isn’t enough, you will be met with many bills you have never before in your life paid. Avoid going out too much and try not to buy anything you don’t absolutely need. Don’t think of it as giving up things you enjoy. Instead, postpone these activities until you get the job you’re looking for. Believe me, I am very much looking forward finally purchasing a PlayStation3 when I find a new job. I could buy it now. I have the money. What I don’t have is the foresight to know how much money I will need between now and when I find a job.
Admit, however reluctantly, that you might have to move in with your parents. How does this stop you from moving in with them? Simply put, this gives you freedom you need to find a job. My original plan has been to stay in my low paying job, live on my own and continue looking for better work. The problem is, if I have any hope of supporting myself I will have to work 50 hour weeks. That’s 50 hours every week I am not applying for jobs. When I decided that moving in with my parents was a viable option, I cut my work load in half and increased my daily job search from one to four hours. I have a little less than two months before my lease is up. That’s two months to apply to every job possible. The more you apply, the better chance you have at success.
At the end of the day, the only way to avoid moving in with your parents is to get a job that pays well. You went to school and you can make it happen. Don’t let the economy get you down. No one has to move back in with their parents if they play their cards right.
About the Author: Tonya Vrba is a recent graduate with experience in journalism, public relations and social media. She has been featured on countless blogs giving advice on health, fitness, dating and job searching. You can view her writing at her personal blog and at www.OnlineDatingSites.net.