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These days, we hear the word unprecedented a lot. Much of what you are going through as college students or college graduates looking for work in the pandemic hasn’t happened before. Even so, the Bible says there is nothing new under the sun. It challenges us to ask where the good way is. People who have made the college-to-work transition in difficult times offer some counsel.

“Their advice: Broaden your search. Expand your network. Invest in yourself. Reset your expectations. And, most of all, remember that this, too, shall pass.”
Chicago Tribune

“My experience has taught me that I’m not actually that valuable to capitalism. If I derive my self-worth from how marketable I am, I’d feel awful.  Graduating into a recession is going to be difficult. Don’t be ashamed if your résumé looks like chaos. Learn to let go of expectations of what your career should look like.”
Caroline Contillo, Hunter College, New York, 2010

“Some things go back to normal and some things don’t. Some industries may be permanently smaller than they are now.”
John Wilmes, University of Iowa, Iowa, 2009

“College graduates in the Great Recession often were underemployed. Only 42 percent of them worked in their field of study, the Federal Reserve Board study said.”
Chicago Tribune

“This generation is going to come up with solutions and their own takeaways from this. Their perspective is going to be fundamentally different and more useful than anything we can think of.”
John Wilmes, University of Iowa, Iowa, 2009

“Try everything because you never know—you could stumble into something you really love.”
Lyz Mancini, St. John Fisher College, New York, 2008

“Take anything that’s even a little related to what you want to be doing.”
Beck Simo, Marquette University, Wisconsin, 2010

“Don’t forget about your hobbies and side skills. Nurture them however you can.”

“Another thing that helped was finding things that were in my control, like writing on the side—things that keep you working and can help you develop skills and get experience. When the time was right, those things helped make me an attractive candidate.”

“Put 100 percent into what you’re doing no matter what your job is. People want to hire someone who has different strengths and comes from a different perspective, and people look for those qualities in any field.”
Stephen Parris, Culinary Institute of America, New York, 2007

“Their advice: Broaden your search. Expand your network. Invest in yourself. Reset your expectations. And, most of all, remember that this too, shall pass.”

Career Services is still available to help, whether by providing someone to listen, by helping cobble together a strategy for now, or by helping you to clarify that grand career and mission vision God still has for you, we would be honored to assist. Please email eshlemanb@piedmontu.edu.

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