Column: Prepare for post graduation apocalypse

Has it hit yet?

For every senior who is graduating in nine days the next week and a half is a roller coaster of stress over finishing up classes and having last-chance lunches and parties with friends.

And even while we are supposed to be focusing on our academics and saying goodbye to friends, there is a pit in the bottom of every senior’s stomach.

That tiny knot has slowly been growing over the past semester into what I like to call the post-graduation apocalypse.

While this has nothing to do with the Mayan calendar, it has everything to do with the 9.1 percent Illinois unemployment rate and the 9.2 percent nation-wide unemployment rate.

Any high hopes I had about post-graduation careers sank like the Titanic when the economy crashed just a year after I started at Eastern.

Rather than giving in and resolving to sleep on a basement couch until we slowly become a flesh-colored part of the décor, it is time for the graduates entering the job market to fight back.

The key to surviving any kind of apocalypse (be it zombie, Y2K or Mayan) is to have a plan.

I created a guide for making it through the post graduation apocalypse.

Start early: Like any survivor of Y2K would tell you, preparation is the key to making it through. This means cleaning up your resume ahead of time, getting involved with groups, asking for recommendations from professors before graduation and seeking out a network of individuals in your field.

Use what resources you have: One of the benefits of being part of the Millenial generation is knowing how to use the Internet, but don’t rely on it. Websites like LinkedIn can help recent graduates find a job, but some of the best work can be found closer to home. Talk to professors and family members. Often, the best way to find a job is because your Uncle Joey knows a guy.

Unemployment is not a vacation: If you have to take time off, make it seem as though you are doing something with it. Make yourself available, do some research. Looking for a job can be a full-time job, but you need to continue working in your field even if it is not in a professional capacity.

Persevere: If at first you don’t succeed.slow and steady. use whatever cliché you want, but know that the job hunt will be hit and miss and may take a lot of time.

Make sacrifices: Very rarely will you find your dream job straight out of college, so you should be willing to make sacrifices for salary, location and positions.

Emily Steele is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812

or [email protected]