Make the most of unemployment
Shortly after I graduated college, I watched the movie Post-Grad (check out the preview on YouTube). I hadn’t heard great things about it, but it interested me that there was a movie about somebody who had just graduated, had no job, and had to move back into her parents’ house — which was also my situation.
Post-Grad wasn’t a great movie, but what I really liked about it was how the main character (played by Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel) had this master plan of what her life was going to be like: win a scholarship into college, get great grades, and score a coveted job at an esteemed publishing company.
And the plan works…to a point. Bledel’s character gets the scholarship and graduates college with a high GPA. But then she blows her interview at the publishing firm and loses the job to her rival. She’s forced to move back in with her parents and struggles to find work despite her previous academic success.
I’m sure no college students ever say, “I’m gonna graduate with no job and live my parents!” We all had plans of success after graduation, but because of the recession, many of those plans haven’t worked out, and we’ve been struggling to readjust ourselves to an economy that we weren’t prepared for.
But this situation doesn’t have to be all bad. Having our plans fail opens our minds; it forces us to consider alternate options and try different activities (like an internship, class, volunteer gig, or part-time job) that might lead us on a path that’s more fulfilling than the path we had originally set out on.
I hope that unemployed graduates perceive this time of their lives not as the end of the road, but as an unexpected detour that will let them rediscover themselves and find interests or passions they never even knew they had. Life never goes according to plan, and it’s those unplanned, unscripted moments that make it memorable.