Are you better off graduating in a recession?

Graduation

Photo credit: scot2342

I’m sure that not many recent graduates have thought, Thank God I’m graduating during a recession! But graduating in a rough economic period might actually be a blessing in disguise — at least according to this Yahoo Finance article:

Why You’re Better Off Graduating in a Recession (finance.yahoo.com)

The article cites a study that analyzed government surveys of job satisfaction and found that people who graduate in a recession are more satisfied with their jobs because they’re grateful to even have a job, instead of questioning whether they could’ve done better.

This psychological effect is compared to bronze medalists vs. silver medalists in the Olympics; even though silver medalists have the bigger prize, they’re disappointed over coming so close to getting the gold, whereas bronze medalists are happy just to get a medal.

Writes the conductor of this study:

I found that much like bronze medalists, these graduates spent little time ruminating over how they might have done better and tended to be grateful to have a job at all. Those who graduated during more prosperous times, however, looked at their current jobs differently. Rather than revel in their good fortune, these graduates tended to wonder if they could have or should have done better. Much like silver medalists, they were more likely to be plagued by regret, second-guessing and what ifs.

While the results of this study seem to make sense, they contradict the stereotypes of millennials as being constantly being unhappy with their jobs and feeling entitled to rapid advancement. So do you find that recent graduates are satisfied with their jobs?

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About David

I'm an aspiring writer and filmmaker in my twenties. I also run a blog where twenty-somethings share their stories and advice on beginning a career in this economy. Check it out at http://twentysomethingsblog.com

Posted on February 13, 2014, in News & views and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I disagree completely! Yes, I’m grateful to have a job, but that doesn’t mean my job satisfaction is high. I would quit my job if I didn’t like it and find something else. I know a lot of people don’t have the same luxury, but I also don’t think it’s that hard to find a job. It’s just hard to find a job that you LIKE.

  2. The Yahoo! article provides an interesting perspective…but I disagree. Being grateful to have a job, doesn’t mean you’re satisfied with it. The recession has bee hard on everyone and I think people are doing what they have to do, whether they are satisfied or not.

  3. Interesting thought. I would have loved to know the exact way each question was asked in a survey.

    I guess satisfaction is good, but how about the long term effects of graduating in a recession? Were these the people who went to school before the recession (and maybe didn’t think about saving up?)

    Articles tend to only bring up one aspect of a study that they think is interesting, but I would have liked to read the study from front to back.

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