I remember graduating in 2008 with my masters in education. I was young and ready to take on life. What I wasn’t expecting was graduating right into a recession. Finding a job was near impossible. Nobody was doing well. It taught me a lot though and the lessons I learned during that recession will carry me through the 2020 recession as well.
Lesson 1: Swallow your pride
This one hurts a bit. You’re probably overqualified for many places that are looking to hire. It is what it is. Unemployment and government aid will only last so long and the reality is that what little help you are getting isn’t paying the bills anyway. Take that job working at the grocery store or answering phones at the gym. Nobody is judging you. You do what you need to do.
Lesson 2: Create multiple revenue streams
I get it. After working 30 hours a week at a job you feel is beneath you is exhausting and the last thing you want to do is put more work on your plate. Do it anyway. Is someone looking for a babysitter on the weekend? Take it. Is someone offering you a night shift doing customer service from home? Take it. Not only is it extra revenue, you never know when the mundane job you took because you swallowed your pride turns into a new career opportunity. There is also a good chance that others are in the same position as you and you will make new connections that catapult your career in a different direction to help you soar later.
Lesson 3: Live within your means
Do you remember all those times you made fun of Grandma for cutting coupons and taking forever to check out at the food store? Grandma knew what she was doing. She lived through the Great Depression. Live within your means. Cut the coupons. Only buy the necessities. Sell what you don’t need.
Lesson 4: Don’t give up on your dreams
Just because you are working multiple jobs to pay the bills and pinching pennies, doesn’t mean you stop looking for the job you did want. What many people don’t realize is that when people put out ads for a position, it is for the company’s dream candidate who likely doesn’t exist. Apply anyway. You might just get the position. Also, don’t be afraid to send out cold resumes and emails. If you really want to work for a company and you know how to solve a problem that they blatantly have, reach out and introduce yourself. Tell them why you love the company so much. Let them know that you noticed the problem they have and explain why you are the one who has the power to solve it. People want innovation and you may just get your position that way.
Lesson 5: If all else fails and you can’t find your dream job, create it yourself
Companies are created because there is a problem that people desperately need a solution for. If you can find the problem and be the solution, create your own business. You won’t make a fortune overnight and may still need to work other jobs while you build it up, but at least you’ll have a sense of purpose and something to look forward to.
Recessions are hard but they are not impossible. For most, it simply means that it will take longer to get to your goal and during the process, your dreams and visions may change.