Top Piece of Advice from Previous College Grads to Class of 2009:
Pursue Passion over Money & Job Security

As Graduation Approaches & the Recession Continues,
Adecco Survey Explores Work-Life Lessons from Past Generations of College Grads

Melville, NY - As the class of 2009 prepares to enter the most challenging job market seen in decades, Adecco Group North America's latest American Workplace Insights Survey offers advice from college graduates of every generation. The good news: over two-thirds (71%) of college-educated adults say that today's graduates should stick to their goals and aim for career fulfillment, many more than those who say they should take any job available or follow the money. In fact, only 13% of previous adult grads advise students to choose a career based only on earning and salary potential. The bad news: a vast majority (72%) believe that graduates in 2009 have more worries than they did about finding a job.

Additional survey findings include:

  • Even Now, Think Twice Before Accepting An Offer: Less than one-quarter (18%) of previous college graduates advise future grads to take any job they can get. Further, only a little more than a third of college grads (35%) encouraged today's college students to take an internship for free. On the contrary, the majority (70%) recommended being open to relocating to find the best job opportunities.
  • Work Experience Trumps Advanced Degrees: Compared to 22% who advised college students go directly to graduate school after earning their bachelor's degree, almost half (46%) believe it's more important to obtain hands-on professional experience. Only 6% of adult college graduates say that current students should enjoy a year off and hope the job market gets better.
  • For Many, First Industry Isn't Last: Less than half (48%) of adults who have had a full time job since graduating are still working in the same industry as that of their first job.

"Former generations of college graduates are a vital source of wisdom and insight for today's grads who are about to enter unchartered territory as they navigate the job market for entry-level opportunities,” says Bernadette Kenny Chief Career Officer of Adecco Group North America. “While our survey shows that there are some very real concerns around job opportunities given the recession, the good news is that unemployment for college grads remains well below that of less educated workers. We encourage upcoming grads to be flexible and utilize all the tools and resources out there when looking for a job, find work and an environment that interests you for whatever reason, whether it is working with many people, in a large organization, or a smaller one, in a major city or a small town."

For graduates this May and others who will be graduating in the near future, Adecco Group North America offers the following advice:

  • Turn to social networking : While it's hard to walk into a college dorm or computer lab without seeing Facebook, Twitter or MySpace on someone's computer, keep in mind that these social networking sites can also be used for your job search. Also remember that future employers will be searching for you on these sites so make sure the image you are projecting is employer friendly.
  • Consider temporary and project work : While employers may be more hesitant to hire full-time staff right now, there are a good amount of temporary and project assignments available. These can be great resume, experience and network building opportunities and can often serve as a paid audition for a full-time assignment.
  • Learn from mentors : Seek mentorship from experienced professionals. Learning from professors or internship advisors can give candidates practical experience in decision making and project management. Expertise in these areas comes in time, the more workers can learn from a mentor, the faster their career can advance.
  • Think about ancillary industries . Graduates should try to cast as wide a net as possible. This includes examining the secondary sectors which might be looking for employees of diverse, well-rounded backgrounds. For example, engineers should consider how their skills might be utilized in the growing healthcare sector.
Consider re-location . Many cities are poised to hire in hot spots in the upcoming years. If faced with an option to re-locate for a job, weigh the pros and cons carefully. The experience and increased number of jobs available might be worth a move.
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