How The COVID-19 Pandemic Will Affect Millennial and Generation Z Job Seekers And What They Should Do

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Research has shown that the Millennial and Generation Z’s who have just graduated at the end of 2019, during 2020, or in the next coming years, will be facing high unemployment rates which can affect the U.S. economy in the long-run.

Image via Bloomberg

According to Bloomberg, economists say the longer that young people are forced to delay their careers, the worse their prospects will be in the future to hold a job, accumulate wealth, or even get married or start a family.

Long periods of unemployment, or working part-time gigs or temporarily in jobs outside their desired fields, can jeopardize young professionals’ future salary increases and opportunities for them to build key relationships.

For college students and recent graduates, choosing a major based on availability of jobs is a recipe for an unsatisfying life. Instead, search for something you truly enjoy, something you find exciting, and the job will come, in due time.

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Some of you are thinking that graduating in this global health and economic crisis may have delayed your career growth, however it is definitely not a career death sentence. Take as much time as you need to chase your dreams! Everyone you know may be interested in finance, STEM, healthcare, etc. but follow your own roadmap because these paths are certainly not for everybody. It may take you a month, 6 months or 1 year after graduation to find a job amid the pandemic. Many companies have resumed their hiring and have pivoted new ways in doing so. In addition, a lot of companies are hiring workers to work from home as well, which can be a new way of reducing unemployment.


Advice and Tips For Recent Graduates

  • You should definitely continue to explore your interests, values and motivators if you did not spend as much time in the exploration process before your graduation. Through networking and pivoting, chances are you may find roles that weren’t even on your radar and; potential opportunities — that are even better than the ones that you have initially considered.
  • You want to actively connect on LinkedIn with everyone from your college community — students, classmates, recent graduates, professors, mentors, connections from your school internships, career advisors, and career centers! The best chance of success is typically from a referral.
    • Take full advantage of your college career center. Even though you have graduated, you are still part of their alumni network!
    • Take full advantage of employment centers/workforce providers that are located in your area!
      • The services that your college career center and workforce providers (non-profit based) offer are completely FREE in terms of resume critique, mock interviews, career advisement, mentorship, networking help, job placement assistance and referrals, and many more.
  • You want to actively connect on LinkedIn with your outside connections — former colleagues, friends, family members, neighbors! Set up virtual appointments on Zoom, Cisco Webex, Google Meet, Slack, and virtual happy hour, etc. You want to inform everyone that you are currently job searching and let them know what kinds of jobs you are looking for. They may know of someone who is hiring for what you are looking for and they may end up passing along a lead.
  • Do something different and take free courses that will get you out of your comfort zone. Whatever it is that you are doing, traveling, eating, cooking, working with animals/pets, people, your true passion unfolds.
    • If you can’t discover anything you like, you should consider volunteering although nobody likes to work for zero profit. At a time like this, putting your gifts, talents and skills to help a nonprofit organization really helps many folks figure out what their purposes are.
      • This will lead folks to reflect on their passions and realizing how this experience ignites them, as this is a way of connecting them to their future career paths. Not many think of this, however volunteer experience actually offers you the opportunity to lead, grow and evolve as an individual — whether it is impacting the lives of young people, helping the less fortunate or patients/elderly, will allow you to continue to pave your way forward.
      • Also, volunteer work opens many doors for you! There are individuals that I know who have volunteered throughout their whole life, which has led them into their current leadership roles.
  • Keep in mind that there are many companies that have IT, finance, project management, HR, marketing, public relations, etc. Just because the sector/industry for that position isn’t what you are ideally looking for, this is a good time to still apply to that potential employer. The point is to not overlook them!

We all know that 2020 is undoubtedly a financial and emotional struggle for many college graduates. Many students are struggling to find employment and has also lost their jobs due to the pandemic. This has increased financial stress for students who are paying bills; financially helping their parents/family; paying for their tuition (which resulted in 68% returning to their home, 22% staying off campus, 7% staying on campus, 3% went elsewhere), etc.

According to Student Loan Hero:

However, do not be afraid to ask for help. If you feel that you are struggling with food and housing insecurity, paying for online classes, paying your rent, there are many resources to help you. You may want to look into Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Unemployment Insurance and Emergency Financial Aid.


Additional Resources for NYC and U.S. Residents

  • If you live in the NYC area, there are free meals where meals can be picked up at all Meal Hubs 9:00am to 12:00pm, Monday through Friday. Meal Hubs will operate for children, families and adults.
  • If you live in the NYC area and you, or a friend or family member has a small business that has been impacted by COVID-19, they may want to seek assistance and guidance from NYC Small Business Services. You may apply for emergency loans, like the Paycheck Protection Program as well as requesting financing assistance.

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