OK, sure, college graduates have more than just a handful of cheap, mascot plastered t-shirts when they leave the hallowed halls of their respective colleges or universities. They all will walk away with countless memories, a degree of some kind, debt up to their eyeballs and the hopes of a bright future. But, where exactly are they walking away to? Well, a 2011 study shows that a whopping 85% of them will end up back home! (Thus, bringing a whole new meaning to the saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”)
Members of this “boomerang generation,” have been graduating and coming home to nest in their parents’ basements for years. It’s not impossible for these grads to find jobs and move off to a studio apartment and financial freedom, but making the transition from college to full-time employment has been increasingly more difficult. In fact, 53% of the class of 2012 will soon be considered either underemployed or unemployed—that’s the highest that percentage has been in the last 11 years.
Are these twenty-somethings to blame for ending up back where they started? Perhaps. Most likely it’s a combination of real-world jitters, a tough entry-level job market, and “the economy.” Because I’m no psychoanalyst or economist, I’m focusing on culprit number two: a tough entry-level job market.
When I graduated college, I found myself bouncing between seasonal jobs and internships (and, yes, a few relatives’ houses) before finally landing a “real” job. Even though I had held a job nearly every day of my life since I turned 16, I was repeatedly denied entry-level positions because of a “lack of experience.” Wrapping my head around this logic wasn’t easy. How is one to gain said “experience” if one is never given the chance to gain it? But, I digress.
The point is that I was not alone and my situation was far from unique. (Remember, it was me and something like 85% of the others I’d graduated with.) It wasn’t until several years and jobs later, that I came across OneDayOneJob.com. This site was started by 2006 Cornell grad Willie Franzen who “quickly realized how frustrating the job search can be for new grads.” He decided to use that frustration to propel this tool for helping other entry-level job seekers. It’s a pretty simple, no-frills, website, but every day for 1,636 days he’s been highlighting a different US company that has opportunities for entry-level employment. I personally subscribed to his email blasts in 2009, and, as promised, I have faithfully received one every day since. Even though I am happily employed today, I still enjoy reading about other great companies and opportunities out there.
A few months after OneDay began, he started an off-shoot for internship seekers called—you guessed it—OneDayOneInternship. Same concept, but this one gives helpful insight and tools for those seeking that ever so valuable “experience.”
Not only have the OneDay sites helped countless new grads move away from Sofa City, it has also helped employers connect with entry-level applicants around the country. According to their website Franzen now has 8,000+ daily email subscribers, 3,400+ Facebook Fans, 3,600+ Twitter followers, and 90,000+ monthly unique visits.
With such a captive, targeted audience, you’d think that employers with entry-level opportunities or internships would be lining up to be the subject of his daily spotlight—and they are. The trouble is that Franzen doesn’t sell that placement. All companies featured are selected by the editorial team. How do they pick them? Well, we can’t say for sure, but it probably has to do with how positive the employer’s brand image is.
OneDayOneJob is not a recruiting agency. It is not a job search site (though it has that feature). Rather, it is simply a promotional vehicle, introducing young job seekers to great companies. Do yourselves a favor soon-to-be graduates and sign up for daily emails from OneDayOneJob or OneDayOneInternship. You (and your parents) will be very happy that you did!