Generation R: Regrets? They Have a Few
They're called "Generation R" which stands for 'Recession,' but it could also stand for 'Regrets.' The category includes those who have graduated college between 2006-2010, and the vast majority (71 percent) of them wish they would have done something differently while in college to better prepare for the job market, according to new research from Adecco Staffing U.S.
According to the survey, Generation R graduates specifically indicated they wished they had started their job search earlier (26 percent), spent more time networking (29 percent), and / or applied for more jobs (26 percent) prior to graduation. In essence, those graduating during the recession regretted not using the time they had while in college to position themselves better to seek and secure full-time employment in their chosen fields.
Though many did eventually find full-time employment during the downturn, the survey results showed that it was frequently not in positions that required a college degree. In fact, almost half (43 percent) of these Generation R graduates are currently working at a job that does not require a four-year degree.
Joyce Russell, EVP and president of Adecco Staffing U.S. says, "The best piece of advice for the graduating class of 2011 is to treat their job search as if it were a full-time job. The students who succeed are those who proactively put themselves out there and build relationships by networking with professors, working closely with university career centers, actively connecting with alumni, and capitalizing on real-world job experience through internships and temporary work."
The study also found that:
Temporary Work Provided Options to Recent Graduates Throughout the Recession: 19 percent of all Generation R undergraduates turned to temporary jobs within six months of graduation. Within six months of graduation 26 percent of 2010 graduates and 25 percent of 2008 graduates turned to temporary work for employment.
Moving Back In with Mom and Dad, Back on Their Dime: One-third (33 percent) of all Generation R grads -- from the classes of 2006-2010 collectively -- currently live at home with their parents. But it doesn't stop there: nearly one-fifth (17 percent) of these recent graduates are financially dependent on their parents.
College Graduates Have Bleak Outlook for Retirement: Only 19 percent of Generation R graduates believe Social Security will still exist by the time they retire. More troubling is that only 46 percent believe their personal savings plans will be sufficient to fund their retirement. Additionally, 26 percent of Generation R graduates don't believe they'll be able to retire until they are 70 years old or older.
But there is hope. 2011 graduates are much more realistic than those who finished school during the height of the recession, according to the study. "Today's job environment for graduating seniors is very different from just five years ago," said Russell. "Today's graduates are smarter and much savvier about their job search process. They are more aggressive, with many starting the search much sooner and expanding on every advantage and opportunity, including temporary work experience. The future is bright for the class of 2011, if they look to the lessons of the graduates who came before them."
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Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want. Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets. Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.