On the way to meet some girlfriends last night in Fairfield I passed a caravan of Fairfield University students heading to Senior Week activities before Commencement this weekend. I remembered fondly that week at my alma mater and at dinner we all wistfully reminisced about our college years and the freedom of those carefree days as coeds.
Turns out we were all lucky enough to have jobs lined up when we graduated. Most of us took the summer off to relax but then headed into the workforce in the fall. Unfortunately, that isn’t necessarily going to be the case for many of this year’s college grads. 2012 grads face a far more uncertain job market than we did not even ten years ago.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think-tank, unemployment for those under 25 stood at 18 percent in Connecticut in 2011. Just 10 years earlier in 2000 that rate was about 5.6 percent. There are a number of reasons for this change which are analyzed at length in the EPI report.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. There are some definite signs of modest growth for this demographic and the market is not as bleak as it has been in recent years. Yet the reality remains that unemployment numbers here in Connecticut remain relatively elevated.
Build up your resume with volunteering
So, what to do about it? Why not get involved with volunteering? We are obviously big fans of volunteering for many, many reasons but you don’t have to just take our word for it. There is plenty to back us up.
First and foremost, you can help your community nonprofits—a sector of the economy that has been hit hard both nationwide and right here in Fairfield County. Despite Fairfield County’s reputation as being a perpetual land of plenty, there is a tremendous amount of need right here in our own backyards.
What’s more, major employment resources like Monster.com extol the virtues of volunteering for building your resume. Professional networking site LinkedIn considers that type of experience so important that they recently added a space on your profile to include your volunteer experiences.
And if this isn’t enough to convince you, Dr. Oz, and countless others, even say it’s good for your health!
We have been hosting free town meetings around Fairfield County over the past month or so introducing folks to VolunteerSquare.com and showing them how the free site can make volunteering a bit easier and a bit more relevant. We have two meetings coming up next week – one in Wilton and one in Greenwich. We hope to see you there. Be sure to stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages for more on upcoming town meetings as well as other news and updates.
If town meetings aren’t your thing, visit us anytime at www.volunteersquare.com to check out some local volunteer opportunities.