My career backup plans…
As you may or may not know, I am actively searching for a full time job. I will be graduating with a degree in plastics engineering this December. I’m sure you are all aware of the weak economy, and I am starting to see how tough the job market really is. I have spent the entire month of August applying for full time careers in engineering. I know it has only been a month, but I have applied for approximately 25 jobs at 21 different companies. I still have not even received an interview.
For this reason, I am starting to consider my options if I cannot find a job right after graduation.
Plan A: My first choice is to start my career by finding a full time career in engineering. I know it takes more than just saying that I want one. I have continually increased my efforts towards my job searching. I continually update my resume, joined CareerBuilder and Monster, send cover letters with all of my applications, follow up on my applications, and I market myself as much as possible. This includes talking to all of my professors, classmates, and all of the professional contacts I have made in my career.
Plan B: Try to get funding for full time graduate studies. For a long time this was my first choice, however things have gotten more difficult. The funding for graduate students at Umass Lowell has been reduced this past year. You used to be able to get tuition waived if you got a job as a teaching assistant or a research assistant. They call these half TA’s and half RA’s. To get tuition waived now, you need to get a full TA, full RA, or half TA-half RA. This obviously makes things harder for me.
Plan C: Settle for an internship. Several of my classmates are working internships with bachelor’s degrees. It is experience towards your career, but there are several downsides. The pay is lower, there are usually no benefits, and you are first on the cutting board when the company isn’t doing well. I would want to try and get an internship in a large company that would give me a maximum chance to get a full time position.
Plan D: Sign up for the armed forces. I am not very warm to this idea right now, since I went to college to avoid this in the first place. But the idea seems more and more logical as time goes on. When no one is hiring, Uncle Sam is. I believe if I studied hard and scored high on the ASVAB, I could get a job in research and development or engineering. This could work out well for me, since it has been one of my career interests to get into defense systems or aerospace engineering.
With school starting this week, I am hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst. If I can’t accomplish Plan A, or Plan B by December, I am going to move onto Plan C. I might wait up to a year for Plan D, because I will be able to open myself up to more jobs once my apartment’s lease is up. Regardless of what happens, I will try my best to stay positive.
Enjoy your first week back at school. Good luck!