Results tagged “economy” from Hawk Talk - Christian

I heard that this is the worst time to graduate... thanks to the faltering economy.

Before I entered the spring semester of my senior year, a growing sense of worry filled my head.  Watching the news, reading newspapers, and visiting info websites about the economy and the job market did not help at all.  I thought in my head... "Will I find a job after graduation?  Will it be tough finding one?"  Luckily for many of my friends, they already had a job lined up from practicums, clinicals, or connections.  I, on the other hand, did not have anything lined up, even when I applied for a few jobs well in advanced.

So as of June 22, 2009, I did not find a job yet and I'm discouraged.  I do like to say that there are a good number of opportunities out there, but what throws me off is this:  "We are looking for someone who already has 3+ years of experience" of something, such as exercise testing, personal training, etc.  Now here is my question.  How can a college graduate get experience for a certain thing if no one will give him/her a shot? 

Ideally, I want to work at a cardiac pulmonary rehabilitation clinic, but the places that I applied to have no responded at all.  The same goes to personal training.  I applied, passed in my transcripts, and waited.  No response.  I plan to call them as soon as I get this blog done to know the status of my application and to see if I should just give up hope on that location.  I hope they are still considering me.

Most people have told me that I'm pretty lucky to still have my retail, blogging, and physical therapy aide jobs, even if their hours are somewhat slim.  There are a bunch of graduates who don't have a job prior to graduating, or had one that sustained the 4 years of college.  One person (who is very famous and known by all in the Boston area) said that we all have to start at the bottom of something, like the bottom rung of a ladder.  We need to grab it and climb it to reach the very top.  It's all up to me to grab on to it and hold it tight, hoping I can climb the ladder.  The whole "ladder climbing" metaphor reminded me of my recent college career.  I was a freshmen at the bottom of the ladder.  I pushed myself hard to climb that ladder.  Now, I'm a UMass Lowell alumni. 

I just need to take that approach and hold on to what I have right now, because one day I will get a shot to climb the ladder.  Like I tell my baseball players, "We need to keep our heads in the game.  Focus and have fun.  It will take you somewhere."

... Dang I need to listen to myself more often (Ha Ha).

- Christian
I had a conversation with my best friend from UMass-Lowell.  We were at a restaurant having something to drink after a long hard day of classes and clinicals.  As we sat there enjoying our drinks and watching Tiger Woods' return to golf, a thought came into our minds:  will we ever get a job after graduation?  My buddy and I were talking about what our degree offers us and how much we're going to make.  So far, from what I heard from current Exercise Physiologists, personal trainers, and others, "the money isn't that great."  Great.  That's great to know.  So what does that mean for us?  If the money isn't that good from our jobs, what are we going to do during this economic crisis?

My buddy and I have decided, like a few of us EPs, to take a year off and find options other than physical therapy that appeals to us.  Some of us found options, such as health management and nursing, but some of us are stuck with the same options that were told to us:  exercise physiologists, personal trainer, strength and conditioning speciailists, or just head to physical therapy school.  Right now I'm stuck at a lull.  I really don't know what I want to do after graduation (that adheres to the current economy).  My plan earlier was to head to physical therapy school... but for some apparent reason my interest towards physical therapy lessen as the years passed.  I tried so hard to force myself to like it because the money is good, but I finally realized that as of now, I'm not ready to head to that direction.  My experiences in the field of physical therapy was not memorable or desired from what I first expected.  I guess that's very unfortunate for me because I've always had that in my radar. But like an enemy bogey flying away from a military base, the idea is just flying away from the center of my radar.

So I don't really know if I'm (sorry for my language) screwed or not.  I just wish I was more motivated to look at graduate schools so I can stay in school (and ultimately keep my loan payments off).  I'm actually regretting not heading back to school next fall.  I just have a feeling that I'm just going to fall in a hole and I won't be able to motivate myself to go back.

Ahhhhhh... I really don't know.  That's my number one concern as a senior - what I want to do after graduation, if I will survive as a "newbie" in this faltering economy, and if I will be happy...

I'm praying.  Praying really hard for an answer.

- Christian 
Oh no baby.
Why is everything going away?
Oh no baby.
Why is everything dying this way?
I don't see the dollar flowing.
I don't see my sorrows flying away...


Ha!  Do you like my cool, depressing blues babble?  Sure, it may sound cool and straight from the cold, lonely, heart, but millions of jobless Americans are playing "the blues" after watching the economy free fall to the abyss.  From the stores of the Square One Mall in Saugus, MA to the wealthy Newbury St. in Boston, everyone is feeling the burn of the dying economy.  With rents skyrocketing and the lack of sales and customers, many businesses have ultimately decided to end their ways and liquidate what they have left to pay their creditors.  Stores such as Circuit City, Linen n' Things, Kaybee, Filene's Basement, and Macy's have taken this "final resort."  Other corporations are also laying off administrative staff to compensate with the lack of funding.

What does this mean for the people?  Some would think of liquidation sales, where retail prices are reduced at a certain percentage.  That is a bargain hunter's dream, since many would save money buying that wide screen T.V. or something like that.  While that might be the case, many would think of this word:  unemployment.  Without any type of income, many are struggling to find ways to pay for their car, house, rents, and other types of bills.  Finding another job after getting laid off is very difficult.  Like I mentioned before, many companies are laying off people and reducing the number of job openings.  That leaves the jobless in an even bigger hole.  I'm fortunate enough to have three paying jobs - blogging, retail, and a physical therapy office.  Even though I don't work enough hours because of classes, I still get enough income to pay for bills, gas, food, and other stuff.

Another thing I'm happy about is the field I'm planning to work in.  As all of you know, I'm an Exercise Physiology major.  For most, if not all, health and medical jobs are always in high demand, especially for doctors and nurses.  With a high demand for health professionals, finding a job won't be as difficult than finding a retail job for a major corporation.  Plus, the pay is better too.  The bottom line is that if you stay in school and get a degree, most likely you'll find a better job that's in high demand. 

But for now, the A-minor pentatonic scale blues will echo through heartland of America. 

Oh baby, will there ever be a cure
For my heartbreak blues?

Christian
 



I want to straight out say that I'm glad that my coworkers and I survived the 2008 Holiday Season.  The malls were crowded - the checkout lines were long - customers went nuts when things don't go their way - tons of money being dropped for that special person/people (and I'm proud to say that was not me).

But throughout the enormous two-month war between the customer and the store, the 2008 Holiday Season was not as busy as years before.  A few years ago, retail stores would be busy majority of the time.  In the news, I would read/watch stuff about customers fighting it out for that one product, waiting in line for hours, creating illegal parking spaces, and other weird yet comical things.  But this year seems different.  Most of the time my store would experience pockets of quietness then a few short bursts of accumulating crowds.  The parking lots were not as full as before, and the frequency of a "sold-out" parking lot was relatively low.  Customers would "pick away" or buy their series of presents in small amounts than the large, one-time shopping buyout.  Seriously, the economy definitely affected everyone from retail stores to customers.

Sure, it was still a stressful season since those rushes were overwhelming with needy customers.  But overall, I did feel the effects of the economic crisis - from the low turn-out of customers to the lack of sales.  Funny enough, the economy affected the company so bad that they ended up "clearancing" all of their Christmas products two days before Christmas started.  I've never seen anything like that before.  From what I've heard from the news, retail sales went down a miserable 5 - 10% during the shopping season.  Think about it.  Let's say your store makes $1,000,000 during that period, and you're sales went down 10%?  You pretty much lost $100,000 of your profit.   That's a ton of money!!

Now retail stores are cleaning up the mess and saving more money with a employee or hour cuts, which is pretty much hurting me right now.  With the new semester around the corner and bills piling up, money is tight and I need the hours to buy new books and stuff from clinicals.

Hmmm...  I'm hoping that President-elect Barrack Obama can change things around and save this economy.


- Christian   

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