Life as an ambitious recession-era college graduate is slightly frightening. In fact, it has the potential to be downright depressing. My classmates and I have been asked since kindergarten what we want to be when we grow up; what's more, we've been told we can be whatever we want to be. Ms. Jaso and Ms. Rice had no way of knowing we would come of age in an economy less stable than a home loan.
Instead of embarking on careers, many of my classmates are taking minimum wage jobs (working in restaurants, doing yardwork, nannying and working retail, to name a few) while figuring out what want to do with their lives, and, once they figure out what they want, running in circles chasing it.
I'm going to graduate school, so the reality of the working world hasn't slammed me yet. Nonetheless, my aunt asked me the other day what career I'm going for, and I still haven't answered her.
"The media" keeps telling us that there are no jobs out there, but we make up some of the media, and we're making our own jobs. With so few stable "career"-type positions, it's a good time to be an innovator and entrepreneur. If you're willing to take risks, there's a lot to be gained.
As for me, I probably won't ever answer my aunt's question. I'm not looking for a career. I'm just living my life.
Read my UCSC-specific article here, and see my colleagues' perspectives here.