The University of Southern Mississippi class of 2015 will say farewell to college life in exactly one month and six days.
Forbes Magazine reported that in June of 2013, 44 percent of college graduates were unemployed. That is 9 percent more than the number of unemployed graduates reported in 2008.
As if those statistics are not discouraging enough, many women across the country are finding it significantly more difficult for them to lock down a job post-graduation compared to their male colleagues.
In August 2014, Bloomberg Business reported that 52 percent of female business majors who graduated this year had been offered a job by January, compared with 57 percent of male students.
Bloomberg Business also studied other industries and discovered very few jobs that had a higher rate of accepting recent female graduates over recent male graduates.
Rachel Elahee is a leading psychologist and certified professional coach. She is also the author of the book “Choose You,” which focuses on teaching women ways to combat inequality and lack of confidence in the workforce, especially when searching for a job.
“‘Choose You’ is a quick reminder of ways you can choose you, and ways you can put yourself first,” she said. “You are not likely to find new information in ‘Choose You’ but it’s a nice reminder of where you have gotten off track and how to get back on track.”
Through research, Elahee has found that many women will not seek out a job opportunity if they do not fit all of the hiring criteria, whereas men are more willing to take a chance and pursue a job opportunity even if they only meet two or three of the criteria.
“They are more likely to take the risk, take the plunge and jump in,” Elahee said. “(Women) need to be more aggressive in our searches.”
Senior Sophie Saizzon will graduate in May with degrees in both special education and elementary education.
“Since I am getting a degree in both special education and elementary education my job search has been pretty successful,” she said.
As for a comparison between her job search success and the success of her male colleagues, she has not seen much of a difference.
“There is a constant need for teachers so I have found that a lot of my friends both males and females have been pretty successful,” Saizzon said.
Senior Megan Fink is also graduating in May, with degrees in both political science and journalism.
“I’m trying to work for the government,” she said. “So I have the stress of not knowing whether my dream job will pan out for months at a time.”
Like Saizzon, Fink does not feel as though being a woman is holding her back from finding a job after graduation.
“I haven’t gotten into the interview process to know about specific attitudes of people,” she said. “But I really don’t expect to be discriminated against in my line of work.”
Though many USM students, both male and female, are having an increasing amount of luck when it comes to finding a job after graduation,
many are not.
As for women, Elahee suggests over 100 ways to build self-confidence and increase aggressiveness in the hunt for a job.
She suggested that her readers have a strong support system, but that they do not let that support system dictate what they do with their lives.
“It’s called the ‘your life is not a democracy’ strategy,” Elahee said. “Nobody has a vote in your life unless you give it to them.”
For more information on Elahee and “Choose You,” visit drelahee.com.