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Six Opportunities for Young Adults in a Tough Economy

Our tough economy does have opportunities for young people just graduating or seeking that first real job.

How do I know?

I was twenty-something during the last bad economy. My friends and I struggled to find our way, sometimes to find ANY job, let alone THE job for which we had trained or hoped to get. Our struggles when we were young prepared us for future business successes.

  1. Stretch dollars.As you learn to cut costs in real life and on the job, you develop skills for a lifetime. I have been on my own since I was 18 years old and don’t regret my early struggles – not even the months I couch-surfed with friends or the times when I completely ran out of food the day before payday.
  2. Work harder.Even in a tough economy, I see young people who don’t put their all into the jobs they have. They don’t worry about the profit of their employers. I know business owners who would love to hire people right now: prerequisite – willingness to work hard and well on the job. If you become known as a hard worker, opportunities will present themselves.
  3. Improve customer service.Providing the best customer service ever is going to mark the winners from losers in our new economy. Be the front line worker who goes above and beyond for every customer. If your employer doesn’t notice it, someone else might. Even if they don’t, you’re developing skills for a lifetime.
  4. Take unexpected paths.So the dream job isn’t there. What jobs are? What can you do to build that job into your dream job? What skills can you learn to prepare yourself when the dream job opportunities appear? Where do you need to be – physically, mentally, and emotionally – so you are in place when the dream opportunity happens?
  5. Learn from every opportunity.I learned my first customer service lessons on a paper route when I was 10 years old. No matter what the job I held – cashier, waitress, secretary, sales clerk, teacher, or analyst – I learned from them all and draw on those lessons daily.
  6. Think success. Surround yourself with highly motivated friends willing to work hard and do well. The more time you spend with people working to gain their dreams, the more likely you are to achieve your own. 

Just remember most business opportunities are born from an idea, are wrapped with sweat, and tied with elbow grease.


Mary Biever is a wife, mother of two teens, and computer coach.


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