For university students who are set to graduate this year, the coronavirus pandemic is adding an extra dimension of anxiety: Just how drastically will the course of their adulthood be changed by the pandemic? Many internships have been rescinded, and job offers might be nonexistent or on shaky ground. A recent study of about 800 university students found that about three quarters had their jobs cancelled, turned remote, or delayed. It’s not just the short-term after graduation that has them worried, though — the aftershocks of an economic upheaval of this magnitude can cast a long shadow.
Following the 2008 recession, there was an era of financial instability and career insecurity for young people. People who graduated college then are typically in their early- to mid-30s now, and for over a decade they’ve been dogged by article after article measuring up all the ways millennials are financially lagging — why they’re not owning homes or starting families until much later in life, why so many of them left home much later in life, and maybe if they stopped buying lattes, they’d be in a better position.
There’s no doubt that the economic fallout of the pandemic will be unprecedented, but who better to offer some insight for Gen Zers than the millennials who’ve been through a recession already? Ahead, we spoke to 5 millennials who entered the job market during the Great Recession, and asked what advice they can offer college grads right now.