One of our staff members told us that he’d listened to a number of sad conversations over the weekend. His friends told him that there are no jobs for college graduates – most have plans to live with their parents for several months until the job market recovers.

Another of our career counselors heard this lament: “There are no Santa Barbara jobs on Craigslist.” The career counselor decided to check it out, and found dozens of interesting jobs including fashion photographer, human resource recruiter and a sportswriter for a small local paper (you couldn’t live on what this job pays, but what a great foot-in-the-door for a career in sports writing). No jobs on Craigslist?

Career Services manages GauchoLink, UCSB’s job-listing service for students. We have averaged one incoming job or internship every hour over the past few weeks. We would expect to see dozens, or even a hundred students applying to some of the great jobs we have listed, yet we are seeing single digits. Often, fewer than a dozen students even view the new jobs. What are UCSB students thinking?

If what you are thinking is that you’re going to graduate and get a job as a CEO of a major multinational company, then yes, you should probably plan to live at home with your parents for a few months. Or years. But if you keep your options open and understand that you can take a job like sports writing for a small-town paper and build that into a great career in sports media or marketing, then there are many doors open right now. Today.

Every year we present a series of workshops called “Careers In…” where we invite professionals in a wide range of fields to talk to you about their careers. We usually average 40-60 students per session, and these students not only learn about the fields discussed, but also leave with invaluable contacts in those fields. This year we’re averaging 30-40 students per session. Why? It’s because you’re being duped into believing that this job market will defeat you, so what’s the point in learning about careers.

Is the market tough right now? You bet! Does that mean there are no jobs? Obviously not.

We learned recently that the federal government is looking to hire a half a million people. Do you know where they are hiring the most? You guessed it: California.

In three weeks you’ll be walking across that stage having succeeded at one of the best schools in the country. We implore you: Do not go back to your parents’ house and sit on the couch “until the job market recovers.” Go out there and find a job, or an internship, or even a volunteer position. There is no shame in starting at the bottom, but plenty of shame in not starting at all. Get out there and turn whatever you find into the first step in your career.