Coming off the worst month of job losses in 34 years, it's time to consider your options. The job market is awful. Higher education is pricey. So what should you do if you can't get job or if you get laid off? Ask yourself, what would Bill Murray do? My friends, it's time to join the army.
If you haven't seen the movie "Stripes", you're missing out. The premise is pretty simple: Bill Murray, having lost his job, decides to enlist along with his buddy Harold Ramis, hilarity ensues. It's actually not entirely dissimilar from "Ghostbusters."
But in all seriousness, joining the armed forces now makes a lot more sense than it did a year ago. In this economy, you won't just be serving your country, you'll be serving yourself. With the passage of the 2008 GI Bill, you could get close to $30,000 a year worth of tuition payments, book money, and monthly and yearly living allowances if you're willing to serve three years. That's a great way to pay for college. And if you've already graduated, your student loan payments are deferred while you serve. Check out the potential benefits here.
And if you're trying to get into grad school, think about what an edge having spent some time in the army would give you over other applicants, especially if you've spent some time in Mesopotamia or on Afghanistan's plains. And of course, the fact that Barack Obama wants to pull out of Iraq makes the prospect of signing up a lot less dangerous.
- Job Losses Hit 533,000 Last Month, Worst in 34 Years
If that's not enough, you'll also get a solid healthcare plan with dental, thirty days of paid vacation a year (wow!) and the couple friends I have who've joined the army say that boot camp is a wonderful way to get in shape. I'm not trying to be glib about our men and women in uniform, I want to look at something incredibly selfless from a purely selfish perspective. And when you look at it that way, I honestly think that in this tough jobs environment, joining the army is the smart play.
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