Make the Most Out of Your First Job After College

grocery sample girl in green apron - take a job, any job, after college
grocery sample girl in green apron - take a job, any job, after college

Elizabeth Crowley recently graduated with a master's degree from Villanova University. Her dream job is to be a college teacher. But for the past two years, her job has been as a "crew member" at the supermarket chain Trader Joe's.

Crowley, 27, bags groceries and walks the aisles, asking customers if they need help. It's a far cry from her goal to work in academia, but Crowley is not alone in having a job that's not her desired career path.

In this tough economy, a lot of recent college grads have to settle for jobs they don't want -- if they can find them -- and lower-than-expected salaries. According to a survey last month by CareerBuilder.com., 36% of college graduates wish they had chosen a different college major, and 19% of college grads with jobs have one outside their chosen field.