STUDIO CITY ( — As this year’s college graduates enter the job market there is some good news: their prospects are improving.

For a degree-holding graduate in their 20s, the jobless rate has dropped more than 2% in the last two years.

And certified financial planner Louis Barajas stopped by KCAL9 News Sunday with tips on how those new grads can be their most competitive in today’s job market.

“We have a global economy. People are fighting out there. I wanted to teach the kids how to really make money,” he said.

Barajas uses the acronym C.A.S.H. to outline what 20-somethings should look at as they enter the workforce.

The letters stand for “calling,” “abilities,” “self-mastery” and “heart,” respectively.

“What are you naturally attracted to?” is one question he implores graduates to ask themselves.

Barajas says grads should also ask themselves what are there unique gifts, abilities and talents, which will help them align what they’re attracted to with their skill sets.

“I always call it the ‘American Idol’ syndrome,” he said. “There is a person who says, ‘I have a calling to be an incredible singer!’ And you see them on ‘American Idol’ and they don’t have the abilities,” he explained.

Barajas said often people with natural abilities fail to recognize their own talents, so he suggests those who may be unsure ask a friend or loved one.

Barajas says once that’s accomplished, it’s important to focus on self-mastery, or putting in the time and effort to refine your skill set.

“The last one, which creates longevity for people – what I call the ‘H’ in C.A.S.H. – is heart,” he added.

“Heart is your integrity, your morals, your ethics. [There is] nothing worse than somebody who is so talented, has a lot of stuff – then you see them on the news in jail, right, with a picture of them in jail. Nobody trusts them anymore,” he explained.

“When you really focus on that and you’re sitting out there and you’re competing against somebody else and you have the resume – if you can go through that and share that with the person you’re in front of and interviewing, you’ll stick out, earn more money and have a longtime career in this global and competitive economy.”


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