In less than a month and a half I will have a degree from a four year university. In less than a month I will be expected to have a “real” job, not some serving job. In less than a month I will be contemplating taking the first job offered to me. Is that the best way to go? In this economy, should new graduates take what they can get?
I recently applied for a job that I know I can do but not that I necessarily want to do. It basically entails cold calling to get businesses interested in advertising on a web site. How hard can it be, right? The thing is, I want to do something I’m passionate about and still get paid. Crazy idea in this job market, I know. I was contacted by the company to do a ten-minute telephone interview in order to start on April 19th. That was great except for the fact that I don’t graduate until May. So they put me on their potential June applicants list. Perfect, if they call me back.
When I spoke to my father about this situation he said that I should take what I can get right now but keep looking. I’d like to know where all of these fabulous entry level public relations positions are hiding. I haven’t seen one job posting that isn’t for an unpaid internship or a position that requires 5-10 years of experience. The only way to get experience is to be hired in an entry level position.
In a New York Times article from about a year ago, it highlights the fact that yes many people are losing their jobs but many people (although not as many) are being hired too. According to the article, “4.8 million workers were laid off or chose to leave their jobs in February,” but “employers across the country hired 4.3 million workers that month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” If that was only a year ago and the economy has allegedly improved since then, shouldn’t the job market be better than it is? I’m afraid that I will end up like the rest of the almost 30 year old servers at my restaurant with a degree. Serving is not a career and I am not about to make it one.
The only option is to not only continue looking for a job, but to also brand myself. I want to stand out from the rest of the people applying for the same exact job as I am. In an article on examiner.com, Mark Lyden, a college recruiter, says to “go back to basics”. Go in to career services and get help with your interview skill and resume even if you think they are perfect. There might be something you could do better. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose. So let’s get out there, search a little harder and apply to more jobs. Eventually, something will turn up. Hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.