I feel the one of the toughest times in a young person’s life is the period between the point they graduate up until they land that first “real” job (i.e. a job related to their interests/studies and which they are proud to have). While you are attending College/University, there is little pressure because you are doing exactly what society says you should do in order to prepare for your future. In this scholarly time, nothing more is really expected of you. Once school ends, however, this abruptly changes and you learn the cold harsh truth that employers are not necessarily valuing you, or your diploma/degree, the way you may have been led to believe.
Maybe I am alone in this view as I have never seen much written about this. Here, however, is a blog entry by Bloomberg’s Megan McArdle (one my favourite business writers) sharing 13 tips for those recent graduates having difficulty landing their first “real” job. Of the 13 tips, I thought 1, 2, 4, 8, 9 and 13 were particularly wise.
This article is great to forward to someone in this unique stage of life, or save for a student whose initial job search is looming. Enjoy.
Excerpt from the article:
Don’t get me wrong, youngsters: I feel your pain. I graduated from business school in 2001. The job I had lined up with a management consulting firm evaporated, with the coup-de-grace delivered just as the MBA Class of 2002 began recruiting. Suddenly I was competing with kids who hadn’t lost a job — and even though the job loss wasn’t my fault (my whole class was laid off), employers didn’t see why they should take a chance on an unemployed person. To make matters worse, I spent a year doing administrative work in a trailer at the World Trade Center disaster recovery site, rather than immediately looking for a new “career” job. To make matters still worse, my previous job had been in the tech industry. There was about a year and a half when I had no idea where I was going to find another full-time job. I began to think I had inadvertently ruined my life. ~~~~~ Eventually, I got a job with the Economist magazine, which I found because of this blog I’d started while working at the World Trade Center. Ten years later, things are pretty much all right. Okay, I got lucky … but you know what? As the Journal article shows, eventually, if you keep moving, you’ll probably get lucky too. So here are some hard-but-hopeful truths for the classes of 2008-13, inclusive: