So despite the fact that I have a job right now, I do have to job hunt as well. My job is an internship that was extended till December to cushion me against the post-Graduate unemployment that strikes so many. It is hard, you know, to job hunt. Especially in today’s job market, where the jobs are limited (when they are not being shipped out to other countries for cheap labor), a freshly-out-of-college youngster like me has trouble.
For one, I would like to say I am intensely grateful to Willamette U, my alma mater, for extending my job through the summer and into December. It is not something all schools would do, nor is it something that all bosses for work-study jobs would do. That is why I am intensely grateful for my boss for extending the ending date for this job beyound what is normally allowed for a graduate (by changing it to a temp position instead of a work-study position). I am blessed that my boss has been very kind to me in so many ways.
And my second point… Job hunting for the recently (college) graduated is difficult. We spent all our lives to that point (at least most of us) doing nearly nothing but studying. Employers look at jobs that one held during the school years and summer, but seem to think that those occupations don’t really qualify as job experience or something. And you know what? We really aren’t trained for the outside world. At my University, at least, our minds are stimulated to think, argue, dissect arguments, debate, and learn. We are not taught to unquestioningly follow orders, do what we are told without exploring, or not offer alternate points of view as seems to be the main goal of the occupational world.
We want to “stick it to the man” and “be different,” but college is really supposed to train the workers of the generations. To mold them into workers, and make them good at it. We go to college because that is what you do. Sure, to further your career, but most of us go because we are expected to, and people are disappointed if you do not finish college. Nowadays, you pretty much need a college degree to get a job that pays more than minimum wage, and those who have experience but not the degree? Well, if they get in and climb that ladder, they are lucky. I know of such cases and think it a wonderful thing. You need the degree, but you also need the experience as well, which is what we lack. Well, in most cases.
I have applied for a variety of occupations in and outside of my field (Environmental Sciences and its subdivisions), most of them are impressed that I graduated, but are looking for people “with more experience.” I have heard this so many times I am ready to scream. Somehow holding down three jobs while in college isn’t enough. Geeze, people… taking other courses, writing a thesis based on my own research, and holding down three jobs isn’t enough experience? At least you can give me points for time-management and multitasking ability, here. That should be valuable in and of itself, right? And the range of jobs held in college isn’t enough, most of them are technology-based and encompass: graphic design, use of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Works, Adobe products ranging from dreamweaver to illustrator to photoshop and more, sound manipulation including Garage Band, Video editing software including iMovie, iDVD, and Final Cut… I am Mac and PC compatible and know how to use both on a regular basis, I can use external hard-drives, most cameras and video cameras, download and upload things to websites and from imaging devices to computers and back again, and create/manage websites. To name a few skills gained in college. Only a few…. That doesn’t even encompass the reading, input/clerical, child-care, educating, event-planning, group-managing, lesson-plan-creating, or heavy-machinery-operating skills of my volunteer work or summer work. Nor the skills I learned in classes.
Nope. None of that is sufficient. I don’t have “work experience.”
Our best bet, I am told, is to go on to Graduate school and spend more money getting educated. Then we will have higher degrees behind our names and people will take us seriously. A person with a Master’s degree is more set. They know a lot more things than us wee earned-a-Bachelor’s-degree people. That makes them more hire-able, despite the fact a few never had to hold a job to get there. And a Ph.D. in almost anything is considered a very important person. I mean, you can even teach at a University! Those people are exceedingly valuable people, you see. They know so much they wrote an entire dissertation on something that may not even be well done. They were able to stick to their goals, tread the arduous path, and get to the Ph.D. level. Congratulations!
You might notice that I use “we” a lot in this post. Well, I am identifying with the people I have recently graduated alongside, and their woes and complaints. It is somewhat presumptive of me, but hopefully you can overlook that. It is, after all, a blog written in my perspective.
In other news, I have been practicing things like ironing my hubby’s shirts and have decided that I am not liking being domestic so much. It is kind of annoying….