Alright, You Have a Degree. Now What?
Growing up, we’re always told to go to college. You want a nice house? Cool, go to college. You want a good job? Perfect, go to college. While that is great advice, and advice that I will share with my future children, we’re in a time where simply “going to college” guarantees you nothing.
Now to be clear, I fully understand that there’s so much more you should do than just enroll in college and fulfill the bare minimum requirements it takes to receive your degree. You should be networking, interning, completing assignments on time, etc. Nobody deserves a job just because they went to college. And that’s why “millennials” are being dubbed the generation that expects everything to be handed to them.
I can’t speak for all millennials, there are some who may think the world owes them something just because they were handed a piece of paper after four years of staying just sober enough to be awake for their 8am classes. What I can do, is speak on my personal experience.
I’ve never thought the world owes me anything. The world owes me nothing. I need to make things happen for myself. Which is why I did everything in my power to learn, create a network, intern at different companies, and stay involved within my department to make myself an appealing job candidate once I graduated.
But something happened after I received my degree. Well by something, I mean nothing. Nothing happened. No emails, no phone calls, no recruiters contacting me about new job opportunities. My entire network went dark. I was devastated. I thought back to my time in college and wondered “what went wrong?” I’m not the smartest guy, so I studied harder. I graduated with honors, something my 15-year old self would have thought was impossible. I had connections at companies, I had unique work experiences at the college level, so why couldn’t I get a job in my field?
There’s no easy way to answer that question. Truth is, that’s just reality. I’m not the only recent grad who had a tough time finding a job after college. I’m one out of a million young adults who struggled or are still struggling to find out what the hell they’re doing in life.
If I can offer some advice to anyone taking the time to read this, fellow millennials, and Gen Z, it’s to not get down or compare yourself to others. Someone might graduate and go work for their parent’s business, good for them. Some may find their dream job right away, while others might look like they have the perfect job but actually hate every minute of it. The key is to keep your head up and do your thing. If you find something you enjoy, go do that. Stay connected with any references you’ve made throughout high school and college, be involved in industries that have meaning to you, apply for jobs you’re interested in, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. People in your field were once in your shoes, so never hesitate to reach out for guidance or insight.
Your dream job will come, it just takes time.