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I recently discovered that the majority of internships I post on my website go unfilled each semester. This Fall, I offered a free 9 webinar series to students with only three students participating throughout the entire 9 weeks. Even companies who visited campus offering interviews in our library, had their majority of interview slots left empty. Students resist choosing majors they are truly interested in because they “won’t make very much money”. I can remember only two student in the past year who truly showed passion for what he/she was studying or pursuing. Yet students leave college with the expectation that they are entitled to be hired and paid substantial amounts of money.
OK, I remember being that age and holding some unrealistic expectations, so I will give my students a break. However, I believe it is time for me to stop this insanity and let my students know the cold, hard facts (CHF) of what it takes to be employable these days.
CHF #1: It’s not about grades, it’s about experience: Good grades demonstrate your work ethic, commitment and intelligence. However, your out of classroom experiences are what develop your employable skills. Never pass up an opportunity!
CHF #2: If you don’t know what you want to do, get off your butt and find out!: Read up on careers, job shadow professions you are curious about and participate in clubs, activities and organizations that interest you. This is the only way to build interest, skill and passion for what you want to pursue.
CHF #3: It’s not about money, it’s about passion: Sure, Pharmacy, Engineering and Medicine earn some high salaries-but, do you like these majors? Stop allowing your parents and/or others to make your decisions for you. Grow a backbone and choose your own path. Passion is truly worth it’s weight in gold and you will be much happier being passionate in your work than going through the motions to earn a higher salary.
CHF#4: You have to start somewhere and it’s NOT going to be at the top: Brand new college graduates are not entitled to higher level positions. You haven’t earned them yet. So, start at the beginning, do some hard work and earn your way to the next level. You may be surprised at how quickly it happens when you have passion and drive for your career.
CHF#5: It takes a lot of work and effort to obtain a job: Posting your mediocre resume on a high profile job search site will get you nowhere! You have to go out and earn your job offers. This takes effort, time and old fashioned hard work. You have to go out and meet people, demonstrate your professional abilities, build a professional reputation and let others know what you have to offer. Your resume is not special enough to get a response on line.