Post-College: What You Don’t Want to Hear
There’s something I think we all need to be reminded of every now and again; it’s something as college students we’re all aware of, it’s just never discussed that often, so grab that check and make it payable to reality.
You probably won’t get a decent job when you graduate. In fact, you’ll be lucky if you get a job. There are fewer jobs and more degrees out there now, there’ll be a slow shift in numbers, there used to be more jobs than degrees, but because of increased social mobility and a bad economy yada yada yada….you get where this is going.
You may have to move back home, you may have to go back to waiting tables, you might even get an office job that pays okay, but then again you might not – this is something we all need to be aware of, we aren’t going to be starting out as CEO or Vice President and our start ups aren’t going to be buying out Google any time soon.
Higher-level education is a privilege. It is an opportunity to grow, to come into contact with new ideas and hopefully develop a few novel thoughts of your own. It’s a chance to meet exciting new people of all ages and backgrounds and opinions, it’s the chance to put that thing between your ears to good use – this is not something everyone gets to experience, it should be, but it’s not, remember it’s an experience and a process of growth, but a guaranteed way to land a job.
Don’t be fooled into thinking the world gives a damn about finishing that college course, it doesn’t. At best you’ll have some recognize how much work you’ve put in and that’ll only last a fraction of the second, the rest of the time will be people telling you they have no degree and they get on just fine.
Some people are going to be slightly more employable than others, this is usually down to their degree – a lot of people forget it’s not just about what you’ve learned about a particular area of study, it’s about the transferable skills you’ve (hopefully) built. Research. Time management. Analysis. Fooling people into thinking you’re not hungover and about to vomit all over their shoes.
There are going to be people out there who are better than you, who made smarter choices or managed to land the right sort of internship. There will be people who give better interviews and there will be people who are just lucky. You are one of those people every time you land a job, which will happen, it just may not be what you want or when you want it.
There’s a very real chance you’re going to fall into a mundane job and the idea of participating in archeological digs across the globe or landing on Mars with Astronaut Mike Dexter is going to quickly disappear, this is just a natural consequence of getting comfortable in a job – you know it’s not what you want to really do…but you’ve got a steady income and you don’t hate it (yet). You can always save a little then you can quit and pursue your dreams.
What I’m trying to say is this, be prepared for the harsh reality of graduation, no one gives a shit aside from maybe some close family. You’re now in the real world, competition for jobs is fierce, you aren’t going to be starting straight at the top, but hey, you might not be starting at the bottom either.
This is something we’re all aware of, but every now and then it doesn’t do any harm to have a reality check, sometimes it’s the little kick we need to put in a bit of extra hard work and sometimes it’s just reassuring to know that this is the reality that everyone is going to face.
Don’t feel bad, don’t feel guilty, and don’t feel duped. This is the way or the world, we’ve always known it; we just don’t like to think about it.
About the Author: Graeme Carson is a 25 year old “mature” student studying for an undergraduate BSc (Hons) in psychology at Bournemouth University, England. He is quick to point out that he is not actually English, but Irish or Northern Irish, he isn’t sure and it’s still quite confusing even to him. He has a Macbook Pro and an 80gb iPod which can only actually hold 9gb of music.
Graeme likes science in general, and comics. You can find him on Twitter.