A Sense of Entitlement
September 2, 2009 by admncc
I was listening to Mike Trivisonno’s radio show after work yesterday and it really got me riled up. Triv does his job and listeners often feel compelled to respond, discuss and debate topics with him. But instead of taking issue with him yesterday, I took issue with his guest, Alan, a former intern of his.
According to what he said on the air, here is Alan’s story in a nutshell. He graduated from Bowling Green State University. He owes $60,000 in student loans. He can’t pay the university and he can’t find a job. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science with a focus in American Government. He also has a minor in telecommunications with a focus on radio. He was in a fraternity and oh, wait, he’s also a virgin.
Based on Alan’s above-summary, as I’m sure you can imagine, a number of different discussions generated. But I mainly honed in on this guy’s complaint about not being able to find a job. He says he has applied for jobs, but can’t seem to find one. He even made a dumb comment about some advice he was given – something to the effect of – you can find a job in any field as long as you have a college degree. Alan also struggled when questioned as far as what he’d done, where he’d applied, what kind of job he was looking for, etc.
OK, Alan, let me give you some helpful advice. Since I’ve consulted in Human Resources, Risk Management and Recruiting for more than 12 years, plus teach a course to graduating college seniors, I think I can speak on this topic.
- While I agree that a degree in general is helpful in many instances, you really should have been thinking about what you wanted to do before you graduated. I had my first job six months before I graduated from college. I realize everyone can’t say that, but if you’re really pounding the pavement looking for a job early, you’re off to a good start.
- Second, use your resources. You mentioned a fraternity. Have you called every single one of your fraternity brothers? Have you reached out to their alumni group? If it’s a national fraternity, even better…
- Where have you applied? Do you know what you want to do? Finding a job is a lot easier when you already have one. Your first job may not be your favorite one, but it’s a start. Other jobs want experience. How do you get that experience? By working! Too many college graduates want to get hired at a Fortune 500 company, get three weeks of vacation and earn $60,000 per year. In most cases, it doesn’t work that way. You don’t have to start all the way at the bottom like many before us, but there’s something to say about a little hard work while you gain some valuable experience.
- Where are you looking for your job? Use traditional resources like trade magazines, radio, TV and newspaper ads. Plus use more modern methods, like the Internet, job fairs, employment agencies or social events.
- Know who is hiring. A lot of places are cutting, but certain industries are still thriving. Do your research. Look at the Federal Government for example. USAJobs.gov is flooded with vacancies in many different areas.
- Your full-time job should be looking for a job. You should send out a minimum of 20 resumes (or file 20 applications) every single day. Do not let up, even if you start getting interviews.
- Evaluate the job or experience you’re looking at as opposed to the company’s name or what you think their reputation is. And don’t feel compelled to accept the first job offer you receive.
- Have someone look at and critique your resume. I can’t tell you how embarrassing the resumes of some graduating seniors look. For example, use a professional e-mail screen name and offer multiple ways for employers to reach you. And be detailed when you describe what work experiences you have had.
- Understand competency-based interviewing. That’s the new rage. For example, instead of telling us what you would do, tell us what you did do. And if you haven’t done it, then tell us what you would do.
- Unfortunately, most college career service offices are a joke, but I’d still say visit yours as an alumnus and see what leads you can generate there.
- Finally, network, network, network. Talking to Triv was a good start, but instead of whining about how much you owe and the fact that you’re a virgin, it’s time to get more serious. If you’d stop to think about how many places you could network, it’s almost silly. OK, I’ll name 10 in ten seconds just to prove a point: the gym, bank, bar, church, employment agency, temp service, grocery store, library, civic group or job fair. I have a list of over 100 – contact me if you’d like to see it.
I’m just using Alan as an example and it was pretty easy. It’s not all-inclusive, but until you’ve exhausted that list (just for starters), I don’t want to hear anyone say that they can’t find a job.