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.

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  1. Leo Nevoli says:

    Funny you bring this up about just having a degree and getting a job somewhere. I was talking to a guy who is manager of a fast food restaurant. He was telling me that he had gone to college for a criminal justice degree, and when he got out no one would hire him, so he took the job at the restaurant to help him get by while he lived with Mom and Dad. He graduated over 20 years ago. I asked him why he did not pursue a position in criminal justice, and he told me that at the time he was young, and the restaurant began to promote him because out of the people at the place he was the only one with a college degree, even though it was not in business. After a few years, when he was contacted about a criminal justice position, he had to chose between starting new at a place or stay with the restaurant, where he was already moving up the management ladder.

  2. Hal says:

    Alan, you better shape it up, dude. You’re not coming across as a mover and shaker. The CC offered some good advice in my opinion. Here’s hoping that you’re listening when others tell you the same.

  3. NeoConDon says:

    I listen to Triv, and I heard most of the show. I was floored at how apathetic Alan is….He has a political science degree, so he should move to Washington or a large state capital city. If he wants to pursue radio, he should start putting bits together and emailing them to every radio station in the country. In the mean time, he needs to stop complaining. He lives in the country with more opportunity than any other nation on the planet. It’s time to go hunting, kill something and drag it home…

  4. Jane says:

    Kids these days. Alan, need I say more?

  5. That’s very good advice. I will definitely use it once I figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life! 😉

  6. TallElf says:

    There are many reasons this person does not have a job, and his degree is not one of them.

    I myself have 3 degrees, and ended up in a field that does not reflect the degree immediately. That is until I learned the business from the ground up,and now work within the training department.

    It is amazing how the “land of entitlement” has taken over from the other generations who have worked hard for all that they have.

    I could as well go on, but my time this evening is limited, so I will let others post.

  7. MajorLeague09 says:

    I’m so sick and tired of hearing people complain about not being able to find a job. In my previous job, I worked in student loan collections. All day I would hear people give excuse after excuse about how they can’t get a job as I hear the television in the background with some judge or talkshow on. And all I could think about was, why are you home talking to me instead of out looking for a job. When I would ask them if they had applied anywhere they would say a couple places but didn’t seem determined to find a job. Being a bill collector wasn’t my first choice for a job, but it was a job that paid my bills. Like CC said, the first job might not be the one you want, but it will come with a pay check and who knows what other doors that job may open for you. If Alan was serious about finding a job, I would be promoting myself on the air instead of complaining about all of his problems. Who wants to hire someone who is just going to complain about all their problems. Lots of people have student loans, deal with it. I probably understand now why he is still a virgin. If he rants like that about his life on the radio I can only imange what he’s like on a date. Get over yourself and get a job.

  8. Extreme John says:

    Can I fly you out and have you talk to the two associates I offered increased pay and promotions to last week with the inclusion of company cars and cell phones? Maybe you can explain to them to remove their head from their ass, like Alan should do.

    All though sometimes having additional input like above might be the eye opener Alan needs. Are you really doing EVERYTHING you can?

  9. Tristan says:

    To be fair, unemployment among college students is some 30%, but that is no excuse for being a self important bum. If Alan is whining about not being able to find a job now, he’ll be crying in his brown bagged 40 of King Cobra next year when it goes from, “Ew, I’m not working at McDonald’s!” to “I wish there was a McDonald’s around so I could scrub lard out of the fryer for free so they can see what a good working I am…”

  10. NeoConDon says:

    “Workers” will always find work. I’m learning as I meet more people and get older that college degrees are far less important than what we were brainwashed into thinking.

  11. MikeE says:

    I would like to amend NCD’s line of “‘workers’ will work” to “workers will find work others will find excuses.” I see it everyday….

  12. Whatever happened to temp work? I don’t understand why some of these kids don’t go to the temp agencies and at least start making some money. Sometimes once they are in a company they get noticed and hired on. It may not be in their field but right now just working is sometimes enough.

  13. Fabulous says:

    Finding a job is hard….HARD….hard work! Like, seriously hard. But you know what, good things just don’t come along very easily. You have to look for jobs, apply, be persistant.

    My mom and I had this huge discussion about finding a job the minute I finished college. I told her let me plan my engagement party and have it and then I’d find a job in my field (was working at my fiance’s daycare full time). We agreed.

    After my engagement party I immediately got to work. I was looking at websites like Monster and before I knew it, head hunters were contacting me. I had a job within 4 months but do you know how many interviews I went to? How much time I spent doing research on companies that wanted to interview me? How much networking I did…

    It’s a very long process but very well worth it if you apply yourself and know what you want. You can’t apply to any job just because its a job. It has to be what you want or you won’t enjoy it and will be miserable and job hunting again a few months later.

    I love the advice you put forth here! Great stuff.

  14. TallElf says:

    There are plenty of opportunities that are open and available, all you have to do is be willing to roll up your sleeves and not be afraid to try something new. Also, perhaps figure out what you want to do before you go to school in the first place.

    McD’s isn’t bad to work for, and perhaps he should take a look at a “product” that he likes and work for experience and a discount to build motivation. I think he just suffers from “poor me, feel pity because I am whining.”

  15. Jane says:

    Alan, whining won’t get you anywhere, so cut it out. Ha!

  16. Marissa says:

    Alan is just plain LAZY. Which could also explain why he’s still a virgin.

  17. Marissa says:

    No offense to other unemployed virgins out there. 😀

  18. C. Princess says:

    Have you ever seen those Devry Commercials where they kind of give you the illusion that once you graduate from their schools you’ll be living the good life? Several years ago someone from the city graduated from Devry and couldn’t find a job. He was jobless for months and then he tried to sue the school for millions because he said he was promised success and a job upon graduation.

  19. Zig says:

    Marissa, what’s wrong with being a virgin? I thought all women should remain pure, virgins, until their wedding night? You’re one, aren’t you?

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