My (Anxious) Life After College Graduation: Finding A Job
(Editor’s note: This is the third in a multi-part series by guest blogger Kim Dreese, a 2013 college grad writing about the joys [read: anxieties] of toting her B.A. degree from the graduation stage on into the “real world”.)
Just about every single employer has the absolutely ridiculous requirement that “entry-level” applicants must have at least two years of experience in their field.
Can someone please tell me how students are supposed to find time to get two years of professional experience in their field while attending college full-time and likely holding down at least one part-time job? Even most internships only last for only a semester or the summer.
GOTTA GO TO WORK, GOTTA HAVE A JOB
As a result of this two-year bias, many recent grads are then forced to return to the outstretched arms of crappy retail employers – the employers for whom we’ve been working ever since we were teenagers, folding shirts and harassing customers to buy multiple pairs of underwear.
When I returned home after graduation and became that underwear-sorting, customer-harassing girl once again, I knew that most of my efforts to get a real job were futile.
The Baby Boomers were (and are) clinging to their upper-middle management jobs with their liver-spotted hands, and it might have actually been easier for me to sell my spare kidney on the black market than it was to find an entry-level job.
I think the most frustrating part of the overall job hunt experience has to be the fact that when you send out your carefully prepared cover letter and résumé to a company where you don’t know any of the employees, the chances of you receiving a response from the employer (either positive or negative) is probably around 5-10%.
WEARING OUT OUR EYES
People who have been in your field for years are all fighting tooth and nail to find a job with benefits, and they likely have connections in the business or in the area. Your best chance of actually getting a job is searching down every branch of your family tree to find someone who has a job that’s somewhat related to what you want to do (or even something you don’t want to do) and begging them to get you in.
At least that way you can get two years of experience doing something, and employers won’t toss your application in the circular filing cabinet (a.k.a. the trashcan) quite as quickly.
In my personal experience, I never heard back from 90% of the employers I contacted.
They don’t send rejection letters, and they don’t care that you totally aced your capstone class final. For whatever reason, perhaps because there are always floods of people to choose from who have years of experience, no one wants to deal with a recent graduate.
You will be trapped in a horrible limbo of uncertainty for months, forever ping-ponging back and forth between anxiety and hope.
Photo: Aaron Anderer (Flickr)
(Stay tuned for more from Kim on her own job hunt — and how she landed the job of mediocre daydreams.)
Kim Dreese is a recent graduate of Lycoming College, where she foolishly majored in Creative Writing and minored in Psychology and Media Writing. Her newest hobbies include blogging and complaining about being an adult. She works at a small advertising firm in Wilkes-Barre, PA. You can follow her daily rants on Twitter at @lyco13.
Beretsky, S. (2013). My (Anxious) Life After College Graduation: Finding A Job. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 1, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/panic/2013/07/my-anxious-life-after-college-graduation-finding-a-job/