Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Graduating to a Job Search

Do you remember when you finished high school and had to look for a summer job?  It was a challenging chapter in a young life.

Fast forward - the 2015 marketplace for newly graduated men and women is like reading a mystery novel.  How will it all end?

My own view is today's job search is tougher than yesterday's was for a number of reasons, starting with the applicant him/herself.  Our youngsters these days are accustomed to having it pretty good, certainly compared with those who experienced periods of economic depression or recession. These decades of economic well-being coupled with changes in society that favor a more “laid back” approach to life make for a powerful incentive to bank the fire in one's belly. Parents, let alone grandparents, simply don't recognize the present when thinking back to their own time when striving for success was part of one's DNA. Only when actually applying for a job does real-world shock set in. Sometimes it can be brutal.

High school years were arguably the best times of our lives.  You were still under the parental roof where room and board came with few if any burdens, including access to the family car if there was one.  Those who enjoyed such a life were fortunate indeed. There were plenty of youngsters who did not have such good fortune but they were largely out of sight to the fortunate ones.

What's going on with job search these days?  The waiting line for almost any job is a long one. In the pack of applicants are those who already have experience or have college degrees, plus there is the new wrinkle of older folks reentering the work force having both of the above.

Do your homework on the company for which you are interviewing. First impressions are vital – firm handshake, eye contact, relate how you made a difference in your academic and part-time jobs. Above all, convey a desire to be part of a winning team.

Good luck, graduates.  Welcome to the real world.