A College Kid’s Guide to Millennial Job-Hunting

Clock Out of a Job That is Stopping You From Clocking Into Your Future

By Victoria Priola

To the college kids, graduates, and super-super seniors—can you honestly, whole-heartedly, tell me you love your job all the time?

My guess is no. If I’m right, join the club.

A study conducted by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown, reported by Newsweek, revealed that the employment rate for young graduates was the worst around the ages of 21 to 25, with the employment rate for that segment falling from 84 percent in 2000 to 72 percent in 2012.

What are us millennials supposed to do? The practical answer is to stay at the crappy minimum wage job you currently have until you rack up enough cash to move out. But let’s ignore that answer for right now.

What if I told you there was more to life than being underpaid and overworked?

I’m not advising you to quit your job, but if you’ve been wanting to and are afraid of the repercussions, you’re going to have to come up with a better reason.

The first step to getting your rebound job is to beef up your resume. Ask your boss if there are any new responsibilities you can take over that has to do with what you’re studying. If there’s nothing you can do at your actual job to enhance your skills, ask your professors what you should do to prepare yourself for a future job, even if that requires some volunteer work.

The key is to completely immerse yourself in the field of your choice. The more confidence you have in yourself, the more knowledgeable future employers will think you are.

Work until you can actually work, if that makes any sense. Actively looking for a substitute to your minimum wage retail job, while still working there, is making an investment in yourself and your career. You need to have, in the words of T.I, “the spirit of a hustler and the swagger of a college kid.”

Check sites like Jobvite, Indeed,  Ed2010, Jobs2Careers and everyday. Commit an hour or two a day going through the newest listings and putting yourself out there.

Not everyone can have Donald Trump’s small loan of a million dollars as a starting point, but while you’re on your job search, you’ll be surprised with the big buck gigs your education has made you eligible for.

Another important thing to remember when job hunting is to educate yourself. If you’re applying for a job at Cosmo and on the interview you ask them if their magazine is about outer space, you’re basically blacklisted for life.

Apply for jobs at places you actually like. College graduates are young, cheap and impressionable. The first job you get in your field after graduation will not be your most glamorous one, but it’s a step up. At most, it’s just another line on your resume.

You will get rejections, and that’s okay. It happens to the best of us. Most employers will simply not return your emails but some will issue rejection letters.

After you’ve read it once,  trash it.

There are millions of jobs out there, and one of them has your name on it. It just wasn’t that one, or ten. Keep applying and, eventually, you’ll find something.

As a soon-to-be college graduate, I will be damned if I spent four long years, and a crap-ton of money on a degree, to work a $9/hour job that mandates me to ask people, “Paper or plastic?” for the rest of my life. And you should be too.

I truly believe it’s possible to have a job that doesn’t make you want to stab your eyes out with spoons. All it takes is confidence and patience. Hang out with people who want to get in the same field as you.

This will keep you motivated to move forward in your career.

Stay goal-driven and inspired.  You want to write a book? Write the shit out of it. You want to travel?

Make it happen. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re feeling truly miserable where you work.

Like any part of your life, if it’s toxic, get it out. Stop pushing your goals aside and actually take the steps to accomplish them instead of “waiting for the right time.”

There’s no better time to make an investment in yourself than now.


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