There are no unworthy jobs as a recent grad

Students should be prepared to kiss their dream jobs goodbye until they earn more experience

We wait three or four long years to receive our diplomas, eager to launch into the professional world and to start finding satisfying careers.

Unfortunately, though, it’s not always that simple, even though the National Association of Colleges and Employers estimated that 2016 graduates are five percent more likely to be hired than in previous years.

According to AfterCollege, 83 percent of college students don't have a job lined up before graduation. That means a majority of graduates are forced to find part or full-time jobs or internships, sometimes unrelated to their degrees, that will hopefully help them climb the ladder.

Many students are dissatisfied with those options and wonder why they should waste their time in college to not even be guaranteed a job after graduation, but what they fail to see is that in this economy and workforce, you can’t expect anything to be handed to you.

There is no job that is too far below you as a post-graduate in regards to your field, within reason.

Yes, we spend excessive amounts of money on a degree — an average of $50,000 for a bachelor's — and should have our pick of positions if we’ve worked hard enough. Unfortunately, the workforce isn’t always fair or kind to recent grads.

For many grads launching into large fields like marketing, accounting or the medical field, it’s not uncommon to have a “stepping stone” job between your college experience and your desired career.

It's often necessary to take jobs you don't want to help you eventually get the job you do want, per se. More often now we're seeing employers desire more from new hires and recent graduates in terms of knowledge and expertise in their field, and you just won't find that with someone who hasn't been in it for very long.

Olivia Ricks, an interdisciplinary studies major and 2016 ASU graduate, said she only expected to have a job straight out of college because she had work experience with a company that had expressed interest in hiring her immediately.

"If that wasn't the case, I don't know if I would've expected to have a job right away," Ricks said. "I think that it's smart for students to be picky for a "career job" because that is something that you're going to be working at for a long time to earn status and build your way up."

Ricks said she didn't think students should settle necessarily because they attended school for four years in preparation for their careers but that there are too many stories of people who got stuck in a job they hated. 

"If it's just a job to get some money while you search for the job you really want, then you might have to take what you can get," Ricks said.

There's something to say about students feeling "obligated" to take jobs because of pressure from family members or friends who have already entered the workforce. But if you know you have the skills, take a job or internship that capitalizes on them, even if it isn't the one you've always dreamed of.

It's all about humbling yourself. Too often, we're focused on what the world has to offer us rather than what we have to offer the world.

It can be difficult to be turned down by potential employers when you know how hard you've worked for the experience you already have, but you have to be prepared to take that in stride. Always keep an open mind, because you never know what you might learn when you're put in a situation you didn't expect to be in.

Your career might start the moment you toss your cap, but that doesn't mean it'll be easy.


Reach the columnist at sphaas@asu.edu  or follow @_SavannahHaas on Twitter.

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