Today was another day on the grueling search for a job in a small town with an apparently limited set of credentials. I feel so far behind. When I started college, everyone said that it did not matter what you got your degree in as long as you got one. By everyone I mean people who already had jobs that had nothing to do with their degrees, so they were trying to justify this fact by telling others to do the same thing. Naivety is a nuisance. I read an article today that said that students are already having conversations with potential employers when they enter college. I am putting the finishing touches on a Master’s degree, and I have no idea where I can work. So, I’m offering advice from the point of view of hindsight:
1. Plan, plan, plan: select a career that you’re interested in and make a plan to get there. Find out how to become a competitive candidate.
2. Select carefully: While it may seem more appealing to hang out in the courtyard of the Humanities building and talk about Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix, these experiences will not translate onto a resume. Choose coursework that will benefit your future.
3. Look ahead: Research your field of choice to find the current growth rate and the expected growth rate so you do not join a field that will be declining when you enter it.
In the current economic climate, it is already difficult to find a career, so these steps are very important. Of course you want to choose a career that you will enjoy, but it is important to be realistic. Follow these steps and do not end up like me: thirty and jobless.