Life after graduation is not easy; it is filled with uncertainty. Graduates entering the job market now have to be adaptable and willing to take risks, they have to be fast at taking opportunities and willing to really search for them. They have to accumulate limitless skills to make them stand out from the other applicants and gain about five years of experience while undergoing their undergrad for an entry-level job.
It is a tough world out there, but it is not impossible.
You have to be willing to fight for the success you want. You have to be willing to alter your path and be flexible in order to gain experience. You have to be efficient and decisive. You have to follow your instincts. That is what it takes to make a career at this point.
Undergraduate degrees are pretty much mandatory, but that doesn’t make them less valuable. Employers want them because of the skills students develop from undergoing a hardcore education and surviving high levels of stress. However, your undergraduate degree is worth the value you assign to it and you have to be able to see it.
Graduates make difficult choices between steady work and continuing their education. When you have your foot in the door, you do not want to remove yourself from the running but you also don’t want to be stagnated. Education beyond undergrad is increasingly important, especially when it comes to landing one of those top tier and stable positions. Sacrifices are made in order to achieve those goals; there is always someone in line to replace the next employee that tries to go off to add to their education. Employers are increasingly inflexible to make accommodations around schooling.
Success as a post-grad comes from being a risk-taker. Success is having the ability to make difficult decisions without seeing immediate pay-off, it is living with your parents in order to make things happen or to reduce debt, it is eating ramen four times a week, it is taking on two part-time jobs to try to start climbing the corporate ladder. It is living in uncertainty and being okay with that.
There is tremendous value in taking on new employees that are members of this new “era” of graduates. These new graduates have true flexibility, understand that a lot of the positions they get will not be permanent; they have the willingness to put in the hours in order to build for a future. It is our job as new graduates to recognize the value that still exists in our degrees, the value that still exists in pursuing what is right for us whether that be through work experience or furthering our education. We have to be willing to make those difficult choices in order to pave the way for ourselves and understand the importance of taking risks. Oprah’s empire was not built overnight; it takes diligence, intelligence (of every nature) and the ability to evaluate the risks and the different rewards that will come from every possibility.
We can be successful in this market; it just will take a little more work.