Articles like this (read it) get passed around like wildfire. The short of it: we’re called “generation limbo” because we are not getting full-time jobs, and we like kickin’ around our parents basement post-graduation. But what I hate about these generational trend articles is that Middlebury students read it and think: That could be me.
In this case, “that could be me”-syndrome results in a variety of responses: 1) That could be me and that terrifies me, so I’m going to work tirelessly to prove the statistic wrong, or 2) That could be me and that’s great because I eschew taking on a traditional career, or 3) That could be me because I don’t really want to think about it and I’ll play it by ear.
Any way you cut it, “that could be me”-syndrome makes you draw some serious lines in the sand for those figuring out what they want to do after Middlebury. It negatively sets you up to accept your preconceived notions about the job search and use those notions as a starting point. By projecting yourself onto what you’re reading and hearing about the job search (not just in the popular press but also from friends/family), you change the way you think. Read more
I got started writing about career/jobs last year with this post. To summarize, my point was that students spend far too much time on their resumes and not enough time working the phones, making real progress, and treating the job hunt with the seriousness and organization of a 5th class. The same applies this year. And at the beginning of the school year, it’s particularly easy to be plagued with information overload: your head is swimming with semester due dates, used book costs, new Proctor crushes, whatever it is. Simultaneously, the spring and graduation seem distant, so it’s easy to procrastinate because there is no immediate consequence. And the job search takes a backseat.
Make no mistake: this is a problem. By the time you’ve returned your attention to the job search, it’ll be November. To combat this, seniors get the pleasure of going to the Career Services’ “senior meeting” (Sept. 20th, FYI) where you get slapped upside the head with statistics from last years’ class, recruiting info, resumania, mojo, senior blog, etc. For half of you, the meeting will add to your anxiety. For the other half, you’ll dismiss it as unhelpful, and it will still add to your anxiety. Nevertheless, the goal of the meeting is to jump start seniors’ job search with force. They will tell you: do not let this sit on the backburner. But the reality of the senior meeting is that it is a cram session of information, and there is no way you’re going to do all you need to do because of one meeting. Read more
So what if commencement was two weeks ago? It’s advice season on the Internet. Everyone picks the end of May and early June to dish their pearls of advice career-related or not. But instead of fighting it, I welcome the deluge of wisdom both good, bad and mediocre. I encourage you to consider this an open thread in the comments: what advice would you give to the class of 2011 at Middlebury? Read more
flickr / halaita
Networking has got a bad rap. You know this because you can just feel the sleaziness of it. I’m sucking up to so-and-so to get a job. You feel like the brown-noser you always hated.
I’m here to speak out on this. Networking is not sleazy if you don’t think about it as trying to weasel your way into a job. I’m not, however, the first person to try to convince you to reframe how you think about it. So maybe reframing your mindset is not enough. I say just throw the word “networking” out. If you feel bad about it, you’re never going to do it, and networking has long lost its usefulness as a word. I’d argue there is a significant psychological block to networking for a lot of people, so just forget it.
Instead, let’s reconnect to where my last two posts leave off. You’ve first gathered your passions and skills and then curated memorable stories based on those passions. Right? So the question now is how to apply your stories to the people you know.
Who do you know? Who would help you without a thought in the world? That is your core group. Chances are you see or speak with this group almost daily or weekly and it includes family and friends. These are some of same people you turned to in discussing your passions and they care deeply about your well-being. Read more