Don’t complain about joblessness when you can’t behave.


All names are in alias in order to respect their privacy

People say it is important to plan and prepare about your job before you graduate. But let’s be honest – how can you when you are only 22? After all, many of students take a long time to figure out what they really want to study.  Then there’s killer workload.  You do your best to catch up and get a good grade, not to mention doing something meaningful in your college club life or social.  Then, all of sudden, you realize you are college senior.  If you want to pay off your humongous college debt, you’d better get a job as soon as possible.  You haven’t even thought about what kind of job you want.  If it was back in 80’s, there is not much to worry about.  But not anymore. All the good and tasty entry-level jobs are open to only math/econ/biz/engineering/finance majors.  Did I mention the economy is really bad? Oh shit, what do I do, what do I do?!?!

Many of my college friends chose to go to grad school.  Some of them want to study more about their major.  But let’s face it – a lot of people who choose this path did so because they don’t know what to do, except hoping that they would have better chance with higher degree. I hate to say this, but sorry buddy, you are wrong.  The depression might last 3-4 more years.  Even PhDs are having tough time to find a slot in university teaching position.

An ex-classmate of mine, Ben, was one of the people who went to grad school right after college graduation.  I assume his reason for going grad school was both: he liked his major, and lost in the job market.  So he went to Ivy League grad school.  Sure, he’s a nice person.  But many of me and my friends (street-smart and not very sheltered), we can totally see he is very sheltered.  You know, looks nice, wear J-Crew, talks a lot about politics and social problems in a very conservative way, but when someone counters him with life-example, he can’t answer back.  He probably never had a chance to have a conversation with homeless people or drug addict.  By the way, he hates Obama (not that I am Obama supporter, but this gives you a general idea).

He has been complaining a lot about joblessness.  I could feel for him.  It is nervous and draining.  Sometimes employers don’t give us chance because what we have is “too high” for them.  But reading his status today, I almost wanted to say, “you are crazy – you will never get a job in that way.

He got an interview offer from a pro-choice NGO called Planned Parenthood.  The lady there called him and said, “hello Ben, this is Jane from Planned Parenthood calling.  We found your resume from ABC grad school’s student resume data, and wonder if you are interested in taking a paralegal position in our organization.”  (Boy, things are tough for sure – placing non-legal background candidate to paralegal position was unimaginable until few years ago)

Ben ended up saying, “sorry, I’m not a baby-killer.

The lady said “oh, that’s okay.  Bye.

Apparently he is pretty proud of how he reacted.

In terms of job-searching, he made a big mistake.  There are many ways to say “sorry, I’m not a baby-killer” much nicer.  He could have said, “thanks for your interest, but I am not interested.”  If he really wanted to express his conviction, he could have said something like “I am interested in your position, but I don’t agree with your organizations’ belief.”  She will understand.  World is small.  Business fields are even smaller.  What is he going to do if his potential employer is an acquaintance of this lady?  Or, what if your next interviewer is that lady?

And, even if this was not a job-searching time, it’s still rude.  When a beggar come to you and asks for a quarter, are you going to say “you are lazy bum and that’s why you are poor?”  All you have to do is “sorry!” If the lady was really pushy, or if this was a demonstration site, I would understand.  But it wasn’t!

Now I get a feel of why some professors were so difficult to work with, and why the professors with real-world experience were much easier to work with.  Seriously, people, be nice and go out to the real world, even if it is temporary.


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