Just a quick thought, for all the recent grads posting, in their various LinkedIn groups, that they have a BA in Psych or Gender Studies or 17th century Macedonian lit, with a 3.7 GPA and want a job that lets them express themselves…um, okay. Expression is awesome. As is, eating every day. And I really shouldn’t mock, since I was a history major, with a focus on Russian history, from about 1917-1945. So, yep, if those years ever come back around, I’m totally set. I am good to go!

But my point is: help us to help you. When I read these types of postings in my Wellesley College alumnae group, or Indiana University alumni group on LinkedIn, they both break my heart and drive me crazy, because I want to help these kids…but I have no idea what kind of job they want. I have no idea what skills–if any–they have. I cannot, alas, read anyone’s mind; I am, unfortunately, not the Delphic Oracle. That position was already filled.

So before posting those listings, here are some things I’d ask recent grads, unemployed people, underemployed people, your mom, etc., to consider: What kind of job/industry am I interested in and why? (Yes, nowadays, we all have to be super perky and basically be ready to make out with HR, we love our employers so much. You have to have some kind of brilliant, emotionally-intelligent reason as to why you’re interested in X industry. Not like when I had my first interview at a certain TV network’s Moscow bureau, and the bureau chief and I drank cocktails. At 10am. Then the bureau chief laughed at my off-color jokes and thought I might as well get the job, since I was there, whatever. Please do not try this at home.) What relevant skills/experience can I offer? (This question should remind you of the people you met networking, and that this is an excellent time to get back in touch.) Ask yourself, what kind of help am I looking for: information, contacts, advice? And finally: how are you going to help the person who is helping you? If you just take their contacts, forget it, that’s a one-time thing. But if you help them…bingo.
If you can write a concise yet informative post answering all those questions, then you’ve made it very easy for someone to help you. You’ve also, probably, made it worth this person’s time to check out your profile–which of course is a masterpiece of good grammar, spelling, organization…humor me, please!–and then they will contact you with some (hopefully) valid advice.
I mean, who am I to say that advertising your major in Dance or Business Tourism won’t get you help from another lost soul graduate of your school, right? But see it from a stranger’s point of view: they are going to have to contact you, to figure out what you can do, what you know, etc., so that they can figure out how best to help you.  How likely is that? Exactly.

Want more advice/kvetching? Oh, don’t even play, you know you love it. Email me @carlotazee@gmail.com

2 thoughts on “”

  1. Fashion Fella June 28, 2012Reply

    I am totally digging what you have to say CZ. I was out and about recently. During a conversation with a graduate school bound individual I asked, oh what will you study? The response was something like Philosophy or Poetr. I was like seriously? What type of job do you think you’ll get with an advanced degree in Poetry?! I am not a hater but I prefer reality. College-bound folk should definitely follow their passion — but I suggest get a “real” job/career first — so you can fund your passion. Anything is possible and I hope it works out for all the Philosophy, Humanities majors.

    1. Carlota June 29, 2012Reply

      Exactly, Fashion Fella: major in Poetry or Philosophy if that’s your passion…but be cognizant that you still need to get the practical skills to be able to eat every day, since that’s nice also!

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