Resumes and reality

New graduates have to adjust to a no-guarantees job market

You cry when baby goes off to kindergarten. You cry again when baby struts across the stage to get a high school diploma. Then you cry when baby goes off to college.

Then maybe you cry when baby comes back.

Ask the Italian couple who recently went to authorities to begin eviction proceedings against their son, who “demands that his clothes be washed and ironed and his meals prepared. He really has no intention of leaving.”

He’s 41.

America’s future?

Trying to get a job is a full-time job these days, and it gets worse for those who don’t have a degree in an area of study that’s in high-demand.

Rhiannon Martin, an Augusta State University graduate, remains unemployed and living in her parents’ home even after graduating over five years ago with a degree in theater. She said in a Chronicle article Sept. 19, “I just want to do something I enjoy and stay out of debt.”

That used to be a fairly modest ambition.

She is like many other 20-somethings who have graduated with a college degree, especially in liberal arts, and have not found work. Unfortunately, Augusta does not offer as much in her field as the bigger cities do. Now she faces a tough decision: to stay within her comfort zone by living with her parents and pursue either more education or a job unrelated to theater, or move to a larger city and work toward getting work doing something she will enjoy.

It remains that the economy is horrible for new graduates; employers receive dozens of résumés a week for one position. Applicants now have to exceed all expectations, whether applying for their dream job or a fast-food chain.

Students who are still in college should take advantage of this time to get their foot in the door of their choosing simply by volunteering, interning and associating with programs that are related to their occupational interests – whether paid or not.

Even being involved in these extracurricular activities won’t guarantee much after graduation. Students need to be reasonable regarding their aspirations and realize that right now, they are going to have to go the long route to get where they want to be – it isn’t going to easy, regardless of one’s qualifications.

Many students are taking the road more traveled by majoring in health sciences or learning technical skills, which lead to some of the most lucrative careers in the market right now. Liberal arts students may need to decide if it’s really worth the initial investment of college tuition for a degree with an uncertain future, and whether they are willing to do more than just send out résumés every day, but to actually pack up and move to where they have a better opportunity to start a career they will enjoy. It all comes down to how badly they want it and how far they are willing to go to make it happen.

Even then, there are no guarantees.

These are choices graduates face almost every year, but never more than now. However, those who willingly choose to major in the arts, knowing the risks of unemployment, should also be willing to make changes and sacrifices to get a career in their field of choice. Otherwise they are just another résumé in the pile.

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