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MOTM June 2015
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My son completed his BS in Business Administration at the end of April. He just turned 22 so in addition to being young he doesn't have much work experience. He has submitted numerous online applications daily for the past 6 weeks. This has only netted him 3 interviews. Two of which he decided were not right for him. Research indicated they were not good places to work and pay was based upon commission. The 3rd place he was very interested in, but they decided to go with a different candidate.

What he is running into is everyone wants you to already have experience. Most of his experience is from summer jobs (fast food, laser engraving place, taxes/data entry). None of these jobs really relates to his degree. The tax/data entry place probably comes the closest, but still not really what he wants to do. He is more than willing to start at the bottom if there are opportunities to move up into, but he's not having much luck even being called for jobs that only require a high school education. Most of them still want 3 to 5 years experience.

He's quite discouraged and a bit depressed right now. I keep telling him that someone will call and to not give up. But I wish I had something more concrete to offer him.

Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas, about what he might be doing wrong or may need to do differently?




ETA
MY son would like to work in the banking industry and was told that perhaps he could start as a teller and then move up. He has applied for many teller positions and has not received a single call for an interview. When I was in the bank this past week I noticed a young teller, I asked him how he went about securing his position. He said he applied online.

Found out he was 19 with only a high school education and they hired him. My son is 22 with previous cashier/customer service experience and a college degree and he can't even get an interview?
 

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Story of my life since graduating from undergrad bachelor's in 2013 and grad master's in 2017. I am 28. There were no jobs related to my respective degrees, in fact, very few. Applied for fast food places, bookstores, corporations, businesses, schools, etc. No answer. Sure, I have internship experience, and volunteer positions, but no experience in relation to the ridiculous standards of experience. Yes, a lot of them want 3-5 years of experience (really?), which is absurd. These "qualifications and requirements" are beyond unrealistic and ultimately unhelpful. I get annoyed that companies say that my educational level is "overqualified" for me to handle a basic job just like anyone else with a high school degree.
 

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Charge'n Thru The Night
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Have him attend some resume/cover letter writing classes. It is often how you write these letters that really make or break it.

In the meantime instead of being discouraged, do some volunteer work that is similar to where he wanted to go. It might make him look better on his resume...or at least keep his mind off his frustrations.
 

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MOTM June 2015
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Discussion Starter #4
I get annoyed that companies say that my educational level is "overqualified" for me to handle a basic job just like anyone else with a high school degree.
I actually wondered if my son is not getting called for the teller jobs because he's overqualified or they think he would be bored with the job. He just wants to get his foot in the door so that he can start acquiring the experience they want for the higher level. jobs. I agree it's quite frustrating.
 

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MOTM June 2015
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Discussion Starter #5
Have him attend some resume/cover letter writing classes. It is often how you write these letters that really make or break it.

In the meantime instead of being discouraged, do some volunteer work that is similar to where he wanted to go. It might make him look better on his resume...or at least keep his mind off his frustrations.
I've suggested to him that perhaps his resume or cover letter needs some tweaking. but he said it was looked over by the head of the business department at college. I may encourage him a little more in this direction, but I don't want him to feel like I"m being a pushy overbearing mom. So it requires a bit of diplomacy on my part to figure out how to approach. I really just want to help him, but I fear I'll end up adding to the frustration.

He could definitely do some volunteer work, but he's got student loan payments that he has to start making in a few months so that is weighing heavy on his mind. Ultimately he knows he could get hired in a heart beat at just about any of the local fast food chains, but it's a bit demoralizing to spend so much time and money to end up in a minimum wage job you could get without a college education.

But he may very well have to do that.
 

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Charge'n Thru The Night
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I've suggested to him that perhaps his resume or cover letter needs some tweaking. but he said it was looked over by the head of the business department at college. I may encourage him a little more in this direction, but I don't want him to feel like I"m being a pushy overbearing mom. So it requires a bit of diplomacy on my part to figure out how to approach. I really just want to help him, but I fear I'll end up adding to the frustration.

He could definitely do some volunteer work, but he's got student loan payments that he has to start making in a few months so that is weighing heavy on his mind. Ultimately he knows he could get hired in a heart beat at just about any of the local fast food chains, but it's a bit demoralizing to spend so much time and money to end up in a minimum wage job you could get without a college education.

But he may very well have to do that.
YEa... it is amazing how an entry job requires...1-2 years of experience.
 

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I have a good career now, but I was in this spot just a couple of years ago so I thought I would weigh in.

First, I would suggest starting by sobering considering what your options are with that major. I earned my Bachelor's in Physics, and I realized with a little poking around that the best career options for that are teaching and grad school. I really was not interested in neither of those, so I ended up having a career in a field unrelated to my major. The key is that I got this job through connections I had. If he has connections that could get him a job, even if it is something less than ideal, that is a tree worth barking up.

Beyond that, this is a tough climate to be a recent grad. I worked multiple low-wage jobs for a year before I was able to get my big break. It is hard to deal with constant rejection, but it is something you have to do and it is worth it to come out on the other end. There are no magic solutions here.
 

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Beyond that, this is a tough climate to be a recent grad. I worked multiple low-wage jobs for a year before I was able to get my big break. It is hard to deal with constant rejection, but it is something you have to do and it is worth it to come out on the other end. There are no magic solutions here.
Yep. The fancy stuff on the resume needs to go. Excruciating, but realistic. Save it for later. He needs to swallow his pride and get whatever he can. Once he's employed and has a lower-management or some kind of specialty position, he can combine that with his accomplishments to launch himself.
 

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Story of my life since graduating from undergrad bachelor's in 2013 and grad master's in 2017. I am 28. There were no jobs related to my respective degrees, in fact, very few. Applied for fast food places, bookstores, corporations, businesses, schools, etc. No answer. Sure, I have internship experience, and volunteer positions, but no experience in relation to the ridiculous standards of experience. Yes, a lot of them want 3-5 years of experience (really?), which is absurd. These "qualifications and requirements" are beyond unrealistic and ultimately unhelpful. I get annoyed that companies say that my educational level is "overqualified" for me to handle a basic job just like anyone else with a high school degree.
Similar for me, two years out of undergrad trying to find "entry level" work and no luck (aside from an online consulting internship I started doing in 2014 -graduated at the end of 2014 btw -
that is open to taking me on more regularly but... again, has difficulties with financing it themselves). Either with something relevant to my degree & career interests, or completely unrelated, didnt seem to matter (even for data entry and reception roles, I've found you need crazy-fast typing speeds, including on a 10-key, and additional experience with reception in the latter case).

Only recently have I had more luck, but only because I went back to school and now point out in interviews I'm looking to get a Master's (I'm in a grad certificate program that can credit-transfer to a master's, or at least partially , depending on school course transfer policies). The key difference being the school sends me weekly job and internship listings (i.e. people actively recruiting students, as opposed to the entirety of the internet), which have gotten me a far better hit rate in a few months than hundreds of applications I've sent out online for two years +. "Networking" is not my forte so i almost feel like i cheated (well, tuition is expensive, though, so I guess you're paying for something).

Even so, now I work two internships, one is unpaid, one has a stipend for the summer (dont know what happens after the project w/ the stipend is completed). So still far less than ideal on the money side (considering a Master's might put me further into debt, though i'm going to do as well as i can with gpa and GREs to increase chances of scholarship and/or assistantship opportunities). Though I think both are a big plus and as close to ideal as I could expect on the experience side.

If nothing else, it has helped me in recovering from the huge blow to self-esteem/sense of self in general that is job hunting. I have never felt so rejected and useless in my life (probably because I tend to wrap up my identity in my "competency" in a general sense). I am (I think) being fairly realistic about it, so considering the limited experience I have, as college grads often do these days, it's still somewhat of a relief that someone values my natural strengths and interests, even if for now they're not paying me.

I actually wondered if my son is not getting called for the teller jobs because he's overqualified or they think he would be bored with the job. He just wants to get his foot in the door so that he can start acquiring the experience they want for the higher level. jobs. I agree it's quite frustrating.
My sister wrote up a cover letter for her boyfriend, who is 22 this month, to work as a sales associate at a neighborhood used electronics place (like used computers and xboxes etc). Responded to a job listing on craigslist. This is when he was 19 I believe, or maybe 20, and still in college..with an undeclared major and some shitty grades in his freshman year (mostly in math and physics courses, thought he was gonna do computer science or something.

I applied twice, and I had already graduated. Never heard from them either time.

Another thing to consider is maybe in some respects, "it's not you, it's them". They probably thoughg I was overqualified, but they also went through some firings and lettings-go, even among management, which keeps changing. And they aren't doing well themselves. I think that factors in as well. To some degree you have to go where the money is because it's easier to see every new employee as a liability when money is tight
 

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MOTM June 2015
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Discussion Starter #10
If nothing else, it has helped me in recovering from the huge blow to self-esteem/sense of self in general that is job hunting. I have never felt so rejected and useless in my life (probably because I tend to wrap up my identity in my "competency" in a general sense). I am (I think) being fairly realistic about it, so considering the limited experience I have, as college grads often do these days, it's still somewhat of a relief that someone values my natural strengths and interests, even if for now they're not paying me.
Job hunting is definitely hard on self esteem. My son started out full of steam, confidence and enthusiasm, but as the weeks have drug by I've noticed him getting more and more discouraged. He could have had the first job he interviewed for, but he turned it down. It was a commission job selling insurance policies and it held zero appeal to him. He is not exactly the pushy salesman type.

He told me this evening that he was called for a 3rd interview for a marketing job he interviewed for a week ago. He hasn't decided whether he will opt out of the interview or not. The hours aren't very good and at 22 years old he wants a little time for dating and friends. The job is 6 days a week and weird hours (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.) making it hard to have a life outside of work. Plus there is driving time on top of that. I'm wondering if I should encourage him to just resign himself to no life for the next couple of years, or to hold out for something better. I need a crystal ball. :laughing:
 

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Job hunting is definitely hard on self esteem. My son started out full of steam, confidence and enthusiasm, but as the weeks have drug by I've noticed him getting more and more discouraged. He could have had the first job he interviewed for, but he turned it down. It was a commission job selling insurance policies and it held zero appeal to him. He is not exactly the pushy salesman type.

He told me this evening that he was called for a 3rd interview for a marketing job he interviewed for a week ago. He hasn't decided whether he will opt out of the interview or not. The hours aren't very good and at 22 years old he wants a little time for dating and friends. The job is 6 days a week and weird hours (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.) making it hard to have a life outside of work. Plus there is driving time on top of that. I'm wondering if I should encourage him to just resign himself to no life for the next couple of years, or to hold out for something better. I need a crystal ball. :laughing:
haha, I'm an asocial night owl so I'd definitely take it. Plus everyone goes out at night on weekends anyway (at least where I live), during the day can actually be kinda dull and often most people are doing chores. I would sacrifice a social life for work if I could, have always envied people who manage to get wasted every weekend, generally make poor life decisions, but manage to have a job from which they aren't fired and appear competent to their superiors. That must take a lot of compartmentalizing, internally. :numbness: Plus it's hard for me to meet people I get along with anyway, to the point it'd be much easier to have a social life if I meet people with common interests through work.

Don't listen to me though, I probably have a mental disorder akin to workaholism. The irony :laughing:

ETA: And yeah it's ridiculous how many recruits there are for college grads to do sales and insurance work like that. That's one of the last types of jobs I'd want to be doing. Also it wouldn't get me anywhere career-wise. Which I'm sure is an interview question that comes up ("why are you interested in this type of work?") and my biggest weakness with interviews is that I'm a terrible liar. So if I know I don't want to be doing something, it might as well be written on my face in the interview.
 

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Job hunting is definitely hard on self esteem. My son started out full of steam, confidence and enthusiasm, but as the weeks have drug by I've noticed him getting more and more discouraged. He could have had the first job he interviewed for, but he turned it down. It was a commission job selling insurance policies and it held zero appeal to him. He is not exactly the pushy salesman type.

He told me this evening that he was called for a 3rd interview for a marketing job he interviewed for a week ago. He hasn't decided whether he will opt out of the interview or not. The hours aren't very good and at 22 years old he wants a little time for dating and friends. The job is 6 days a week and weird hours (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.) making it hard to have a life outside of work. Plus there is driving time on top of that. I'm wondering if I should encourage him to just resign himself to no life for the next couple of years, or to hold out for something better. I need a crystal ball. :laughing:
I would say go for it. Getting experience is critical and will make it much easier to find another job that is more to his liking down the road. At this stage, being picky isn't a luxury that people really have, and 22 is about the ideal age if there is any to be locked down in a difficult working schedule; sure beats doing it at 40, as I have known some people to do.

I will note however, that passing on the commission job was the right move. There are lots of scummy outfits that pray on the desperation of recent grads to get cheap, low-risk labor. I came into contact with one once and the bizarre recruitment tactics warned me off of them entirely. Unless doing sales is a genuine life goal for you it just doesn't make sense, and even if you want that for your career there are much better options.
 

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One thing I've learned when growing up is that there are dreams and then there is reality. Dreams will drive you to aspire for whatever job it is you really want while reality will punch you in the face and not let you reach those dreams.

I only know one person who actually works in a field related to their major and she likely got it because she was very involved with internships/college and social enough to make really good connections that helped her get there. Everyone else ended up wherever life lead them to, which are often as different jobs from their major as can be imagined. For example, my dad's major was geography but he ended up as engineer. No engineering degree but that's just the way life flowed for him. A big part of reaching a dream job is dumb luck, tbh. You have to apply at the right time in the right way to appeal to the right employers in the right economic setting in the right place ((if there's something you really want, you can't limit yourself to what's local. You may have to travel far from home to get what you want)). Most people will end up settling on what is available to them rather than what they really want because that's how the world works. Another aspect is... sometimes people aren't as well suited for their dream job as they might think they are. There isn't much point in getting your hopes up for anything because you'll more than likely be disappointed in the end. College builds up idealism rather than realism so this can be a real slap to the face to new grads.

Good luck to your son, though.
 

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Another aspect is... sometimes people aren't as well suited for their dream job as they might think they are.
This is true.

Also that there can be a surprising learning curve that comes with one's dream job.

I thought it would be my dream job to do freelance art - yet my first time felt like being slammed by a Mack truck. I had no idea about the time commitment, complexity, relationship between client and contractor, and the sheer amount of self-discipline required. I do plan to get into freelance again, but this time being incredibly careful about commitments, setting up a good schedule for myself, taking on only projects that really speak to me, and tripling the amount of time I think it will take in my estimate to account for reality. And I'll do it in tandem with a "regular" job that gives me a social outlet and more structure.
 

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I think it is valuable to mention that it hasn't been very long if he graduated in April. It took me 6 months to find work in my field after I graduated, and I have known many people whom take over a year, or have to move far away to find work. The job I took was not ideal in many respects. The pay was 11/hr, less than I made before college, but gotta start somewhere.

He is not alone, and he should not feel it is a problem with him. It is an employer's market right now. From everything said, however, it sounds like he is going to do ok.
 

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ETA
MY son would like to work in the banking industry and was told that perhaps he could start as a teller and then move up. He has applied for many teller positions and has not received a single call for an interview. When I was in the bank this past week I noticed a young teller, I asked him how he went about securing his position. He said he applied online.

Found out he was 19 with only a high school education and they hired him. My son is 22 with previous cashier/customer service experience and a college degree and he can't even get an interview?
I actually work at a bank and it seems like a lot of the tellers are college students rather then college graduates. I also noticed a lot of people getting interviewed for a teller position. It's very possible HR managers perceive your son as being overqualified and figure it's more likely a low starting salary will be accepted by someone who has fewer credentials then he does.

Has he tried applying for a personal banker position? It's probably not as commonly advertised as teller positions, but he might be more likely to get an interview considering he has prior relevant experience and he does hold a college degree.

I don't know how large his family/friends social circle is, but if he hasn't already, I recommend he let everyone know he's looking for work, particularly in the banking industry. Not all jobs are advertised online and he might have more luck following up with word-of-mouth leads.
 
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MOTM June 2015
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I actually work at a bank and it seems like a lot of the tellers are college students rather then college graduates. I also noticed a lot of people getting interviewed for a teller position. It's very possible HR managers perceive your son as being overqualified and figure it's more likely a low starting salary will be accepted by someone who has fewer credentials then he does.
The problem that he's running into when applying for most bank positions is that he doesn't have much relatable work experience. He's mostly worked during summer breaks while a full time student. He was a front counter cashier as well as a drive thru cashier for a fast food restaurant for a couple of summers, then worked for a tax prep business for 3 months. Combined though he probably only has about 18 months work experience spread out over the last 4 years. We had a small family lawn care business that he actively participated in throughout high school. He definitely knows how to work, he's just having troubles getting anyone to give him an opportunity to prove it.

Has he tried applying for a personal banker position? It's probably not as commonly advertised as teller positions, but he might be more likely to get an interview considering he has prior relevant experience and he does hold a college degree.
He has applied for many personal and relationship banker positions. He's assuming that he's not hearing from them due to the fact that he doesn't have enough banking experience.

I don't know how large his family/friends social circle is, but if he hasn't already, I recommend he let everyone know he's looking for work, particularly in the banking industry. Not all jobs are advertised online and he might have more luck following up with word-of-mouth leads.
My brothers wife is an assistant branch manager for one of the larger banks in our state. We haven't contacted her about this because we live almost 2 hours away and figured that it would be a bit far for her to have much influence.

I think I'm going to encourage my son to contact her, it certainly couldn't hurt. Maybe she can give him some pointers for landing an interview.

Thanks!
 

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I'm 25, and I think the most difficult thing for our generation is how little the previous generation can do to help. It's a very different field now to 20+ years ago- in the UK around 50% of people are going to university for example. A bachelors alone is not worth what it once was, and the labour class is shrinking in modern countries year by year, leading to a rise in middle class, and severe competition for graduate jobs.

My advice to your son would be that he is still very young (for our generation 22 is incredibly green), and that at this point developing his skills is the key factor. He's walking into interviews without professional job experience, and even weaker life experience, and interviewers can smell that on someone. This is the time when he can afford to have shitty jobs if only to gain experience. Our generation is all about transient skills- it's considered that our generation will have an average of 7 jobs by the time we are 35!! We are more likely to move forward in the job market by moving jobs than through direct promotion.

He needs to build up his professional work experience at a graduate or near-graduate level- this will give him the experience and confidence he needs, not only to put on his CV, but also to make decisions with a greater degree of know-how and confidence. Don't underestimate the value of investing in yourself rather than the certificates/contracts you have in your safe-closet.

As for me? I did a BA in Sociology, and have been teaching English overseas- but I've been accepted to do an MA in Careers Management to move into the University careers sector, and perhaps Careers Consultancy eventually.. I didn't even bother trying to use my Sociology degree alone- I always knew I needed a unique edge in life experience and an extra edge in education to give me an advantage in my career, that has always been the plan. Plus I love traveling- and I wanted to enjoy myself during my early-20s.


EDIT: Hold on.. your sister in law is an assistant bank manager? Couldn't she see check up on any vacancies/trainee/intern positions? He can just live in a cheap flatshare initially if necessary.
 

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While still a senior in college, I found a local start-up hiring interns with my major through my college's newspaper of all places (2012). Responded to the ad and discovered the start-up was VERY new and tiny. So it was easy to join and start doing small projects here and there. Started just doing a few hours a week... Then after graduation I upped my hours (was being paid just above minimum wage) to near full time. I did that from June-October until I was hired as a full time, salaried employee. 5+ years later, we have grown and now I am a director at the company making a decent living. Not bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
While still a senior in college, I found a local start-up hiring interns with my major through my college's newspaper of all places (2012). Responded to the ad and discovered the start-up was VERY new and tiny. So it was easy to join and start doing small projects here and there. Started just doing a few hours a week... Then after graduation I upped my hours (was being paid just above minimum wage) to near full time. I did that from June-October until I was hired as a full time, salaried employee. 5+ years later, we have grown and now I am a director at the company making a decent living. Not bad.
My son just got called to interview for a job at a local bank this next week. He is a bit discouraged about the pay offered, but understands that right now he just needs to get a job and begin accumulating some experience. He said, "well I guess I won't be moving out anytime soon." I am not at all concerned, he's a good kid and he can live at home as long as he needs to. I understand that he is just starting out and needs to gain experience. I told him that he has to pay his dues first before the better jobs open up to him.

I think the starting pay is about $11 hr. He made $14.50 per hour last summer, but the job was production and really nothing to move up into.
 
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