- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 30 November 2016
- Written by ZACK KARVELAS | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
There are so many questions that pop up in people’s minds when they are on the verge of making a life-changing decision. While choosing the college that fits your wants and needs is a stressful, timely task, searching for a career is even more difficult.
Most kids grow up with the financial dependence of their parents or guardians. As we grow older, we realize how thankful we were for their support because, little did we know, the real world costs a whole lot of money. Whether you have drinking habits, food necessities or relationship responsibilities, it all has a price. Once the flow of income from our loved ones stops coming, we need to get out there and fend for ourselves. A simple job just to put money in our pocket is a good first step, but when other factors like rent, utilities, and groceries come into play, a simple minimum wage job won’t cut it. Life is expensive and money doesn’t come free.
As the semester is winding down at universities across the country, students are beginning the hunt for jobs, if they haven’t started already. Despite student’s need for money, jobs and internships that give experience in their field of interest become more relevant and valuable for the future. So how are you supposed to know when to take an odd-job just to put money in your pocket, or to look for serious, more applicable jobs that’ll set you up for your future?
Some students worry about choosing the right offer. “It’s nice to know I have an option for a career right after college. There’s a lot of anxiety that comes with graduating, and knowing I have a job (If I want it) relieves a lot of that stress,” said Huascar Holguin, a senior music industry student. “However, there’s a sense of settling. There might be other great opportunities out there for me that I’ll never find, because I was eager to jump into the first offer I got.”
Any opportunity you receive to further your passion, you should take. An internship in your field of study can end up being a better and more beneficial opportunity in the long-run than a serving or babysitting job. As much as the money is great to have and makes life easier as a college student, the search for jobs in the “real world” is very competitive. You have to stand out from the other candidates, and sometimes the make or break can be the experience in the industry—or the lack of.
Assistant Dean for Career Services, William Hill, said “If you really just need cash, then a part-time job at a local retailer, or a job as a waiter/waitress might fit the bill. If you are more flexible, then an internship, or some other job related to your major, might be what you need to position yourself to be a more competitive candidate when graduation time rolls around."
Where does one even start the search for a job? Monmouth provides a lot of resources for students on campus. Hill urged students to use the Hawks Career Link, which is Career Services on-line job board, which posts over 100 jobs a month, on average.
Even with our well-connected and professional teaching staff and services like Hawks Career Link, students struggle to figure out what they should do. Even if you don’t know what you want to do, it’s good to know what you don’t want to do. In an article written by the Huffington Post, they explain four different techniques to help start the process and provide a good idea of where to start looking for a job opportunity.
One of the most important factors is knowing your strengths. If you don’t know what you’re good at or interested in, it’s that much harder to narrow your search down by industry, location, or size. The next couple of pointers discuss getting involved, building and utilizing your network, and finally taking the big leap and committing.
Whether you get hired or not, getting extra experience in interviewing and applying for jobs gives you the edge you need to get out in front.
Jess Smith, a recent graduate from Monmouth University, began teaching full-time as an ESL (English as a second language) teacher right out of college. She offered some advice for students, saying, “Push yourself as hard as you can to find a job, but remember in the back of your head that everything happens for a reason. Don’t be afraid of failure because if you get denied from a job that may just be a sign another maybe even better opportunity is coming."
So, if you’re unsure what next step to take, use the resources you have around you. Career Services, professors, family and friends are all great access points to further connect and network. In the earlier stages of college, a smaller part-time job might be a good way to keep busy and put some money in your pocket.
Eventually you’ll want to start beefing up your resume, connecting with those contacts, and applying for some related jobs or internships to your major. Now is our time to find out who we are and what our passions are and then apply them to an internship or post-grad career. It's not always easy making big choices like these, but by making use of the school’s resources, such as www.monmouth.edu/Hawks-Career-Link, and remembering that there’s something out there for everyone, we can all succeed in the workforce. Just use your resources, and don't give up on the finding the right job.
IMAGE TAKEN from The Odysesy.