I wake up, the sun in my face, my alarm already rang three times , but I postpone getting up. I finally get up and start my coffee machine, open my newspaper and turn on the TV to get some news. Sitting in front of my Mac, I check if I received some good news in my gmail account. This is the moment that will set the tone for the rest of my day. Will I get an answer from a job that I applied for? Will the interviewer at company X drop me a line to let me know that I have passed on to the next round of interviews?
This is the job seeker blues…You don’t really realize until you live it. It can be painful but also very constructive.
When you walk down the street to run your errands and you bump into one of your ex-coworkers in the middle of the day on a Tuesday, you realize that you are not the only one facing these difficult challenges.
Earlier in the decade, the problem was quite the opposite. There were too many jobs offered to recent graduates. People were switching from job to job at the same rate as they changed their clothes. Today because of this economic crisis, having a job doesn’t mean the same thing. The value of getting a job has grown. This change in values is reflective of the Great Depression of the 1930s. It may be for the best. Perhaps now the employees will devote more of their energy and will engage more of their work to the company that they work for.
However, my situation is not quite as bad. There are many other Torontonians in situations far worse than mine.
I have many friends who don’t necessarily work in the particular field in which they studied. Also, some of them need to work two or three jobs in order to pay rent downtown. And now with the Ontario Government’s addition of the new HST tax, students and new workers will now have to adjust their budgets accordingly.
Each day is a struggle between self-confidence and the reality of job seeking.
It’s hard to constantly look for a job while not having stability in your life. In the end, this struggle will prepare us to face the realities of life. We will be grateful for our jobs and we will have a better understanding of the value of our salaries. The competition is heavy and it makes us have to work two and three times harder.
I thought that with my bachelor degree everything would be easy and that I would just have to be passionate about my work…but still, we need to find this job. Finding a good fit between a company and a potential employee is not an easy feat. The Human Resources departments have a lot of work to do.
Last week, I spoke with a woman who worked for a large Canadian marketing and communication firm. She gave me advice about the industry and how to get involved in it. She also made me notice a big problem that we, the new graduates, and employees have to face. The university taught us theories and practices that will be useful for work and they also push us to believe in the impossible – which is good. This makes us believe that if we work hard, we can expect to get the best – the job of our dreams. But the real problem is the reality gap that exists between school and real life experience.
We arrived in the job market with an elitist attitude that we adopted from the schools that made us believe that we deserved more than anyone else. We had a mind set that we were the cream of the crop and that we deserved better salaries than any of our peers. It was a shock for me when I realized that finding a job was not easy even if I had one of the best grade point averages in my graduating class. According to my discussion with the woman, even the Human Resources departments are now coached to deal with this new generation of students that have a gap between their expectations and the entry-level job duties/salary.
So what’s the solution? In my case, I believe that I will be just fine. I have a lot of things happening and several upcoming interviews. But it’s not the point. The universities need to prepare their graduating students for the realities of the job market. They need to let them know that not everything comes easily and that they still have much to learn once they start work. Their challenges begin once they graduate. They have to climb each step like everyone did before them.Each day is a struggle between self-confidence and the reality of job seeking.