Expectations vs. Reality in the Post-Graduate Job Market

When I graduated from Lehman College in the spring of 2018 with a degree in English Literature, I was sure that I would quickly land a job in a library or publishing house, or perhaps with a newspaper or magazine. I believed that my degree, with the addition of all of my accolades and my years of experience as a writing tutor, would open doorways for me into the field that I felt I belonged in. I was sorely mistaken.

Despite the fact that unemployment has been on a steady decrease since 2010, the job market for recent college grads is still incredibly competitive, especially in New York City. These recent grads frequently find themselves unemployed or underemployed, and more often than not, the jobs that they accept are not within their major or field of study. In fact, only 27% of recent college grads actually have jobs that are directly related to their major.

I found this out the hard way. I applied to every publishing house I could find in New York City and applied to all of the open Editorial Assistant roles I could find on LinkedIn. I applied for part-time and full-time proofreading jobs, several Library Assistant roles, and entry-level editor positions at newspapers and magazines. I didn’t get a single call for an interview.

I felt completely defeated. I now realize, though, that this was not something I was experiencing alone.

Post-graduation depression affects recent college grads at a high rate. Symptoms of depression and anxiety strike graduates who feel disappointed or ashamed that they do not have full-time jobs right after college. They isolate themselves, lose motivation, and become forced to deal with crippling self-doubt and uncertainty.

After several months of experiencing this post-graduation depression myself, I lowered my expectations. I accepted an internship in the city with the knowledge that many companies prefer hiring internally, converting interns to full-time staff. I worked hard to prove myself in the various departments I found myself working with until an offer was extended to me.

Now, I’m working full-time as Marketing Coordinator for RASE, Ltd. Holdings, a holding company in New York City. This is not where I saw myself while in school or even as a fresh college graduate, but it is a perfect fit. I’m able to apply the writing, researching, and proofreading skills I gained as an English student to my new role, and I’m able to learn and expand on new skills, like graphic design and basic marketing analytics.

New grads should keep their minds – and their job hunts – open. There are great opportunities out there for young people, all they have to do is look. My main piece of advice for students still in school: apply for internships. They may not seem glamorous, and they may not be paid, but you will be grateful that you gained experience in a setting that you aim to have a career in. And like I said previously, companies like to hire internally. If you are able to prove yourself as an intern, you could have a full-time job lined up for you when you graduate from college.

And for all recent college grads still looking for their dream jobs, reach out to a recruiter at the Bachrach Group. Recruiters are experts at presenting candidates to hiring managers in the best light possible. They can help you polish your resumes and prepare you for every stage of the interview process. Their services are completely free to job-seekers, and their primary goal is to help you find the role you are best suited for. Take it from me, don’t fall into a post-graduation depression if you don’t have to.

 

Written by: Deirdre Fanzo – Marketing Coordinator

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