Going to university was always a given for me. In my family, it was always thought that getting a post-secondary degree is the only path after high school. So I enrolled in University without even considering any other options. The problem is that so many people get their BA degrees that they become so devalued out in the workforce. I have read some resume guidelines online that even stated not to include your education if it has already been more than five years since you got your diploma (obviously if you have enough work experience to put on there as well). But that is obviously one piece of advice I’m not going to follow because I spent too many sleepless nights worrying about my exams not to include my precious degree on my resume.
An interesting story has happened to me since I have been trying to look for full-time work. I knew that finding a job would not be a piece of cake from the start. Especially living in a highly dense metropolitan area that has a gazillion people applying for the same position, I knew I would not have much luck in the first couple of months. The fact that some graduates are so desperate about getting a job plays a major role in some untrustworthy companies that are using this to their advantage in order to get some cheap labor.
I was applying for a marketing assistant position, or at least that’s what the title was on the LinkedIn add. After I sent in my resume it literally took the company about fifteen minutes to get back to me in order to schedule an interview (first red flag). Once I got there the waiting room was filled with people (second red flag). While I was waiting the two receptionists were still making phone calls to schedule even more interviews (third red flag). Considering that I came early, it took close to forty-five minutes for them to finally see me; on top of that, my interview was with another girl at the same time. During the interview, they promised a lot of growth opportunities within the company stating that they are looking to quickly train people to put them into managerial positions because the company is looking to expand. The bulk of the interview was just promises; it did not ask any questions specific to the job, in reality, there was not much said about the job itself at all (fourth red flag). As it turned out the “marketing” position entailed selling credit cards. That was it! They were offering below minimum wage pay and no benefits, but stating that they will promote you within the next couple of months to a better position. It is so frustrating that these companies specifically target recent grads and promise them promotion from within, playing on the fact that they are offering a great experience that every recent graduate needs.
Sometimes it’s very depressing not knowing when an opportunity will come, and I feel like a large number of recent graduates become desperate enough to pick up opportunities that they are obviously overqualified for. The problem with taking these types of jobs is that not only is your own time wasted but it also promotes these shady companies to keep contacting recent grads. I hope less and less recent grads start to take these jobs out of desperation and break the cycle.
So before applying for any job you have to make sure that there aren’t any red flags about the company, for instance, a large number of vacant spots, which signals a high turnover rate, and any vague job titles that might all target a similar position. I know that sometimes it’s difficult to obtain a dream position right out of college and it’s tempting to just get the first job so that you can start paying off that student loan, but in reality, it’s a waste of time to over work while you get paid a miserly wage. At the end of the day, everything happens for a reason and the job that’s right for you will eventually come around.
Featured image via screengrab of Legally Blonde