This week is a special guest blog post by Jay Jordan, a Marketing senior here at EMU. This is the first in his three part special on turning academic success at college into career success in the field. This week he covers his own personal convictions on finding success and how the market has changed for youth entering the job market.
How to find Success After College
The Journey of Finding Success
You don’t have to look very far to see good-paying jobs of our parents starting to disappear from the market, (http://cnb.cx/1rTGX6H ) only to be mocked by the promises of minimum-wage and service jobs aplenty. A college degree in itself is no longer the key to a secure job. (http://theatln.tc/19wR7pv ) When we graduate (I have one more year myself), no one is standing at the finish line holding jobs for us to walk away with into the sunset. We are entering our own respective fields with the class of 2014. Not to mention others looking for work; 30-year olds, retirees returning to work, and even professionals from other fields entering trying to “reinvent themselves.” Let’s be real, it’s going to be difficult.
But going to college doesn’t seem to be all that easy of a path either. There will be many days these next two semesters when I will tell myself “if only my assignment was fully outlined and defined for me I could do much better” or “I’m giving up, but I’m probably doing better than 80% of my classmates.” Classes may seem hard; it may seem like professors aren’t helping you out much, but unfortunately that is becoming more and more a reflection of real life.
After moving to Ann Arbor last summer, and talking with adults at my internship, I have learned that this story isn’t going to change much, but also there are different mentalities that you can take with you in approaching these challenges. There are also many things that have changed with the advent of the internet that are really changing the ballgame.
I am studying Marketing, but I am also pursuing a minor in Sociology to understand what is going on in our world, because frankly it worries me. The United States Census just last month reconfirmed the growing income gap, and the Occupy Movement (http://bit.ly/1wfGCAT) has just scratched the surface of this awareness. But I have slowly started piecing together what I believe is the knowledge of what is required to participate in our new economy. I would like to first share with you how work has changed, then how to build job security by creating value, and finally how to approach building your skill set to prepare you for work.
How Work Has Changed
If you think about it, all jobs help society carry out a culture. Some businesses like music and culinary arts are obvious forms of culture, but cars to drive are a form of culture, and even home mortgage loans are a form of culture. And what I have come to learn is that for better or worse, culture is cumulative. New products and services open up new possibilities, and precisely because they make new opportunities possible they are required to be perpetuated and maintained. The luxuries of today become the necessities of tomorrow, and the innovations this year become expectations next year. For positions in companies with limited resources (pretty much every company), individuals will be expected to know and do more and more, from writing to public speaking, to managing clients and other employees.
Even for many “entry-level jobs,” many positions require a number of years of experience and a certain set of skills. Take IT for example, there are many things that companies use now from phones to broadband networking to video conferencing to power management. That is a lot to learn how it works, and a lot of little tricks to know how to fix. But regardless of how complex the world gets, there will still always be a finite amount of things a single person can do in a day, which means there will always be gaps in what companies can achieve, and that person to fill those needs could be you!
However because of globalization, who’s to say that these tasks couldn’t be done by someone in India? Or China? Or even in Ohio? So then, how can someone possibly make themselves compelling enough for a company to hire?
Jay Jordan is a super-senior from Cincinnati, Ohio, studying Marketing with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys drums of all kinds, and in his spare time enjoys catching up on classic books. His dream is to start local business that provide spaces for individuals to learn and grow.
Make sure to check back next week for part 2 of 3 where Jay will discuss how to build value and learn the skills you need to be successful in the working world.