• Wed, Nov 3 2010

Dear College Students: You Have a Lot to Learn About Real World Jobs

I love perusing campus blogs, because believe it or not, you darn kids usually are who we look to as trendsetters and taste-makers. I routinely call up my sister and ask her what’s “in” at her college (and yes, it’s Spirit Hoods), and what her class is talking about. So keep up the good work, you guys! Key demographic!

But while I highly encourage blogging about school news, fashion, how much midterms suck, and dating, there is one arena that you guys need to STFU about. That’s right: stop giving “tips” about how other students should handle their first real-world job if you’re still a student. I don’t care if you had a summer internship, or if you took a year off to work abroad. If you’re still in school full-time and on your parents’ insurance plan, then you do not get to write advice to your peers about what to wear on the first day of their post-collegiate job. This counts double for people writing for college sites but are out of school, yet still talk down to their readers while giving terrible advice. It’s ignorant, a tad condescending, but most of all, just plain wrong. Sorry to make examples out of some of you well-meaning individuals, but here are my 5 “favorite” collegiate posts about life after college.

1. My Campus Chronicles: Oh hey, you’re whole site is owned by Spherion, the “Match.com for job,” so obviously the nuggets of wisdom from your student bloggers is tailored specifically to each individual’s experience and not just some broadly-worded b.s. meant to scare the crap out of the new working class.
Example:

Don’t cuss. You may be comfortably fowl-mouthed with friends or family, but in the workplace such language is considered offensive. Instead, choose your words carefully and avoid phrases like “that sucks” or “that bites.” They’re simply unprofessional.

Good advice, but does any one need to be told this about a new job? It’s right up there with “Don’t Be Late,” which, wow, is actually your first tip.

2. College Being: Suggests that you should pick your vocation based on where you want to live and how big of conglomerate the company is. Don’t forget to use LinkedIn!
Example:

You may want to consider moving to Milwaukee [estimated unemployment rate: 5.7%] or Oklahoma City [estimated unemployment rate: 5.0%] for some of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S.

Or you may not…because the job you want isn’t located in Milwaukee or Oklahoma City? But sure, def. pack up your bags and move to a place based on employment rates.

3. CollegeJolt: One of the better articles we’ve read on the meditation between what you want to do and what you’ll probably end up doing in your first job. But again, vague fortune-cookie advice isn’t helpful to anyone.

A job should relate to something you truly care about because that will fuel your motivation. A job should provide enough money to live reasonably, without fear of not being able to afford basic needs. Finally, a job should provide an environment that you are comfortable working in.

Also don’t cuss! How about someone give tips on how to advance in the career your working for, instead of telling you how your job should make you feel? Because trust us, your first jobs out of college won’t feel like a “balance.” They’ll probably feel like grunt-work, and reading zen articles about how you’re supposed to feel is just going to make you feel worse.

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  • Palmer Huff

    WELL SAID!!!! Also, Mr. Sam Jackson – just because you go to Yale doesn’t mean you have to use language that us common folk CANNOT UNDERSTAND.

  • Jennifer

    “Fowl-mouthed”? Are they eating poultry on the job? For shame!