Someone I love dearly just graduated from college and is having a hard time finding a job. Actually, it’s been a year since he graduated college, and since then he’s been living off of hot dogs, ramen noodles, and credit cards.
He says “It’s a catch 22. Jobs want experience, and you can’t get a job if you don’t have experience.”
I’ve tried explaining that lack of experience isn’t the problem.Lack of humility is.
Our culture barrages children with the message, “You are special!”
“You’re special, I’m special, everyone’s special! Horray!”
Sorry to break it you, but if everyone is special, nobody is.
The minute that you throw your graduation cap, you enter a world where you are nothing more than the sum of the experience on your resume. And, oh crap! That section is blank.
Since you are special–and even more special for having a degree, you can’t humble yourself and take a crappy job. You might get an interview for a crappy job, but you will reek of “I’m too good for this”. The manager will hold his nose until the interview is over, spray some Lysol, and put your resume through the shredder.
My first interview for a semi-professional job was as an office assistant at a tiny startup. The owner explained that I would have to do a variety of tasks, including boring things like filing, since I would be the only employee. I think he expected me to object.
Without thinking I responded:
“If you can work around my school schedule, I don’t care if I have to clean the bathrooms.”
He hired me on the spot.
I didn’t fully understand why until I became a manager and realized that humility is one of the hardest traits to find. It’s also one of the most important.
Somebody has to clean the bathrooms. And if you are just starting out with no experience, I am so sorry to be the one to break this to you…that somebody might be you.