As an active job seeker I’m noticing a trend in the trenches of job boards like Indeed and Career Builder, and even LinkedIn. Prospective employers advertising entry level jobs asking for mid-level experience. Now, as the job seeker I know I shouldn’t be picky when looking for gainful employment, but is the problem me? Or is it the unrealistic expectations of prospective employers?
I know, I know. Prospective employers call all the shots. After all, they’re the ones looking for someone to work, not someone looking FOR work, like me. But in the ten months that I have been out of college it’s been the same.
Look at job listing
Get excited because it looks like this position was written for me
Responsibilities? I can do those!
Degree? I graduated from college in 2011!!!
Experience? 3-5 years? Oh…
They want someone whose been working longer than I’ve been in school.
I can apply anyway and hope the planets align to my favor, but it hasn’t been working out so far.
How do I overcome this? By working of course, but when I can’t even apply to an entry level job because I don’t have enough experience, what options am I left with? I can’t be a jewel thief, my hands get shaky when I undertake potentially life threatening endeavors. Internships you say? I’ve done enough free work to make Mother Theresa weep with joy. That should account for at least a year of experience.
But what kind of experience are they looking for? Real world experience? I have that. Work experience? I’ve been working since I was fourteen years old (though some folks have been working longer than I’ve been alive). What is it that other applicants have that I don’t?
Some of you may say “a good attitude”. If this post sounds salty, I don’t mean it to but darn it, I’m a little frustrated. I know nothing worth having is easy to obtain but I feel like I’m banging my head against a wall that’s only getting harder. If I keep it up I’ll need a lobotomy (or a new head).
I’m a young and able college graduate raring to get into the professional world and start working? Who WOULDN’T hire me? You can pay me less to do more work, and I have no wife and kids to tie me down. Uh, I mean, no other obligations in life. I would be married to my work!
I was not one of those kids who was a part of every club, faction, cult, etc. in college. I did the homework, made the grade, and got my degree. I don’t think my degree ENTITLES me to a job, but as I’ve mentioned before, what gives? Must I move heaven and Earth to get companies to notice me? Though I’ll admit if I did move heaven and Earth, a lot more people would notice, and probably not in a good way.
Must I stay in the ninth layer of internship hell before a shining hand of hope pulls me out and gives me a job? That’s what I’m doing right now. Networking? You may have me there. It is something I need to work on, but nepotism and cronyism is a plague that is infesting our country’s political and commercial landscape. I’d rather get a job based on my skills and merit than get a job because I know played baseball with the CEO’s son back in ’96. I can say this all I want and be steadfast in my beliefs, but in the end what I believe in won’t get me a job (though it has been known to happen).
Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Here’s to hitting the pavement and paying my dues.