Sarah Isdik’s article “Unprepared: From Elite College to the Job Market” was a clear white flag for anyone thinking of coasting through their collegiate days. And although I really enjoyed getting to follow her on her journey through life, both the ups and the downs, I quickly became frustrated with what appeared to be her lack of confidence or initiative to make herself competitive in the job market.
Instead of complaining about what her takeaway from her liberal arts degree, the real criticism should be about how she didn’t take advantage of the resources available through that same liberal arts degree. This may be harsh, but after reading the article, it seems as though Idzik did not give her 100% and thus the output was less than exciting. Indeed the economy is tough, yes the job market is experiencing a struggle in creating opportunities for recent graduates, but with that in mind, witnessing friends go through similar rocky roads, she should have taken it upon herself to “grab the bull by the horns” and the tail for that matter, instead of wallowing in her minor setback.
In all seriousness, when I first began reading the article, Idzik sounded like a (much more) pessimistic version of myself when I first entered Trinity. I was very frustrated at the lack of structure in the curriculum, not being able to specialize on anything particular. True story, scary similar details. However, the liberal arts education that Trinity has provided me over the past four years is one of a kind, especially within the Communication department. The skills that I have been able to develop and learn, and the application are invaluable to the job market. After my final round phone interview for the IRTS Summer Fellowship Program yesterday afternoon, I finally realized the uniqueness of my experience and how I am actually better prepared for the next chapter in my life.
Focusing back on the article, I was proud to know that Idzik began to recognize she was at her low point. At no point should anyone ever do a job that they hate. You may learn from it, but it will not be a source of encouragement for you to continue growing in your educational or professional career. Opting to leave and start fresh for Idzik was the right idea. Best of luck to her.
Thus, the lesson at hand is to make something of the time and opportunities allotted in specific situations. Part of embracing the liberal arts curriculum is the ability to be flexible in your decision making. While it was apparent that Idzik was incredibly ambitious, her “over” ambition created a slight hurdle in achieving her true dreams. It’s unfortunate that she didn’t believe herself to be qualified, but had she focused during college, this story could have ended differently. Finding a good balance between enjoying life and enjoying life (yes the same thing), between her greatest interest and activities, she most likely wouldn’t have reached this position.
During a recent exam for Consumer Behavior, our study preparation focused on identifying the five age generations that have played a major role in shaping our understanding of perspective and life events. There’s the pre-Depression, Depression, Baby Boom, Generation X, Generation Y (which is the one that the article focuses) and Generation Z.
As per the textbook definition, Generation Y “will represent roughly 79 million Americans in 2015, thus rivaling the baby boom generation… and is characterized by a strong sense of independence and autonomy. They are assertive, self-reliant, emotionally and intellectually expressive, innovative and curious” (125). They are also known as the “echo boom,” the children of the baby boomers.
Throughout the article, Myers and Sadaghiani go through great lengths to reinforce their opinions and conclusions about the Millennials through incessant citations. So much to the point that I felt as though I was struggling to find their actual analysis in between the names of other academics researching within this field. However, once I reached the meat of the text, I approved.
While most of the adjective traits were fairly accurate and in line with how I perceive my generation, I was mostly put off with how much of a burden we have become to the working world. I somewhat agree with the fact that we must “pay our dues,” keeping the cycle fair and working hard to achieve results, but the truth of the matter is that our dues aren’t the same price as they were several years ago. They’re a lot cheaper now, can be paid with credit, and installments if need be. Times have changed and so have the people.
Not to be completely critical about Myers and Sadaghiani, because I do indeed agree with them on a lot of their research, but in response to a particular claim, I would say this. The reason that Millennials are “not being intimidated by individuals who are more senior, either in ago or in status” (220), is primarily because of of the increasing pressure to get engaged. Along with our predecessors Generation Z, we no longer have the time to remain as children, but instead face the realities of life. You honestly can’t afford to be scared or afraid of anything. This is our moment where responsibilities of our identities change.
I also do not believe that we lack work ethic. Because of the most recent economic downturn, we are having to face the realities of unemployment and that we are not the only ones considered to be the victims. Just look around. The real culprit is the fact that we have not only “been born into households with computers and to have grown up surrounded by digital media,” but have also been dropped right into the middle of a huge transition of efficiency with technology.
I find it offensive when people question our identity.
It is my hope that we never come across as disrespectful, but that we posses the capability to identify ourselves as challengers and competitors during this generation.
As far as my takeaway from reading both of these articles, the strategy for entering the workplace is very simple. If others are perceiving my generation as ungrateful for our opportunities, prove them wrong. Instead, spin it another way.
Using Senior Executive and other adults as a resource is prime. By creating a mentorship relationship, they will not only feel valued, but that they are also passing down a legacy of their information This provides them the success and achievement factor if we are able to act successfully based on their recommendations.
We are Generation Y, the Millennials, and that’s what makes us unique.
Note: The Consumer Behavior textbook source is as follows…
Hawkins, Del I., and David L. Mothersbaugh. Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2013. Print.