Have fun living in your parents’ basement


By John Sheehy, Coordinator of Career Development and Academic Advising and Adviser for The Reporter


“Career development.”

Not exactly the sexiest words to an undergraduate to hear or think about, are they? Besides, you have four years to worry about it, right? There is plenty of time, correct?

Not exactly.

If I had a nickel for each time I heard the statement “I’ll begin my job search closer to graduation” I could probably have retired last year. Why don’t the majority of students begin the career development process early, start networking their freshmen year at career events, and put off meeting with a career advisor until late in their academic careers?

In my opinion, it is because there are so many out-of-class activities to keep students busy. It also seems that students feel like they don’t need to worry about career development or finding a job, it will just happen, no worries. Or, are they just hiding from reality, like the big white elephant in the room?

Guess what? That elephant is not going to walk away. Oh, and let’s not forget, a career search is an in-depth process, and requires continued dedication, and can feel like it is a never-ending senior research project, which, in fact, it is. Who in their right mind would want to engage in such a tedious activity? Aren’t students supposed to be having the greatest time of their lives while in school? Well, good news, enjoy the party because it will continue for many years past graduation (in your parents’ basement), if efforts to achieve post-graduation success are not made now.

Fact: The average time to obtain your first post-graduation career position is three to five months.

Fact: The majority of college graduates will change positions six to eight times, and actual career paths three times in their first 10 years after graduation.

How do you reduce the job search time frame down by a month or two? How can you be sure that the process you will be using is in fact, viable and up to current professional standards? Work, that’s right, it takes work! There won’t be an individual at the bottom of the steps on the graduation stage handing out jobs and time cards, and the Office of Career Development and Academic Advising is not a placement agency. It educates, engages, and supports students and alumni through their career development and search processes. Each spring, as we near the conclusion of the academic year, I am disappointed by the number of graduating seniors who knock on my door and say the same four words: ”I need a job.” It’s like clockwork, every 30 minutes, the last two weeks of school, I hear those words, over, and over, and over.

I do not want you to be one of those lost individuals! Where have you been for four years, and what has kept you so busy that you could not have visited the office (at minimum once a semester over four years) to ensure you were on the right track for post-graduation success?

Students, I ask you, do not wait to learn the process and gain the resources needed for a successful career search. Begin now! Seniors, the Office of Career Development and Academic Advising has developed programming specifically for you, which is centered on your career education, engagement, networking, and learning how to “tell your story” to possible future employers.

Join Stetson University’s 2014 Senior Career Conference group on LinkedIn to RSVP to the half-day career conference on January 31, 2014. Meet with a career advisor and attend multiple career events. Our goal is for you to succeed, to assist in your achievement of post-graduation success, and for you to lead lives of significance.

No, “career development” are not the sexiest words, and nothing can guarantee you will have a job secured prior to graduation, but you can decrease the time frame for obtaining that job and ensure future success by learning the career development process and using the proper resources. Get started now before your student loans, rent, car insurance and phone bills come due. Don’t be in that dreadful line in May, saying those four words that nobody wants to say.

The clock is ticking. Time is short, don’t let it run out.


1 Comment

  1. Quick rambling thought here, keeping in mind this is just me playing devils advocate with myself. I definitely understand the importance of “career planning” in college (to a certain extent) and I think my thoughts may be more of an illustration of where the job market has been the last 8-10 years. There was a time you could hit the ground running with a Bachelors…those days have been gone for a while.

    I agree that one should start thinking about the process early. It’s a rough world/job market and those realities will never sink in while one is in the wonderful bubble of College. However, I think for some students the path to a career isn’t as clear. Asking an 18-21 year old to know what they want to do for the rest of their life is a pretty tall order. For many, a liberal arts education is the first step in figuring out the person one is. That’s where some learn how to research, create their own arguments, etc., for the first time. Further, a standard BA in anything barely gets you in the door for any competitive careers these days. Unless something has changed in the job market that I am unaware of all of the career planning in the world does bupkus when you are a “green” 22 year old with nothing but a BA from the “Harvard from the South” (just an example : ) that nobody has heard of outside the state of Florida. Even entry-level jobs are going to people in their late 20’s these days.

    I guess what I’m saying is…can you blame them? I had no idea what I wanted to “be” when I came to Stetson and the picture didn’t become clearer until well after graduation. I am envious of those who have always known exactly what they wanted and took the perfect path to get there. But for some undergrad is just the first step into adulthood, the ride is a little longer, and I don’t think that is always a bad thing.

    Go Hatters!

Leave a Reply