Editorial: Students need more realistic job expectations

We all know that the current economy is tough, and finding a job fresh out of college will be a challenge. Having an idea of what to expect, who to contact and what steps to take would be a great help in finding that ideal first job as well as to calm our nerves about holding a full-time position.

This past weekend, Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), the education honor society on campus, hosted Workshop Day, an event composed of three separate hour-long sessions held to help future teachers. One of those sessions was about the first year of teaching and what to anticipate, from starting the job search to starting the first day in the school.
At the workshop, an alumna who graduated from Rider last year walked attendees through each step she took in order to land the position at a local elementary school. In the hour that was allotted, the recent grad and current students looked at the different job search websites there are to find potential jobs, learned what to say or do in an interview if employers call, examined how to prepare a future classroom after getting hired and saw what to do on the first day.

The entire session was extremely helpful. Anyone can tell you what you should expect in a job, but until you hear it firsthand, it doesn’t help.

A process like this should be adapted for other students and the jobs they hope to hold one day. Any job search causes anxiety from the beginning of the employment hunt to the very first day of the job. But those feelings are sure to be magnified when hired for a career you’ve been envisioning for yourself for four years.

Rider does sponsor some events like Workshop Day, but not for each specific major. The university should find a way to get into contact with former Rider grads (the more recent the graduation date the better) and set up an info session. Have the person come in, talk about how to land the job in that field and all of the steps to take. It’s probably the best way to ease the nerves of students preparing to graduate if they can hear all about the journey from someone who was in their position a year or two earlier. To get a recent grad who is currently at an entry-level position in their desired career would be most reasonable, since everyone has to start at the bottom and work their way up.

Rider has a Career Services Office to help with all of the essential steps in landing a job, but the advice doesn’t come with the personal anecdotes particular to certain fields that a speaker can provide. Professors in charge of senior seminars could bring in more guest speakers to their classes to prep students for what is soon approaching. And other student organizations besides KDP should find past Rider grads to help current students find their footing in their desired careers.

These days, it’s not wise to go through college thinking that you will automatically get hired as soon as graduation comes along. But knowing where to start and what you will or won’t see in the first year of employment is a great way to get started.

This weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News. This week’s editorial was written by the Opinion Editor, Angelique Lee.

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