Advice for setting goals, landing job

By Joe DeMarzio
March 12, 2010

Some people search their whole lives for their idea of the American dream, but when do you get to a point in your life when you say enough is enough?  The truth is, the United States is in a full blown recession that is affecting everyone and everything.  So the question is, when is it time to set realistic goals and get rid of the old ones?

The word “dream” is in the phrase because it is not realistic and it does not get accomplished in the blink of an eye.  However, that does not mean that you should just give up completely, but you should make goals to make sure that “dream” is even possible.

“Ideally a person should have a job that he or she would do even if there were no salary.  Most of us spend most of our lives at work.  We need to do something that we enjoy and believe is important,” Thomas Stretton Jr., assistant professor of education, said.

Understanding your position in corporate America is really important.  There are a great amount of college graduates who just assume that since they got their degree, it won’t be hard finding a job.  Well there are another 1.5 million college graduates who are waiting to take the job you want, so ditching your sense of entitlement will really help.  This should help take the idea out of your mind that the ride is over, because after college, you still need to interview and network until you actually find an entry-level position.  This will also help you find creative ways to make yourself stand out amongst the rest of your competition.

“You can’t be happy at a job if you don’t like what you are doing.  Even if I were still getting paid a lot, I would rather have a job I enjoyed doing,” Kerri MacNeal, senior psychology major, said.

Education matters more than it ever has in the United States.  With the recession, there are more people in college than any other time, and more and more competition that you will come up against while in pursuit of your career.  Your dream of a well-paying job won’t come as easy as expected.  Therefore, giving up your idea of wealth will ultimately help you succeed in the long run.  After all, money doesn’t buy happiness.

“Having a job right out a college is great, but not if it isn’t what you want to do.  But while working at a realistic job, I will continue to look until I find my ‘dream job.’  I don’t want to regret not doing something I enjoy,” said MacNeal.

Unless you’re becoming a teacher, get rid of that idea of having summers off, because once you are out of college, you have the same schedule for the whole entire year.  No Thanksgiving break, no spring break and no long break for the winter holidays.  Understanding the adaption from the collegiate schedule to the corporate schedule is key.

Just like the transition between high school and college, you are on top and important one minute, and then you have to start all over again at the bottom of the totem pole the next.  It isn’t forever; as your work grows, so will your titles and responsibility.

“I would say that students should give up the idea that their career paths will follow a straight and predictable path.  Many people start out doing one thing, and end up doing another and another and another.  It’s important to have a variety of skills, because you never know how you will end up using them in the future,” Carrie Nielsen, biology professor, said.

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Joe DeMarzio

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