If it were up to me, the answer would be no, it’s not worth waiting for your “dream job” as a new grad. I’ve written about this at length over the last couple of years, but now I finally have some company on the bandwagon.
If you’ve been reading the site for a while, you already know my stance on finding your dream job out of school. But I was reading Are today’s grads too picky about jobs? on MSN recently and I thought it was time to revisit the debate, this time with reinforcements.
Here’s the author’s rationale for suggesting that any job is better than waiting for the “right” job to come around:
Far from seeing this as a problem, we think Ivy League graduates SHOULD work at street fairs, Starbucks, McDonald’s, etc., to learn something about the world from which they have been insulated all these years. Queenan warns these young graduates they’ll have to work with people who believe in UFOs and play in REO Speedwagon tribute bands. We think they need that experience.
And why are these new grads in this situation in the first place? It’s some good, ol’ fashioned questionable logic:
Yet despite the fact that the new graduates are in no position to pose conditions for employers, many are increasingly declaring themselves unwilling to work more than 40 hours a week. Graduates are turning down job offers in high numbers — essentially opting to move back home with their parents if the work offered doesn’t match their self-assessed market value.
This is a classic issue of poor estimation. Perhaps a short story will help clarify things.
When I was younger, my sixth grade teacher gave me a couple of bound Sports Illustrated collections that had been surplussed from our school library. At the time, I was convinced they were worth a fortune. I tried selling them (with dreams of a thousand dollar payday) only to find that no one wanted them.
So I figured that if I held onto them for a few years, they would appreciate in value. However, my parents told me that something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.
Well guess what. I’m still trying to sell those books. My most recent attempt (half-seriously on eBay) met with no bids. Now, I just want them out of my house. You see, the lesson my parents taught me (or rather, let me learn) was true. If no one is willing to pay what you are looking for, you’ve over-estimated its value.
The same goes for new grads. Holding out with inflated expectations is an excellent way to remain unemployed for a very long time, especially in this market.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that you need to be aware that having unreasonable expectations is one thing, but not realizing the value of work experience (over sitting at home) is another thing altogether. Sometimes the best opportunities are hidden beneath the surface.
So don’t wait for your dream job. Find an opportunity that provides room to grow. You never know what will happen.