Taking a job risk
Carolyn Hutyra | Monday, December 8, 2014
While students tend to eagerly look forward to their senior year, this final step of the college process is accompanied by the frequently asked question, “What are you doing next year?”
The lucky students secure their positions following their summer internships while others must wait until the final months of the school year to hopefully open the prized acceptance email or letter.
Despite the show of confidence to others, many students succumb to a panic during this uncertain time. There is a secret inner joy any time one uncertain student meets another who has also yet to figure out his or her future plans.
Another commonly told story of this job search is the acceptance of positions students really do not want. I have already too often heard of students signing with companies they have no interest in or simply choosing the first company they hear back from in the name of security.
A friend of mine recently questioned this trend. Students would rather be safe and take the first job that comes their way, he said, than wait for a job they truly love.
I think students these days play it too safe. While students search for job security, an entry-level position and the ability to move up in a company, they often miss out on other opportunities along the way.
Accepting simply any position should not be good enough. While I don’t like being told by older generations that my generation does not take risks and that we lack the drive to go out on a limb, to a certain extent I can understand where they are coming from.
One of my family friends, a Notre Dame graduate who is now the CEO of a successful company in California, told me that he had no idea what he was going to do when he graduated. He packed up his car, drove across the country and eventually started his own company. There was no job security in that move, but he was willing to take the risk.
Today, some students argue they do not have the luxury to go out on this limb, but few people will ever have this luxury. Making a calculated risk does not always turn out the way we want, but there is so much to learn in the process.
While I personally have no grounds on which to tell other students to go out and take risks, my one piece of advice would be not to settle so easily. Yes, we do have the rest of our lives ahead of us and we have the option of changing professions if we wish, but why not start off closer to where we want to be in the first place?
This may take time, this may not be easy, but sometimes doing what we love is worth the risk.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.