U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Work and Employment > Job Search
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 06-22-2015, 05:55 PM
 
1,115 posts, read 2,262,386 times
Reputation: 2126

Advertisements

As a twenty something career searcher / college graduate, doing informational interviews with middle aged and older individuals has gotten extremely depressing to me. I've done quite a lot the last several years as I've explored different fields and have tried to get a good feel of where I want to focus in on.

Anyway, the thing that always bothers me about these interviews is when I ask the question "How did you get into your current position?". (Keep in mind the people I'm talking to actually like their jobs)

The usual responses I get almost always sounds like this:

People over age 50:
"If you wanted to work you just went into a company and said you wanted to work there. Then we got trained by the company, got promotions, and stayed with the company till retirement."

People aged 30-50:
"I pretty much just fell into my position! I bounced around all these different jobs and eventually had this guy who asked me out of the blue if I would like an opportunity to do "insert interesting career here". I said yes and I've been doing this ever since.

People 29 and under:
"I screamed, kicked, and clawed myself into this position. I got 3 degrees, did 4 internships, have a professional website and blog, and spent massive amounts of time and money pursuing this job. I'm in a good job now but I might get laid off soon."

-------

Catch what is different for the first two compared to the last one? Why the heck is it so damn hard for college grads to find work these days? And forget about "trying out" different careers. Now you need a college degree and ample work experience before a company will even consider you for a $15 an hour entry level position in a professional field. I hate to say it, but I get so discouraged when I talk to other people about their career path (or even read published interviews) and they pretty much all were handed a job on a silver platter. Not to count even that most older folks were able to try out a variety of different careers before settling into their chosen field. Now if a young person wants to try a career they pretty much have to pay to do it! (college or unpaid internships). Then you make your investment so you can finally try that job for real and get paid for it, and no one even will give you the chance to do it!

So is it just me? Does anyone else hear similar things about other people's career paths, or is it just me? All I can say is that it is a rough generation to be a young person looking for a professional career.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-22-2015, 06:59 PM
 
134 posts, read 89,080 times
Reputation: 349
Job searching is depressing for sure. However, I think you need to keep in mind that attitudes about jobs weren't the same when those 50 year olds were your age. A lot of folks didn't go to college so blue collar and skilled labor jobs were the starting point for many, unlike today. Factories needed workers, so you went an applied. The paid a decent living wage and you worked there for life. Very different mindset than today.

I fall in your middle category. I got 3 really great jobs by just applying for and accepting entry level roles; still didn't see too many women in executive roles whenI was your age. I was able to grow my duties as I gained experience at the company. I also didn't job hop and was never looking for the next best thing nor placed my career worth on title or how much money I made. I think this philosophy is also much different than today's job seekers. So much emphasis is placed on who your company is e.g. Apple, Google, etc) also, when I was in my early 20's, college degrees weren't a dime a dozen and it was rare for parents to pay their child's college tuition. Most got an available job to pay for college the,selves or just started working right out of high school. At least in my area. Also, many of my age lived through the Wall Street/mortgage era where anyone could start in a position and get a fancy title with little to experience

I would hardly say people before you were handed their job on silver platters, but perhaps they were willing to accept jobs that people today deem beneath them? Or they placed more emphasis on stable employment rather than finding a dream job.

It will get better and one day you'll tell a 20-something how you landed your career.

��
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-22-2015, 07:15 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 42,064,275 times
Reputation: 39492
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_grimace View Post
People 29 and under:
"I screamed, kicked, and clawed myself into this position. I got 3 degrees, did 4 internships, have a professional website and blog, and spent massive amounts of time and money pursuing this job. I'm in a good job now but I might get laid off soon."
I know plenty of young adults that age (since I have kids that age and a bit older), and I can honestly say that not one would describe their career in that fashion.
One degree, one internship, usually a semester abroad... jobs in their chose field.
One did get laid off, but was heavily wooed and hired with a 20% pay increase and an obscene stock option.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-22-2015, 07:25 PM
 
10,076 posts, read 6,099,034 times
Reputation: 15456
you didn't really think that the older guys had a better did you?

They probably gave the same answers when they were 20 somethings... then as time went by, the less successful fell out of the workforce and you get a positive biased for the people that are left. Move onto the next age group, and that biased gets even stronger because they choose to keep working if they liked that job...

you could always as the old guys in prison and see how much easier it is these days than when they had it... see how your perspective changes by changing the setting, back then they had to walk 20 miles to hustle drugs and beat down people with knives, now gangs just stand on the corner and shoot each other
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-22-2015, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
11,913 posts, read 10,688,012 times
Reputation: 19839
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_grimace View Post
As a twenty something career searcher / college graduate, doing informational interviews with middle aged and older individuals has gotten extremely depressing to me. I've done quite a lot the last several years as I've explored different fields and have tried to get a good feel of where I want to focus in on.

Anyway, the thing that always bothers me about these interviews is when I ask the question "How did you get into your current position?". (Keep in mind the people I'm talking to actually like their jobs)

The usual responses I get almost always sounds like this:

People over age 50:
"If you wanted to work you just went into a company and said you wanted to work there. Then we got trained by the company, got promotions, and stayed with the company till retirement."

People aged 30-50:
"I pretty much just fell into my position! I bounced around all these different jobs and eventually had this guy who asked me out of the blue if I would like an opportunity to do "insert interesting career here". I said yes and I've been doing this ever since.

People 29 and under:
"I screamed, kicked, and clawed myself into this position. I got 3 degrees, did 4 internships, have a professional website and blog, and spent massive amounts of time and money pursuing this job. I'm in a good job now but I might get laid off soon."

--
Your comps are poor.

Are you only interviewing people with successful, interesting jobs? How many of the 45 year olds had an interesting job when they were 25? Speaking for myself, I have an interesting job now, but you would have been bored by my position when I was 25.

I suspect that you aren't interviewing 50 year olds with meh jobs, and a bunch of the 25 year olds that are only marginally successful now are going to be nicely successful in the coming decades.

ETA. Eyeb made the same point as I was composing. Reps to you.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-22-2015, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Western MA
2,276 posts, read 1,659,685 times
Reputation: 6327
I am in my 50s and my experience was the opposite. As a woman in the workplace in the '80s I found it very hard to be taken seriously. In NYC (where I started) all any company wanted to know was how fast I could type even though I had college degree from a highly competitive university. They wanted women to be secretaries and sexism and harassment in the workplace was rampant. I had to take a pay cut to take a job where I even had a chance to get into something where I might be able to advance my career. It took me over 16 years there and a number of jobs and fits and starts, networking, taking big risks on what I could learn and do and who would take a chance on me. Over the years I gained a myriad of experience that gave me an extremely unique background to be successful in what I do today for a Fortune 500 company. I worked extremely hard to get where I am, I took risks and made big sacrifices along the way. Most of what makes me successful in my current job has nothing to do with what I learned in college. Frankly, the same can be said for pretty much everyone I work with at my company.

Forget about how someone got to where they are. What are YOU going to do to get to where you want to be?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-22-2015, 08:34 PM
 
10,076 posts, read 6,099,034 times
Reputation: 15456
Quote:
Originally Posted by DebNashua View Post
I am in my 50s and my experience was the opposite. As a woman in the workplace in the '80s I found it very hard to be taken seriously. In NYC (where I started) all any company wanted to know was how fast I could type even though I had college degree from a highly competitive university. They wanted women to be secretaries and sexism and harassment in the workplace was rampant. I had to take a pay cut to take a job where I even had a chance to get into something where I might be able to advance my career. It took me over 16 years there and a number of jobs and fits and starts, networking, taking big risks on what I could learn and do and who would take a chance on me. Over the years I gained a myriad of experience that gave me an extremely unique background to be successful in what I do today for a Fortune 500 company. I worked extremely hard to get where I am, I took risks and made big sacrifices along the way. Most of what makes me successful in my current job has nothing to do with what I learned in college. Frankly, the same can be said for pretty much everyone I work with at my company.

Forget about how someone got to where they are. What are YOU going to do to get to where you want to be?
shh, you are ruining his "older people have it easier" idea... keep it to yourself lol

besides, he WANTS that secretary job probably... maybe if he dressed himself up and pretty?

Yeah, I do wonder why people think a college degree is that important, by the time someone is in their 40s, 2 decades would have made a lot of what they learned in college outdated anyways, and by the time they are 50, it's pretty much all entirely different. Sure I value my college time and will remember it, but do I think my degree is going to be useful in 30 years? Not really, I expect technology to alter my job enough that I could frame the degree as an antique. It's a good "boost" to get someone onto a career, but it doesn't sustain it is what I'm saying. And why older workers with skills learned through working is more valuable than college degrees to some people. I work with people without all my certifications, and they can run circles around me because they were there to help develop and implement those things, so I just keep mouth shut and learn from them, and then I take their spots when they retire
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-22-2015, 09:14 PM
 
1,115 posts, read 2,262,386 times
Reputation: 2126
Good points, everyone. Regardless, it just seems harder to find a position right out of school. Companies won't take you without a degree, then you get the degree and they won't take you without experience, so those 3-5 years of getting that "needed experience" are just super tough.

I have some friends overseas in Europe too and I'm always amazed (and jealous) that they actually have solid apprenticeship programs yet. And just not trade apprenticeships, they have them for business, engineering, programming, health care, journalism, and other professional (college level) careers. They take you in after you graduate, pay you to train under someone, and get you those dreaded few years of experience you need for a real position. This is what America needs. If you have the education, you should be given the opportunity to work in your field under a mentor. Mentors and apprenticeships in America? No, we have unpaid or crappy internships with bosses that make us run for their food and coffees. We aren't really provided that opportunity to gain those valuable years of experience. We are left to the wolves to fend for ourselves. I do not feel like it was like this in the past.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-22-2015, 09:45 PM
 
10,076 posts, read 6,099,034 times
Reputation: 15456
It isn't that we don't have them, it's just people don't take advantage of them because outside of the few that research them on their own, most don't know/do it.

Colleges have a 3+1 type thing where you spend the last year doing "work" for experience and taking minimal classes. Undergrad research for the sciences, internships for white collar, rotations for healthcare degrees. Or something similar. The senior year shouldn't be all classes regardless, take a heavy class load in the junior year, then work in the degree field that last year as well as applying for jobs too.

Ask Europe's youth how they are doing though even with those apprenticeships, they have a higher unemployment than the US I believe, was higher the last I looked but it has been a while since I looked.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Work and Employment > Job Search

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top