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Old 12-04-2008, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Bethlehem
4 posts, read 14,630 times
Reputation: 12

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Hey LVers, lol,

My name is Mark, and I've been lurking around these forums for the past few months. I'm 23, a recent college grad and was mainly just interested on how everyone felt about nightlife spots in the LV.

Having finished college, I took on the real world full steam, and quickly hit a brick wall. I'm working in retail now about 40-45 hours a week and making decent money, but this is far from the career choice that I had in mind.

I graduated with honors in Communication Studies and Business. I'm really pretty much just looking for anything entry level, whether it be sales, technical support, anything. I just want to get my foot in the door to a decent company that can offer my stable hours and reasonable medical coverage.

I have a copy of my resume if anyone can help me out at all. I'm 100% more than willing to meet up for coffee, talk on the phone, send emails, and do whatever I need to possibly do. I love the LV and have lived here all my life, but I'm starting to become uneasy with the fact that I'm having so much difficulty in finding a job. I'm open to nearly any suggestion as far as jobs go, but I just don't want (nor am I strong enough, haha) to dive into the physical laboring jobs (i have a decent B.A).

If anyone can help me out or has a friend who has a friend, please let me know. I was gone for 4 years attending college (Poconos) and really don't have any connections to anyone. I'm more than willing to file paperwork in a cubicle for 8-10 hours a day. To be honest, that'd almost be a dream job for me.

Thank you so much!

Mark.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:25 AM
 
Location: PA -> Denver, CO
205 posts, read 759,578 times
Reputation: 57
We're in tough times right now, unemployment is very high. I feel sorry for anyone looking for a job right now. The Lehigh Valley doesnt really seem to have a whole lot of white collar jobs, aside from hospitals and education. When I first graduated college, I ended up working in NJ because that's where I could find a good job. There are a lot of service companies around here that need people with business skills to create reports. Just keep your eyes open, look in the papers and online for any job postings. It's tough right now, I know a lot of people who are getting the under/over-qualified line. Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:29 AM
 
12,870 posts, read 29,506,883 times
Reputation: 7438
I just saw a friends son who has a degree in Environmental Science from a very good Pennsylvania private college working at a local retail store. I'm sure he's looking for something in his field, but in these tough economic times, just having a job is a good thing. Funny, my daughter graduated college in '07 and she and most of her friends are working in jobs in their field but my kids friends who graduated college this past Spring are all either in grad school, Americorps, or working in retail/temporary jobs. Don't get discouraged Mark, keep looking and be willing to relocate if you find a job that suits.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Bethlehem
4 posts, read 14,630 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks guys,

Yeah it honestly does seem the way it is. A friend of mine where I work had graduated nearly a year ago from a highly accliamed private school and spoke 3 languages (eng, spanish, and chinese) and couldn't find anything himself eiether.

The hunt continues!

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

Mark
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,293 posts, read 69,856,382 times
Reputation: 16932
I, too, will soon be graduating with my B.S. in Accounting (am now considering pursuing my MBA), and also work at a retail store along side many others with college degrees. This nation is in sad shape, folks. Not only did we just have one of the worst months for job losses EVER, but the government also has no way of tracking "underemployment." Due to the dearth of white-collar opportunity in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre both of my parents have college degrees and are underemployed. I'm earning $11/hr. and can't find any local opportunities (most of my peers have multiple job offers, but they all wish to relocate to NYC, NJ, or the other "rat-race" areas with plentiful jobs but also disgustingly inflated housing values).

I suspect that the number of people who are serving you in big-box stores with college degrees nowadays is mind-boggling. I have two co-workers at Lowe's with MBAs. I believe one at my former store had even done some post-graduate work. If the Lehigh Valley is anything like Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (and I suspect we're more alike than you'd think), then you have a high concentration of college graduates vying for a slim pool of skilled career opportunities.
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:41 AM
 
9,835 posts, read 20,305,957 times
Reputation: 7649
NO I think you guys have the typical expectations that after graduating college that employers are going to be gagging to get their hands on you. It's not the case and never has been. I think people expect that after graduating that employers are waiting with a big job with benefits, not so for most people. You've been watching too many tv shows and movies. The one thing that has been lacking in our education system is actual practical experience. That's really what people care about and it's what I had to learn the hard way myself. It is a bonus that you are "educated" but it's really practical experience people care about. Internships or taking a low level job in the business you are interested in is the way to go.

And right now employers are cutting back not hiring so it's a tough time. My business of which I am the sole employee that contracts with companies has been hit very hard and I'm working on getting started a similar line of work to broaden my skills base and income. I actually invest some of my earnings in continuing education and getting experiences that help get better work. It's the same as being a college graduate, you've got to find ways of getting practical experience that is actually a VALUE to someone. Having a bunch of theory in your head is great, but you need more than that.
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,293 posts, read 69,856,382 times
Reputation: 16932
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
NO I think you guys have the typical expectations that after graduating college that employers are going to be gagging to get their hands on you. It's not the case and never has been. I think people expect that after graduating that employers are waiting with a big job with benefits, not so for most people. You've been watching too many tv shows and movies. The one thing that has been lacking in our education system is actual practical experience. That's really what people care about and it's what I had to learn the hard way myself. It is a bonus that you are "educated" but it's really practical experience people care about. Internships or taking a low level job in the business you are interested in is the way to go.

And right now employers are cutting back not hiring so it's a tough time. My business of which I am the sole employee that contracts with companies has been hit very hard and I'm working on getting started a similar line of work to broaden my skills base and income. I actually invest some of my earnings in continuing education and getting experiences that help get better work. It's the same as being a college graduate, you've got to find ways of getting practical experience that is actually a VALUE to someone. Having a bunch of theory in your head is great, but you need more than that.
Actually that's not the case at all with me, so it would be pleasant if you would reserve judgment instead of making such blanket statements about today's youth. I do expect to be starting off as the "runt," but when I see so many of my college peers (most, in fact) getting $50k-$60k/year job offers in places outside of Pennsylvania, it does indicate that PA is a gaping black hole for skilled employment concerns. The people I work with at Lowe's that have college degrees are in their 30s-50s; they are not "just starting out." Also, if you possess a college degree, then you should outearn people without degrees. It's not just my "opinion," either. I can post statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau that show how much higher median household incomes tend to be on a progressive scale as educational attainment levels rise. Expecting to eventually earn more money than, per se, many of the production workers in the union at GM who have no education but earn $50/hr., should not be outlandish. If there is no longer an "edge" in terms of compensation for those with degrees, then why on Earth would people sill wish to invest so much money and time to educate themselves?

Also, look at the job offerings locally, and you'll be shaking your head. There are a number of openings for controllers, chief financial officers, senior accountants, etc., and then MOST lower-level openings available STILL require 2+ years of relevant experience. I'm applying now for internships in my field that pay LESS than what I currently earn in retail, which means that I'll have to work my retail job to keep pace with my expenditures, work these low-paying internships to gain experience in my field, AND carry 18 credits per semester. It's not the cake walk that so many "older and wiser" ones make it out to seem. I'm about to graduate and have never even been to a party. Most of my friends here at King's have likewise had unhappy experiences, and we've all been asking ourselves "So THESE were supposed to be the good years?"

Last edited by SteelCityRising; 12-06-2008 at 11:05 AM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:41 PM
 
102 posts, read 417,832 times
Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
The one thing that has been lacking in our education system is actual practical experience. That's really what people care about and it's what I had to learn the hard way myself. It is a bonus that you are "educated" but it's really practical experience people care about. Internships or taking a low level job in the business you are interested in is the way to go.
Though I would have worded the rest of your post different, I think you are right on the money with this.

There really is no substitute to good old work experience in your specific field.

I graduated college 6 years ago from a top25 university, got a Masters Degree 4 years ago from a top10 one, and still didn't have any good solid work experience. As a current business owner, I feel that degrees are very over-rated. This is why I disagree with your statement, ScranBarre, that people with college degrees should out earn people without degrees. Especially when times are tough for companies like they are now, having actual work experience in the field is much more desirable than a piece of paper saying that you sat through school for 4 years.

I think the difference between now and before is that now employers don't have the financial flexibility to take someone who is fresh off earning a degree and training them on the job. They rather have someone that can fill the need immediately and produce results for the company.

The people who are really "set" and able to find the good jobs that they want in their field immediately after college are the ones that did those internships part time during school, or during the summer.

I definitely would recommend doing these internships. Even if you can't find employment immediately after graduation, I think you can find it sooner with that added experience, than by not doing them at all.

Just my 2 cents.

Goodluck.
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Old 12-06-2008, 03:27 PM
 
12,870 posts, read 29,506,883 times
Reputation: 7438
I think internships are great IF you can find them. From what I've heard companies hire interns when they foresee having jobs in the future because it's just as much trouble to train someone for three months as it is for a long term position. My son (College junior) couldn't find an internship last summer and ended up working at a local factory instead. He managed to save up quite a bit but will be looking even harder for one for summer '09. My daughter was smart in that every single one of her jobs (camp counselor for three camps over a 7 year period, tutoring at a detention center during college, plus working at a daycare) and her built in internship as a student teacher bulked up her resume.

I think most college students don't expect jobs to fall from trees, after all the unemployment situation is in the news every day and they probably have their parents "reminding" them too.
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Old 12-06-2008, 05:52 PM
 
9,835 posts, read 20,305,957 times
Reputation: 7649
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
Actually that's not the case at all with me, so it would be pleasant if you would reserve judgment instead of making such blanket statements about today's youth. I do expect to be starting off as the "runt," but when I see so many of my college peers (most, in fact) getting $50k-$60k/year job offers in places outside of Pennsylvania, it does indicate that PA is a gaping black hole for skilled employment concerns. The people I work with at Lowe's that have college degrees are in their 30s-50s; they are not "just starting out." Also, if you possess a college degree, then you should outearn people without degrees. It's not just my "opinion," either. I can post statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau that show how much higher median household incomes tend to be on a progressive scale as educational attainment levels rise. Expecting to eventually earn more money than, per se, many of the production workers in the union at GM who have no education but earn $50/hr., should not be outlandish. If there is no longer an "edge" in terms of compensation for those with degrees, then why on Earth would people sill wish to invest so much money and time to educate themselves?

Also, look at the job offerings locally, and you'll be shaking your head. There are a number of openings for controllers, chief financial officers, senior accountants, etc., and then MOST lower-level openings available STILL require 2+ years of relevant experience. I'm applying now for internships in my field that pay LESS than what I currently earn in retail, which means that I'll have to work my retail job to keep pace with my expenditures, work these low-paying internships to gain experience in my field, AND carry 18 credits per semester. It's not the cake walk that so many "older and wiser" ones make it out to seem. I'm about to graduate and have never even been to a party. Most of my friends here at King's have likewise had unhappy experiences, and we've all been asking ourselves "So THESE were supposed to be the good years?"
Well I'm here and you're there, so in the ten years since I graduated I've seen what it actually takes to get good work.

You say that you applying for internships that pay less than what you earn in retail. Well duh yes that is the way it is. That company is giving you an internship which will give you experience in your field of work, plus give you the opportunity to make some contacts. As I've said before every year I pay out of my pocket to get relevant experience and education in my field so I am a value to people that hire me. If you want to be an asset to an employer, having as much experience as possible is vital. Instead of perhaps working in retail you would be better serving working in bookkeeping or some other very entry level position in accounting.

The statistics, interesting, but really pointless. What really matters to employers is getting the job done, they really don't care about your life story or that you were part of the Spanish club or played the trombone. I know for a fact when people look at my resume they pretty much look at the most recent jobs i've done in the past six months. The fact that I graduated college 10 years ago or did this job or that 5 years ago is nice to know, but not vital.

There are a lot of people that don't have college degrees that make lots of money and that is because they are very skilled at something. Your statement that because you have a college degree entitles you to earn more than someone without is a stupid statement. You don't have much in the way of skills right now. Are you worth $50K right now when you don't have any experience? Probably not.

Yes, PA is not the best place for jobs. This is a very anti business state with crap loads of bureaucracy. I am an independent contractor, but if I ever started a business in my field, it would never be here. That $50-60K you say your classmates may have got might not go far in Washington DC for instance. And there may be other factors involved as well.
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