Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A View From the Left Coast

Well, maybe LAX would be a little more accurate description of my location...

I've been out here in LA the last few days, and sure enough even on vacation I find myself noticing things related to careers. Besides it getting really cold today (I would have thought that going to California would mean I wouldn't be cold at any point wearing long sleeves and jeans. And anyone in our office can tell you my opinions on what weather should be anyway...), the trip has driven home to me two very different things that can be applicable to all you Marquette students as well.

For one, everyone knows all the stereotypes of people that work at restaurants in LA; they're struggling/prospective actors waiting for their big break. Once my sister and I got through playing the always fun game of guessing what parts we think they are seeking, I decided to just go ahead and ask some of them. I figured I had nothing to lose, especially since I had already received my food. The common theme was that most of them were in fact hopeful actors. They agreed that it wasn't easy, and in the perfect world they wouldn't be working as a server. But each one of them said it would be completely worth it if it led to them getting that break they are seeking. As one of them put it, "You can't give up on your dreams. I'd be miserable always wondering if I could have got it if I wasn't doing this right now."

It's a good lesson I think. One thing I always like to point out is that your first job isn't always going to be your dream job, and it almost certainly isn't going to be your last job. You might want to become a Vice President of Marketing, but you aren't going to get there straight out of school. What you can do is to take the steps to get you to that job years down the line. Sure, it's not the idyllic thing, but if it gets you where you want to be, isn't it completely worth it?

The other thing I noticed is that students from all over the country are still looking intently for jobs. I was at the Jeopardy! College Tournament (my sister is going to be on, you should definitely watch) this week, and seniors from everywhere were in the same place many of you are, still trying to figure out what happens a month from now after graduation. Even kids from "name" schools were in the same predicament. One even asked a producer if they were hiring! The basic thing to take out of this is that it doesn't necessarily matter how smart you are or where you went to school. If you are persistent in your search, you can have success.

And of course, that's where we can help...

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