Neither the New England Patriots nor the Atlanta Falcons would have made it into the Super Bowl game if they hadn’t keep their focus on the reaching the goal line during each and every game they played throughout this year’s season. Staying focused and determined on reaching the goal is critical to football success and it’s equally critical to students’ job search success. I often find that students get derailed from pursuing their career goals and dreams by external factors and pressures.
The reason this bothers me so much is because studies have shown that people are ultimately happier and more successful when they are working in a career that they love. If they don’t, they may have regrets later in life that they never pursued their dreams. I also feel that students have invested a lot of time, energy and money in earning their degree so should make every effort to turn find a job related to their major.
A finance major I was recently working really wants to work in financial services and is applying for internships in that field. However, he is currently working as a customer service representative in the telecommunications industry and is doing such an excellent job that his employer offered him full time employment as a manger after graduation. Sounds like a sweet deal, right? And one that is hard to refuse. Getting offers such as these are very flattering, especially to students who don’t have a lot of work experience and are grateful for any and all offers. The only problem is that if he takes this position, chances are he will never get back to his original career goal.
Another senior was in my office yesterday, and she had received a full-time offer from her current employer. However, it was for an accounting role, and she really wants to work in human resources. The offer was flattering and so was the salary! She confessed that the salary would help her pay off her tuition bills, and that is a very enticing reason to accept an offer. We discussed that she could work in the job for a year or so but then get back on track with pursuing her dream of working in HR.
Many students now are also getting contacted by recruiters on LinkedIn regarding enticing job leads. Again, it’s very flattering for a college student to be contacted by a recruiter! However, a lot of the time the recruiters are recommending jobs that have nothing to do with what the student really wants to do. The recruiters are working in their own best interest to fill their job quotas, but the job isn’t necessarily in the student’s best interest. Young college students just starting out in their careers are often naïve to this fact.