Those Career Center woes
“Got a job yet?” is a question that Erica L. Humphrey has asked in the subject heading of more than one of her Career Center e-mails. I think she knows that I don’t have a job. I think she is mocking me. “Please hire me…” Humphrey wrote in another recent subject heading. Now, I think she is making me sound desperate.
I am desperate, but I don’t need to be reminded of it every time I log into my e-mail account.
In this less-than-ideal job market, I feel that (on the surface level) the Career Center has been less-than-sympathetic to the plight of seniors who are struggling to get through their last year of college, let alone figure out what they’re going to do after it.
“If you don’t make an appointment with the Career Center, you won’t get a job.” This is the message I came away with from the Center’s mandatory senior meeting at the beginning of the semester, which opened with Roger Woolsey reciting a list of dispiriting statistics about the shrinking U.S. job market.
I understand that Woolsey and his team are trying to encourage students to utilize an available, invaluable resource, but why must they be so pessimistic in their persuasion?
If the Career Center is trying to scare us into figuring out our future, I think I can speak on the behalf of my fellow classmates when I say this: we’re already scared. We have daily front-page New York Times articles to remind us of the ailing economy, we have parents who’ve been laid-off and we have recently graduated friends who are still living with their parents.
We are terrified. What we need from the College is encouragement, and encouragement can be as simple as a couple of words in an email subject heading.
I’m not asking for overly cheery assertions like: “You can get a job today!” or “We know you are qualified!” I’m not asking for cutesy, faux optimistic affirmations of my own post-college prospects—a simple, straightforward “Job Opportunities” would suffice. For me, the biggest source of encouragement in my feeble job search has come not from the Career Center but from the Occupy Wall Street movement taking place miles away in New York City.
While many of the protesters on Wall Street are well-educated professionals with steady incomes, many are also living below the poverty line. Nevertheless, their signs read: “We are the 99%,” promoting a sense of solidarity and yes—optimism. The people occupying Wall Street aren’t holding signs saying, “We are NOT the 1%.”
This powerful movement calling for the end to suffering at the expense of corporate greed has helped put my stressful senior year into perspective, but it also supports my relatively insignificant woes: Occupy Wall Street proves that it is possible to remain hopeful in this undeniably harsh economic climate.