You just got the phone call. They liked you a lot. The interview went well. But they’ve decided to go in another direction.
You’re disappointed and confused. You were perfect for this job. You have everything they’re looking for and more. How could any candidate be a better fit?
Instead of getting all worked up about it, take this as an opportunity for growth. Here are a few tips that may help:
1. Remember it’s for the best. The people making this decision know what they’re looking for much more than you do. Whether you see it or not, they don’t believe you’re a match. Trust that they know the role and their organization well enough to gauge the fit. It’s better that you know now. Wouldn’t it be awful to start a new job only to quickly learn that it’s not for you? The decision-makers are trying their hardest to make sure it’s the right thing for everyone involved, and they’ve likely saved you a lot of trouble. Now you can move on and find something that better suits your skills and personality.
If you’re used to going into an office from 9 in the morning until 6 in the evening, and you suddenly find yourself between jobs, you’ve got a whole new set of distractions to contend with! How do you stay focused on your job search and keep your spirits up? I address this question specifically in my recent interview on Fox 31 Denver’s Good Day Colorado. Watch the video below and see for yourself.
Today, I’d like to address the age-old question of education and employment. What’s the correlation? And, given today’s economy, how much does education matter?
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t perfectly clear.
I hear from a lot of people who are unemployed or underemployed, and they always want to know: Should I take advantage of this time by going back to school?
My answer, again, is usually pretty vague: It depends.
I know what you’re thinking: “Okay, Chrissy. Seriously. Why am I reading this article if you aren’t going to provide any solid, clear-cut answers?”
I hear you. So let me provide a little context:
Most of you have probably heard this often-cited statistic regarding income: For every year of higher education you receive, you can expect to earn an additional $10,000 in annual salary.
Sounds pretty good, right?
The U.S. Census Bureau has released data supporting this theory:
Workers 18 and over sporting bachelors degrees earn an average of $51,206 a year, while those with a high school diploma earn $27,915. But wait, there’s more. Workers with an advanced degree make an average of $74,602, and those without a high school diploma average $18,734.
Fair enough. But let’s not forget that college costs money. The New York Times reported that the average college debt at graduation was $24,000 in 2009.
So, the added income comes with a price tag of its own. But surely that degree will practically guarantee your employment, right?
In 2010, CNN reported that 85% of recent college grads moved back in with their parents due to employment woes.
Research shows that, back in the 1990s, a college degree was a great shield from unemployment. Those with higher education were practically immune! These days, while not completely immune to it, college graduates do still have a significantly lower unemployment rate. According to the Huffington Post:
The unemployment rate of college graduates who are at least 25 years old is just 4.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In contrast, 13.8 percent of high school dropouts, 8.7 percent of high school graduates, and 7.7 percent of college dropouts are unemployed.
So clearly, having a degree reduces your chance of unemployment dramatically. However, according to that same Huffington Post article, “College graduates and advanced degree holders, once they are unemployed, are as vulnerable as high school dropouts to long-term joblessness, a new study has found.”
All of this information yields one conclusion: There’s no easy answer.
Yes, a college degree is helpful on many levels, but it’s no guarantee. It’s an investment of time and money and (hopefully) it will pay off in the log-run. Most employers, when choosing between two candidates with equal experience, will opt for the one with higher education…much of the time, but not always.
All that being said, I have my own feelings about college degrees. Personally, I have a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Marketing. But I can tell you this: When I graduated from college, I knew very, VERY little about the real world of business and even less about the real world of marketing.
A college degree rarely teaches what you need to know for actually doing the job. What it DOES teach you is patience, hard work, and persistence. It proves you’re able to commit to something. It shows you know how to play the game, follow the rules and finish what you start, even when it’s hard. These are the qualities employers are looking for. And these are the qualities that will serve you well in any career.
But you still have a lot to learn. Your degree doesn’t really mean you know more than the next guy. Experience is often more valuable in learning the nitty-gritty, practical, everyday operations of your chosen career path.
So keep a realistic perspective about it. Don’t go into it thinking that college will change everything. Don’t convince yourself that a degree makes you invincible.
I know you have thoughts on this! Share them in the comments.