Stuck at 25 with a college degree and no career

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Hassan in Leicester, United Kingdom

48 months ago

Hey all, I am currently 25, I have a 2:2 degree in business and management.

I have not been able to find any kind of employment for a year and a a half now so I feel kinda stuck myself. Ideally I want a job in management consulting. As this is the closest and most enjoyable aspect of my degree - analysing organisations, finding short falls within the firm and providing impactful solutions. However, I don't really have the qualifications or experience for that matter, to be taken seriously.

I had fully given up applying to jobs a year ago, but after a great amount of thought and guidance from numerous people I feel revitalised. I guess I'm not in a position to really advise anyone but this is what I'm doing at the moment:

I'm spending my spare time to learn things, such as brushing up on my arithmetic, English and communication. Ideally skills that will be useful to any employer. Additionally, I'm practising case interviews, so that I can effectively demonstrate astute analytical skills. Which I know for certain is something that employers value.

Honestly, one of the main things I noticed while I have been unemployed is that my brain has been turning to mush. in other words, my brain had not been stimulated or not used for anything productive for such a long time that I began to lose serious confidence in my abilities and self.

Therefore, I want to make sure I remain sharp and clued up. So when I do finally get that interview, I can genuinely come across as someone intelligent, smart, dedicated and enthusiastic to help land that job.

Ever since, I have been studying, I feel much better about myself and optimistic all around. This attitude has definitely helped me to stay productive and hopeful for my future.

Good luck to everyone looking for a job!

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Nicolle in Brisbane, Australia

47 months ago

Maybe you should try starting your own business, your obviously motivated and driven to succeed. I might have something of interest, feel free to reach out to me if you'd like to discuss it.

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jcleav in Middletown, Connecticut

47 months ago

Morpheos Is your name nate?

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Baby genius in Seattle, Washington

47 months ago

Purple in Lake Forest, Illinois said: I have a Master's in Engineering from the top school (U.S.) in the field. I have been in school for the last 21 years. I'm 24 years old. And I have no job. I've applied for over 1000 jobs and only got 1 interview. I feel like a failure.

21 years?

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Jennifer Hinds in Phoenix, Arizona

47 months ago

Why don't you get your Master's and teach at Community College?

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It's gonna happen 2014 in Canton, Michigan

46 months ago

I know exactly what you mean. I graduated in 2008 with a degree in International Business & Marketing. Sales positions have been the ONLY companies that actually call. No experience is all I here. I am on unemployment now for a month. Have sent out 15 resumes in a few weeks with only one call saying no experience. Try sales, I know it isn't what you want to do, but it will keep cash flow going until you can create some "buzz" perhaps amongst friends who may know someone who can get you a position that fits your skillset. I too wish I had changed my major to have a better opportunity. I have a friend who majored in criminal justice and now works for the DEA have you tried there?

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Todd in Madison Heights, Michigan

45 months ago

Morpheos in Storrs Mansfield, Connecticut said: Thus I have gone full circle in 2.5 years and am back where I started. .....I have not developed any work experience or skills that are transferable outside of manufacturing or even to skilled manufacturing. I feel like I have thrown away my college degree

I am not cut out for sales or telephone jobs and am a very introverted person but I am very smart.
..Maybe education is a way out of this underemployment trap ...The soft skills of an Economics /History/Psychology/etc degree do not seem to be worth much

The problem with getting an education is two-fold. One, the schools lie to you. They make you think your degree opens up doors when in fact your degree is pretty worthless. History? Psychology? May as well have a degree in Sports Trivia.

Two, college makes you passive. It teaches you to put your head in a book, prepare for exams and like you said...become introverted. This isn't life. In real life you don't take exams. In real life you can't be introverted. In real life people don't just hold your hand and tell you what to do.

I know, I was the same way. Lucky for me I went into a job out of college.

My suggestion is, take a job that removes you from your comfort zone. Learn sales or telemarketing. Learn to be extroverted. Basically what you're saying is "I want others to hold my hand". And that ain't gonna fly in this economy.

Or find options with your current employer. Most people squander the one door they've managed to get through and not look for opportunities available.

You can't afford to be picky. Do the grunt work and take advantage of opportunities. Saying you're introverted is admitting defeat.

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skydiver03 in Anytown, New Jersey

45 months ago

Todd in Madison Heights, Michigan said: The problem with getting an education is two-fold. One, the schools lie to you. They make you think your degree opens up doors when in fact your degree is pretty worthless. History? Psychology? May as well have a degree in Sports Trivia.

Two, college makes you passive. It teaches you to put your head in a book, prepare for exams and like you said...become introverted. This isn't life. In real life you don't take exams. In real life you can't be introverted. In real life people don't just hold your hand and tell you what to do.

I know, I was the same way. Lucky for me I went into a job out of college.

My suggestion is, take a job that removes you from your comfort zone. Learn sales or telemarketing. Learn to be extroverted. Basically what you're saying is "I want others to hold my hand". And that ain't gonna fly in this economy.

Or find options with your current employer. Most people squander the one door they've managed to get through and not look for opportunities available.

You can't afford to be picky. Do the grunt work and take advantage of opportunities. Saying you're introverted is admitting defeat.

i agree. i had to push myself out of my shell and go work retail even before college. i hated the job and the people but it was a job. if i didn't have my job i think i would happily stay home and do nothing. my parents really pushed my azz and it was a good thing. i tell everybody that you have to take something until you get what you want. that;s if we can ever get hired with something that justifies our degree.

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reasonable person in Houston, Texas

42 months ago

OP: Think about what you were taught in college!!! If you focus upon money, finances, work, etc. then you will just get stuck in a rut and be depressed forever. What you learned in college has great side effects of helping you make money, achieve, success and be happy. The old adage is: knowledge is power. And no, all that talk of certain people are running the world, etc. is completely bogus and is just a natural pattern of thought to a mind that seeks a reason for everything, even when assumptions are not properly analyzed and go unchecked, it automatically makes conclusion. You should have learned in college to think critically and think FOR YOURSELF!! If you are REALLY, REALLY, REALLY stuck, consider picking up a book on objectivist philosophy or anything that will help you see the world from different points of view. I would start with "Anthem" by Ayn Rand. It is a very short book, with a big point. You can find the .pdf or epub file online for FREE. Again, any problem that you are having is all in your mind!! It is how you see the world that makes all the difference. Opportunity is there, you just need to take a look at the world from another point of view. What the world needs now is creativity and intelligence. Corporations, governments, nonprofits, pretty much everybody in every type of field is looking for fresh, new, creative ideas and it simply does not matter whether or not you have been unemployed for a few years out of college or "stuck" in a job you do not like. Negative thought is contagious and maybe the people around you at work are shoving their negative opinions upon you. Have you considered that? You do not have to listen to them. Think for yourself. Free your mind. The world is your oyster.

The news is if you have the right ATTITUDE, you can get any job that you like if you work for it and I am dead serious, meaning that you can get ANY job that you want. Just have a creative and positive mentality. Logic!

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reasonable person in Houston, Texas

42 months ago

Also, the really big and scary question you should be asking yourself is SHOULD you want a certain type of job! Someone could have a big dream of working as a security guard for the Koch Brothers, but the question is, is that a GOOD thing to do? For instance, the Koch Brothers are really rich and abuse that power and wealth to damage scientific progress and fund only contemporary financial efforts, particularly relating to increased oil production, but is that a GOOD thing? No. The climate is changing and increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is proven falsifiably by the scientific method to be caused by man made efforts. "Business as usual" is not the way forward for humanity and we are all stuck on the same rock together. There's a reason that a famous president had on a plaque "the buck stops here" on his desk and there's also a reason people love to watch dystopian science fiction films, because they are afraid of what might come. If you think really clearly about what you are doing and what your job actually does to/for the world, you will see that there are clearly TWO sides to an ongoing battle, the path of those that want to make money at all costs and not care who they harm and a path that understands money is important but harm is not necessary. Again, think about your goals and how they coincide with your values. I'd also recommend "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" as a good read. It might sound silly, but listen to your intuition, your gut and don't cave into something "just for money." All that really does is create another jerk for the world and there are enough of them around. No one likes dealing with or being around jerks. That requires them to be fake around you and you will not find love and you will die alone. Don't become a jerk, join the human race.

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Kate_outta_kontrol in deep in the heart of, Texas

42 months ago

skydiver03 in Anytown, New Jersey said: i agree. i had to push myself out of my shell and go work retail even before college. i hated the job and the people but it was a job. if i didn't have my job i think i would happily stay home and do nothing. my parents really pushed my azz and it was a good thing. i tell everybody that you have to take something until you get what you want. that;s if we can ever get hired with something that justifies our degree.

that is the problem. Many of us cant get anything. We would take anything. Nothing is offered to us 50 somethings. As far as getting what I want, I cant even remember what that is!

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ryan in Highlands, Texas

39 months ago

until greed is done away woth... the USA is in trouble. if i even made enough money to leave i would!!! rent and housing costs are going up.. everything is going up. jobs and pay are shrinking? what gives?

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fihe in East Brunswick, New Jersey

39 months ago

Todd in Madison Heights, Michigan said: My suggestion is, take a job that removes you from your comfort zone. Learn sales or telemarketing. Learn to be extroverted. Basically what you're saying is "I want others to hold my hand". And that ain't gonna fly in this economy.

Very few people are cut out for sales. I'm an introvert myself and worked in outside sales briefly. After 2.5 months, I was forced to resign because I wasn't making sales goals. I had so much trouble approaching people at the promotions we planned, and when they actually came in for their scheduled appointments, I would be so terrified when they started with the objections. It was an extremely stressful job for me and I will never work in sales again.

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2Legit in Cincinnati, Ohio

39 months ago

So it is correct that you DO have a manufacturing job right now?

If so, what is the worst thing about that to you - that you're wasting your degree, that you hate the job itself, or that you're not "doing well" in comparison to your peers? (It's important to know which you don't like).

How would you feel if this "factory job" wasn't just you working on the line, but you being a supervisor there, or potentially owning a factory someday?

What's your vision for your life, what are you passionate about? I'm not saying "quit your job, borrow thousands of dollars, start a business, you'll succeed!" But I am saying Start small... if you can write, google freelance writing. If you can work with your hands, look up Etsy shop selling... use your hobbies as a starting point. This worked for me and I took an interest and turned it into a way to make money. Not a lot, but it's basically passive income after I put some time in it up front.

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Detra in Virginia Beach, Virginia

39 months ago

I would honestly advise people to choose degrees based upon need. I think the days are long gone when you can actually go to college and get the job that you want. I honestly think people should go to college and get a useful degree,get the job they can get, and then work toward obtaining the dream job as a part time hobby. America has changed and if people don't adjust to the environment they will not survive. I think many colleges offer classes that are pretty much the same ones we took in middle/high school although they shiny them up a bit so they feel more complex. Simple learning is all we really need. These schools are making money off information we already know. I find that the more complex they make the learning the less valuable and interesting the information actually becomes. Basically they are over thinking it. I never would say education is a waste and I would never feel like a failure just because I couldn't get a job after college, not when the economy is bad. You have to use context as a guide. You wouldn't say the entire stock market has no value ever just because it is in a slump. As we know the markets go up and down. And when they're up all is grand and there is money to be made. When the economy bounces back you will have a degree to use to go out and find a job that fits your degree and when the economy tanks again, as it probably will as you are young, you will be more likely to keep you job because the unemployment rate can be lower for educated people. In times where things do not make sense or seem tough remember to use perspective and context and then it will make more sense and things become easier to bare.

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Tierrav in Huntsville, Alabama

26 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: I heard on the radio that usajobs.gov has 70 million apps on file. Good Luck! Ha!

Its true however the best way to get in the government system is try to get in a internship or student trainee job. I got 2 job interviews but my resume was fitted towards in internship.

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xboxer in Cactus, Arizona

26 months ago

Detra in Virginia Beach, Virginia said: I would honestly advise people to choose degrees based upon need. I think the days are long gone when you can actually go to college and get the job that you want. I honestly think people should go to college and get a useful degree,get the job they can get, and then work toward obtaining the dream job as a part time hobby. America has changed and if people don't adjust to the environment they will not survive. I think many colleges offer classes that are pretty much the same ones we took in middle/high school although they shiny them up a bit so they feel more complex. Simple learning is all we really need. These schools are making money off information we already know. I find that the more complex they make the learning the less valuable and interesting the information actually becomes. Basically they are over thinking it. I never would say education is a waste and I would never feel like a failure just because I couldn't get a job after college, not when the economy is bad. You have to use context as a guide. You wouldn't say the entire stock market has no value ever just because it is in a slump. As we know the markets go up and down. And when they're up all is grand and there is money to be made. When the economy bounces back you will have a degree to use to go out and find a job that fits your degree and when the economy tanks again, as it probably will as you are young, you will be more likely to keep you job because the unemployment rate can be lower for educated people. In times where things do not make sense or seem tough remember to use perspective and context and then it will make more sense and things become easier to bare.

I agree, and I'm rather shocked when some advise others to find what they are "passionate about". One could be passionate about something, and there could be no jobs in it.

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xboxer in Cactus, Arizona

26 months ago

Todd in Royal Oak, Michigan said: The quote I gave has been a general rule of thumb. MOST businesses fail. Most fail within a year, the rest usually fail within 5 years.

It's not an issue with the economy, this is a typical rule of thumb.

Most business startups are failures. You may as well be putting your money into the lottery than trying a startup. You may as well be wasting money on another college degree.

If you wanted to start a coffee shop, odds are you'd have a Starbucks nearby. That's the reality, giant corporations make it difficult for an average person to succeed.

Look at the jobs being created in the US, retail, low-wage, part-time, temporary jobs. Just go work at McDonalds instead of going to college, why go in debt $100,000 to avoid facing the inevitable?

On this website alone, you see women over 50 complaining they can't find a job, because they don't have a college degree. Many small or community colleges now gear their advertising to these women, to get them to go to college for that degree. They can do it, because they have a husband with a decent job supporting them. If the woman DOES get the degree and a job, she is taking the job away from someone who needs to be self-supporting, not working for a hobby or to feel good.

Those women are having trouble finding a job, because there aren't ENOUGH jobs and there are TOO MANY people looking for them. So when they go to college in their later years, thinking that business degree will solve everything, and the school is all upbeat and wonderful to them, they should look at the jobs available first.

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Michael Gaston in Hamilton, Ohio

6 months ago

Hello, Morpheos:

Please, please, please, do not be hard on yourself. You received a degree in a subject you enjoyed. I too, am not able to obtain entry-level employment in my chosen degree. The problem is this:

Classism is raging in America. Yeh, yeh, there are those stating and knee-jerking that it is your approach and method, and not the job market, that is killing a successful job search.

The truth is, the huge elephant in the room is America's classist society. You have to look at internet job boards as a convenient method for HR departments to select prospective applicants according to arbitrary qualities, not objective qualities.

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doing_nothing in Tulsa, Oklahoma

3 months ago

Average in Medford, Massachusetts said: The job market, especially the business / finance /professional services sectors are very unforgiving. I'm in a similar situation, and I can only say that your profile is exactly the kind of person many employers don't want to hire because to them, it doesn't seem like you have the right attitude( because you're not extroverted) and know what you're doing. You may think you're intelligent, there's no proof of it. It's applied intelligence that counts--if you can't apply it to a job or internship , it doesn't exist.

I hate how you are saying its about personality. I really hate it. Some people may be more extroverted than others but it doesn't mean an introverted person is automatically disqualified from any job related to people. It just takes some work and practice. Communication is a skill and it can be worked at to make it better. Telling people your not cut out for this because your introverted really narrows down the job market to just about nothing. Everything deals with people and you can learn to communicate.

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