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QUOTE (MuckFinnesota @ May 19, 2012 -> 02:08 PM)
Not sure who is reading this but I wondered if someone could chime in.

 

Nearly a year has passed since I graduated and since then, I have had three internships and one job that I consider an entry level position. I'm working in an in-house corporate PR position, something that I didn't go to school for and am vastly underpaid in. The company I work for has only given raises to those who are in sales, while I was told I would be given a raise after three months. Three months came and went and still, I have no raise.

 

I'm writing this because I am coming up on six months and wondered if it was time to start looking for something else. I have some ideas for grad school since having the MBA would be nice to have if I went to work in health care, or going to get a master's in something related to secondary or higher education might be more fulfilling. I am debt free and am willing to work in retail or something else because I am making the same money in my current job (so it's not like I'm taking a paycut).

 

I guess I have three questions for all of you are: How long should you stay at your first job, six months or one year? When did you decide it was time to go back to school and why did you? Would you make a leap to school or quit a current position without having another job lined up?

 

Thanks for your time.

Whatever you do, don't go to school just because it's something else to do and a way out of the current job. You better have a damn good reason to go, and a long-term vision. I think at this stage, too many people just throw their hands up and say "I'll go back to school" because they either can't find a job, or they want out of their current one and it essentially buys them time. When in reality, it's costing them a ton of money and they may be wasting time when it's not what they actually want to do. Basically doing it out of fear, as it's a "safe route" for the present.

 

I don't know if there's an exact time frame to stay at a first job, it all depends on circumstances...what you are getting paid, what you are learning, room for growth, skills you are obtaining, etc. I don't think it's only "6 months or one year."

 

I would not quit something without another position lined up. At worst, you have a paycheck coming in, and it's much easier to find a job when you have one. It's a lot easier on your mental health, that's for sure.

 

I'm not telling you to go/not go to school. But don't just do it because you have no other plan. It could be a huge mistake down the line when you ask yourself why the hell you did it and you're riddled with a ton of debt, and maybe not even find a job once that's done as well.

Edited by IlliniKrush

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QUOTE (IlliniKrush @ May 20, 2012 -> 10:52 PM)
Whatever you do, don't go to school just because it's something else to do and a way out of the current job. You better have a damn good reason to go, and a long-term vision. I think at this stage, too many people just throw their hands up and say "I'll go back to school" because they either can't find a job, or they want out of their current one and it essentially buys them time. When in reality, it's costing them a ton of money and they may be wasting time when it's not what they actually want to do. Basically doing it out of fear, as it's a "safe route" for the present.

 

I don't know if there's an exact time frame to stay at a first job, it all depends on circumstances...what you are getting paid, what you are learning, room for growth, skills you are obtaining, etc. I don't think it's only "6 months or one year."

 

I would not quit something without another position lined up. At worst, you have a paycheck coming in, and it's much easier to find a job when you have one. It's a lot easier on your mental health, that's for sure.

 

I'm not telling you to go/not go to school. But don't just do it because you have no other plan. It could be a huge mistake down the line when you ask yourself why the hell you did it and you're riddled with a ton of debt, and maybe not even find a job once that's done as well.

I agree...the cost of schooling is getting so far out of line that the best way to go back and get an advanced degree is to get your employer to help pay for it...it may take a bit longer or force you to attend some evening classes, but you'll certainly be appreciative when you finish and your rent/mortgage is still your highest monthly bill, instead of your school loans.

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I definitely need to come up with a long term vision before I go do something. I'm not trying to escape the workforce, but I am wanting to be on a path where I will be paid more, get out of making cold calls and have a career I feel satisfied or happy going to each day. In terms of what would make me happy, I am sure something where I work alongside with and not pitching ideas to would be more fulfilling, which is why admissions, guidance counseling or working in health care would suit me.

 

The job itself that I have right now is tough when I am not making enough to support myself or pay bills if I was on my own. One person in particular in my office keeps getting promoted because her department (kind of like sales) is thriving and bringing in business. The rest of us (social media, customer service, public relations) aren't getting raises, which sucks since we're on hourly pay.

 

With regards to the months spent at the first job, I wanted to know if an employer would view 6-8 months as being a legitimate amount of time to leave a first job for another job. My sister left hers after a year, but at least Enterprise paid her decently before she departed for Groupon.

 

Maybe instead of school I will just have to volunteer on my nights off or do a crap ton of informational interviews and networking since I don't want to do PR at my next job. Perhaps an alternate option to going back to school is a crap ton of networking to get people to know, "Hey, I can adapt to the position you can offer (HR, IT, Higher Education) because I can learn anything on the spot. Yes I am aware none of my work experience is directly applicable."

 

@Disco72, it's always nice to fall into a career you really enjoy.

Edited by MuckFinnesota

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Laid off about 1/3 of staff today. I avoided the axe but I'll be updating my resume tonight.

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QUOTE (StrangeSox @ May 21, 2012 -> 06:29 PM)
Laid off about 1/3 of staff today. I avoided the axe but I'll be updating my resume tonight.

Glad to hear you avoided that, SS...what line(s) of work would you be looking at exactly?

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QUOTE (iamshack @ May 21, 2012 -> 07:39 PM)
Glad to hear you avoided that, SS...what line(s) of work would you be looking at exactly?

Engineering. I like the security industry that I'm in, but I'll be looking broadly. My degree is mechanical but i have more experience in projects.

 

The company i work for was sold by the original owners a couple of years ago and completely mishandled since. It's a shame to see.

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Does anyone have any good leads on an entry-level trading job? I'm pretty sure I am killing but interviews, but I am going up against people with prior trading experience and often these firms no longer have training programs. So basically, I'm looking for a prop firm that's hiring and ideally has a training program in place.

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QUOTE (Buehrle>Wood @ May 21, 2012 -> 09:18 PM)
Does anyone have any good leads on an entry-level trading job? I'm pretty sure I am killing but interviews, but I am going up against people with prior trading experience and often these firms no longer have training programs. So basically, I'm looking for a prop firm that's hiring and ideally has a training program in place.

 

Most of the prop firms anymore are algo based. Have you got any kind of trading history or strategy you can promote? Even if you don't have a history, if you can come up with strategy, you can retrograde it to give you a history of how it would have worked.

 

That is usually the easiest way.

 

Other than that, you might have an easier time with starting somewhere else in the sector and convincing them to give you a shot later.

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QUOTE (MuckFinnesota @ May 21, 2012 -> 07:02 PM)
I definitely need to come up with a long term vision before I go do something. I'm not trying to escape the workforce, but I am wanting to be on a path where I will be paid more, get out of making cold calls and have a career I feel satisfied or happy going to each day. In terms of what would make me happy, I am sure something where I work alongside with and not pitching ideas to would be more fulfilling, which is why admissions, guidance counseling or working in health care would suit me.

 

The job itself that I have right now is tough when I am not making enough to support myself or pay bills if I was on my own. One person in particular in my office keeps getting promoted because her department (kind of like sales) is thriving and bringing in business. The rest of us (social media, customer service, public relations) aren't getting raises, which sucks since we're on hourly pay.

 

With regards to the months spent at the first job, I wanted to know if an employer would view 6-8 months as being a legitimate amount of time to leave a first job for another job. My sister left hers after a year, but at least Enterprise paid her decently before she departed for Groupon.

 

Maybe instead of school I will just have to volunteer on my nights off or do a crap ton of informational interviews and networking since I don't want to do PR at my next job. Perhaps an alternate option to going back to school is a crap ton of networking to get people to know, "Hey, I can adapt to the position you can offer (HR, IT, Higher Education) because I can learn anything on the spot. Yes I am aware none of my work experience is directly applicable."

 

@Disco72, it's always nice to fall into a career you really enjoy.

 

The first few years are always the toughest. Planning is pretty worthless at that stage, because so much can change. Keep shopping yourself around looking for something better.

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I can relate to MuckFinnesota's issues some. Since I graduated in December, I've been able to find lots of internships that I can get but am overqualified for, but the full-time positions have been few and far between. Part of it is that's just the way the broadcasting industry works, the other part is that I've got a lot of internship experience and can do TV/Radio/Web/Media Relations but I'm going up against people with much more experience because the way the industry has downsized so much. It's really tough for entry-level people right now.

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You guys need to use your imaginations...I know you were sort of unfortunately led to believe you would just pop out of college and immediately be handed a great job, but that's not usually how it works.

 

The best advice I can give you is to network with everyone you know, and then go out and meet more people to network with. Be willing to do anything, really, not just something in your area of study/interest.

 

In the meantime, go to the library and read books. Read business books. Read best-sellers. Read self-improvement books. Exercise. Play sports that are cheap. Enjoy your free time while you have it.

 

You never know what might lead you to your next job.

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Anybody have experience with Decision Matrices and if you do, would you have a good template you could share?

Edited by bigruss22

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QUOTE (iamshack @ May 23, 2012 -> 02:48 PM)
You guys need to use your imaginations...I know you were sort of unfortunately led to believe you would just pop out of college and immediately be handed a great job, but that's not usually how it works.

 

The best advice I can give you is to network with everyone you know, and then go out and meet more people to network with. Be willing to do anything, really, not just something in your area of study/interest.

 

In the meantime, go to the library and read books. Read business books. Read best-sellers. Read self-improvement books. Exercise. Play sports that are cheap. Enjoy your free time while you have it.

 

You never know what might lead you to your next job.

 

This is so true. My first job out of college was crappy (fun because I worked with a bunch of other people right out of college). You never know where your career will take you, but networking is always priority #1.

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My first job out of college was working stock at the Polo Outlet store. Immediately following that was keyholder for Finish Line and Assistant Manager for 9 West. Yeah, many times your first jobs are just meaningless stepping stones on the way to somewhere else. It took me 2.5 years to get into something I really wanted to do, and the economy wasn't nearly as bad.

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QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ May 24, 2012 -> 07:38 AM)
My first job out of college was working stock at the Polo Outlet store. Immediately following that was keyholder for Finish Line and Assistant Manager for 9 West. Yeah, many times your first jobs are just meaningless stepping stones on the way to somewhere else. It took me 2.5 years to get into something I really wanted to do, and the economy wasn't nearly as bad.

While I was in school I wandered into an Abercrombie & Fitch one day and they asked me to work there...there were all these girls working there at the time, so of course I said yes...I ended up working there for 4 years in various management roles until I realized I didn't want to move to Columbus, OH (Home Office), and so I decided finish up undergrad and attend law school.

 

That all being fine and dandy, while I was there I had some of the best years of my life and met some of my best friends to this day. I still talk to 5-10 people from there at least on a monthly basis, and these are people I met almost 15 years ago.

 

The key is to just get out there and do something...and make connections and get exposure to as many different people as possible. And if it's not exactly what you want to be doing, make it fun...you're young, you most likely don't have many responsibilities yet...enjoy life.

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QUOTE (iamshack @ May 24, 2012 -> 08:41 AM)
While I was in school I wandered into an Abercrombie & Fitch one day and they asked me to work there...there were all these girls working there at the time, so of course I said yes...I ended up working there for 4 years in various management roles until I realized I didn't want to move to Columbus, OH (Home Office), and so I decided finish up undergrad and attend law school.

 

That all being fine and dandy, while I was there I had some of the best years of my life and met some of my best friends to this day. I still talk to 5-10 people from there at least on a monthly basis, and these are people I met almost 15 years ago.

 

The key is to just get out there and do something...and make connections and get exposure to as many different people as possible. And if it's not exactly what you want to be doing, make it fun...you're young, you most likely don't have many responsibilities yet...enjoy life.

 

Yeah, don't get hung up on where you are right out of college. No one works their ideal job right away. Heck, odds are you don't even know what your ideal job is at that age. I know I didn't. Enjoy life and keep plugging away to move on to bigger and better things. Eventually it will come together.

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My first job out of high school was security at Mittal steel....Sure do wish I wasnt so young at the time and was mature enough to stick with it even though it was so boring...6 years later I'm still looking to get back into the security field.

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QUOTE (iamshack @ May 23, 2012 -> 01:48 PM)
You guys need to use your imaginations...I know you were sort of unfortunately led to believe you would just pop out of college and immediately be handed a great job, but that's not usually how it works.

 

The best advice I can give you is to network with everyone you know, and then go out and meet more people to network with. Be willing to do anything, really, not just something in your area of study/interest.

 

In the meantime, go to the library and read books. Read business books. Read best-sellers. Read self-improvement books. Exercise. Play sports that are cheap. Enjoy your free time while you have it.

 

You never know what might lead you to your next job.

 

I love it when people say things nobody wants to hear...

 

To graduate from college and immediately get an amazing job only works in two ways: 1) you got EXTREMELY lucky, or 2) (and far more likely) you knew someone in a position of power that abused that power to get you a job you didn't yet deserve. The funny part is, in the case of both 1 & 2, those that this happened for will never admit they got lucky or knew the right people...because it's far more likely they actually believe they were that awesome and deserved it.

 

This is my career track:

 

1996:

Worked at Osco Drug (31st Halsted/Bridgeport) 3 to 4 days a week (weekday evening shifts 5-11pm or 6-11pm)

$5.35 per hour.

 

Worked at Dunkin' Donuts (31st Halsted/Bridgeport) Saturday and Sunday, early morning shift

$5 per hour cash.

 

Attended College, taking upwards of 20-24 credit hours per trimester

 

Yes, all at the same time.

 

1997:

Graduated.

 

Got a job at AIS (American Information Systems, Inc.), an internet service provider working afternoon/evenings as technical support for Internet connectivity. This was in the days of Windows 3.11, OS/2, and Windows 95...and modems.

 

$8.50 per hour.

 

Note that out of college, I was making 8 dollars and 50 cents per hour.

 

1998:

Got promoted from Tech Support to Jr. System Administrator.

 

$31,200 per year. ~15$ per hour.

 

Late 1998:

AIS was purchased by Exodus Communications where I was promoted to Sr. System Administrator.

 

Still making the same $31,200.

 

2000:

 

Finally moved me to $55,000 per year.

 

----

 

In 2003 I was laid off.

 

Between 2003 and 2006:

Verisign

Anexis

Ambiron (later becoming AmbironTrustWave), later becoming TrustWave

 

----

 

2006-2012:

 

Sr. Network Specialist, Blue Cross/Blue Shield

 

----

 

I didn't step into this job right out of college...and looking back, I realize why. The day I graduated, I knew almost nothing REAL or useful about computers/the internet.

 

I was book smart about them, though.

 

College showed them I could stick with something and make it happen.

 

Experience showed them I knew what the f*** I was actually doing.

Edited by Y2HH

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If you're an engineering or business student at a top university you should be leaving with a job offer, it may not be what you want to do but you should have some form of job.

 

Personally, I used a family connection for my first internship after freshman year which helped set up my resume for on campus recruiting the next year.

 

I ended up getting an internship after my sophomore year and continued that internship into the next year and into a full time job. I still have relatively low experience in my field (Identity Access & Management) and it's not even work that I love to do, but it's a good field to be in and I love where I am working with plenty of opportunities to help my advance to where I want to be.

 

Even though I had accepted FT before leaving my internship last summer, I still received around 20 personalized emails from recruiters looking for IS/IT majors, and these were all great companies.

 

EDIT:

Yes I used a family connection at first, but the opportunities are out there and if you line yourself up right (join professional student organizations, network, practice for interviews, get on campus leadership experience) then you shouldn't have too tough of a time finding a FT job in the business/engineering fields. About 90% of my business friends are working FT right out of school, about 70% of those will be making $55k or higher, and about 15% will be making $65k or higher.

Edited by bigruss22

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QUOTE (bigruss22 @ May 29, 2012 -> 06:38 AM)
If you're an engineering or business student at a top university you should be leaving with a job offer, it may not be what you want to do but you should have some form of job.

 

Personally, I used a family connection for my first internship after freshman year which helped set up my resume for on campus recruiting the next year.

 

I ended up getting an internship after my sophomore year and continued that internship into the next year and into a full time job. I still have relatively low experience in my field (Identity Access & Management) and it's not even work that I love to do, but it's a good field to be in and I love where I am working with plenty of opportunities to help my advance to where I want to be.

 

Even though I had accepted FT before leaving my internship last summer, I still received around 20 personalized emails from recruiters looking for IS/IT majors, and these were all great companies.

 

EDIT:

Yes I used a family connection at first, but the opportunities are out there and if you line yourself up right (join professional student organizations, network, practice for interviews, get on campus leadership experience) then you shouldn't have too tough of a time finding a FT job in the business/engineering fields. About 90% of my business friends are working FT right out of school, about 70% of those will be making $55k or higher, and about 15% will be making $65k or higher.

 

I got my job because I had strong grades, networked, was involved in on campus honors organizations, and worked during college. It led to internships and eventually full time offers. It wasn't because I knew someone (unless you count me going out and networking with people). No one in my family has worked in Corporate America nor is anyone in my family and accountant or CPA.

 

What I've done since then is completely related to me developing myself, working hard, and getting lucky to be in the right place at the right time (e.g., working primarily with very good people who take time in your development). I have a long ways to go to get to where I want to be in life, but I think telling people you are lucky to get a job out of college isn't exactly correct. Albeit, for different industries, things are different. But in my industry, most people earned their way to the firms they got into (there are always exceptions to that).

 

I should also point out that in no way am I saying I'm the greatest accountant in the world. That is blasphemy and crazy talk, but I am going to pat myself on the back for getting to where I've gotten thus far.

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QUOTE (Chisoxfn @ May 29, 2012 -> 11:08 AM)
I got my job because I had strong grades, networked, was involved in on campus honors organizations, and worked during college. It led to internships and eventually full time offers. It wasn't because I knew someone (unless you count me going out and networking with people). No one in my family has worked in Corporate America nor is anyone in my family and accountant or CPA.

 

What I've done since then is completely related to me developing myself, working hard, and getting lucky to be in the right place at the right time (e.g., working primarily with very good people who take time in your development). I have a long ways to go to get to where I want to be in life, but I think telling people you are lucky to get a job out of college isn't exactly correct. Albeit, for different industries, things are different. But in my industry, most people earned their way to the firms they got into (there are always exceptions to that).

 

I should also point out that in no way am I saying I'm the greatest accountant in the world. That is blasphemy and crazy talk, but I am going to pat myself on the back for getting to where I've gotten thus far.

That's the majority path for most business/engineering students. Honestly, any of my friends that didn't get jobs was their fault, not the job markets. They didn't prepare for interviews, didn't get good enough grades, or flat out didn't even apply to a good enough pool of employers (aka they applied to one or two companies and even half-assed that).

 

What I have noticed is that non-business students (or really from a program that isn't as mature as the one I went through) are really struggling to understand what it takes to get a job, they lack that professionalism and basic skills that employers and recruiters look for. I'm talking about cover letters, resumes, interview skills, etc, it's amazing how many resumes I've come across from juniors/seniors at other schools or in non-business majors and they look like a resume they made in high school. Not only is the format terrible, but the content is just unreadable or wouldn't interest a recruiter at all or doesn't say anything about what that person actually did.

 

That is all stuff I learned as a freshman, and gained knowledge throughout my years but it's basic basic stuff, and really information you can find online which to me screams a lack of preparation.

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QUOTE (bigruss22 @ May 29, 2012 -> 11:21 AM)
That's the majority path for most business/engineering students. Honestly, any of my friends that didn't get jobs was their fault, not the job markets. They didn't prepare for interviews, didn't get good enough grades, or flat out didn't even apply to a good enough pool of employers (aka they applied to one or two companies and even half-assed that).

 

What I have noticed is that non-business students (or really from a program that isn't as mature as the one I went through) are really struggling to understand what it takes to get a job, they lack that professionalism and basic skills that employers and recruiters look for. I'm talking about cover letters, resumes, interview skills, etc, it's amazing how many resumes I've come across from juniors/seniors at other schools or in non-business majors and they look like a resume they made in high school. Not only is the format terrible, but the content is just unreadable or wouldn't interest a recruiter at all or doesn't say anything about what that person actually did.

 

That is all stuff I learned as a freshman, and gained knowledge throughout my years but it's basic basic stuff, and really information you can find online which to me screams a lack of preparation.

 

Granted I went the law school route instead of working fulltime, but when I was in Kelley at Indiana it was the same way. Completely different culture (for better or worse), but you could definitely tell that the liberal artsy students who were trying to get a full time job were struggling.

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QUOTE (farmteam @ May 29, 2012 -> 01:49 PM)
Granted I went the law school route instead of working fulltime, but when I was in Kelley at Indiana it was the same way. Completely different culture (for better or worse), but you could definitely tell that the liberal artsy students who were trying to get a full time job were struggling.

 

In which I'm being insensitive: Then maybe they should get a useful degree.

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