The post-college job search can leave you in an odd position. You’ve just graduated with a university degree, a major accomplishment. Then suddenly, you’re broke and have nothing to do with your time. It’s time to look for a career.
But which career? If you’re like many young Americans, your degree leaves you with little direct experience to make yourself marketable to the workforce. Few job postings list “Art History 475” as a preferred qualification. In other words, you’ll need to take what you can get. To a degree, anyway. Not every job is worth your time. Some jobs are incredibly risky, some are financially untenable, and some offer no future. And you might be surprised at some of the jobs that fit into these categories.
These are a few of the things you should keep in mind when beginning your job search.
Health and Safety
Every job requires you to give up your personal time and energy, but some jobs ask you to risk your personal wellbeing. No paycheck is worth risking your physical or emotional safety. Take a good, hard look at any job that involves the following:
- Driving. What would you guess is the riskiest thing you can do at work? Handling explosives? Using chainsaws? Analysing disease? Nope. It’s driving. Any job that involves spending time in traffic involves spending time in danger.
- Heavy machinery and tools. Working with farm equipment, bladed tools, and other similar objects could cost you an actual arm or leg. That’s not worth a month’s rent, is it?
- Psychological strain. It’s not just your physical body that many careers endanger. Many jobs can damage your emotional state. Medical jobs and serving jobs can wear people down to shells of their former selves; one recent report actually suggested that waiting tables was more stressful than brain surgery and suggested wait staff be aware of stroke risks.
Money. Is there any aspect of life in which it doesn’t interfere? In your job search, the pay rate will likely be one of your first concerns. Here are some things to keep in mind, financially.
- Watch out for “pay to play” jobs. When you first upload your resume to a jobs board, you’ll start getting emails from companies offering “thrilling opportunities” to sell things like insurance and timeshares. Send these emails directly to your spam folder. In many cases, these jobs will ask you pay for the privilege of working there (they’ll call it a training fee), then begin selling products to your family members. You’ve already spent a bundle on training fees; it was called tuition.
- It’s okay to start small! Don’t expect a huge salary immediately upon graduation. Most companies will want to start you off with a small salary to see what you’re capable of in the real world. Take a modest rate. Raises will follow.
- Look at the long-term. No all jobs offer easy raises. Take a look at the job outlooks provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to get a sense of a potential career’s potential growth