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To My Fellow 2012 Graduates

Photo by Blane Marable

Forewarning:  This is a personal message targeted towards my peers.  If you are not a recent graduate, you may stop reading here.  If, however, you did just turn the tassel and are still waist-deep in the dreaded job-search, keep reading. 

GO MAKE YOUR OWN JOB!  You may think my figurative yelling is a bit extreme for the opening sentence of this post, but I just finished reading ReadWriteStart’s article on why college grads are passing up startup jobs, and I’m a little shocked and, quite frankly, embarrassed.

According to SimplyHired.com’s recent study on job-seeking college graduates, ONLY 4.0% of us consider startup environments the ideal place of employment.  The article goes on to explain why this is so, by saying that we entered college just as the recession hit, which has made us more risk-averse and more likely to value job security over… let me just stop here.  This may be a sensible argument, but it is not acceptable, and I’ll tell you why.

Job security doesn’t exist!  Not at this point in time, anyway.  The most secure job you could possibly have is one that you make for yourself, a.k.a. a startup.  The May unemployment numbers were just released and, surprise!, unemployment has risen.  When you’re an entrepreneur, you essentially have control over your own destiny.  YOU have the control to change whatever it is you’re doing wrong, and do it right instead.  As our favorite oversized clock necklace-wearing rapper said (yes, I am quoting Flavor Flav), “WAKE UP and take control of your own cipher.”

We’re young with limited responsibility.  Let’s challenge ourselves while we aren’t encumbered with responsibilities like children, a mortgage and health issues.  As Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, aptly stated “A career is no longer like a ladder; it’s like a jungle gym.”  Until you have real responsibilities, who cares if your job is risky?  “But what if my venture fails?”  Big deal.  Pick yourself up and try again.

What’s the alternative?  Embarking on a two-year job search just to end up settling with a boring job and a lackluster salary just because that’s the first and only job offer you’ve gotten?  Or as Quenton Cassidy, of Once a Runner fame stated, “It’s a simple choice: We can all be good boys and wear our letter sweaters around and get our little degrees and find some nice girl to settle, you know, down, with…take up what a friend of ours calls the hearty challenges of lawn care…Or we can blaze! Become legends in our own time, strike fear in the heart of mediocre talent everywhere!”

So, before I get off my soapbox, do me a favor.  If you’re a recent college graduate looking for a job, stop complaining about the economy and be proactive.  Check out our new job board, or contact us to start blazing.

jim
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