Entry-level Expectancies

I spent some time with my brother on Sunday afternoon, and we were talking about school, jobs, life, and all that fun stuff. My brother just turned 22 and will graduate college in May. He must be living the life, right? One and a half more semesters of partying, hanging out with friends, partying, sleeping in, and partying. I can assure you that he has the partying part covered, but what is creeping closer and closer to the forefront of his mind is getting a job. Ugh...total buzz kill.

The good news is that my brother is way ahead of where I was at this point during my senior year of college. He acknowledged that he isn't sure what he wants to do, and said he's having a hard time finding "entry-level" positions. (My response: Do those even exist anymore?) Compare that to when I was 22 and about to graduate college: I was positive that I wanted to go into publishing, and getting a job would be no problem. I could not have been more naïve or wrong. Fortunately for him, his job-related reality check is hitting much sooner than mine did; fortunately for me, I learned my lesson and have had job applications on my mind since September.

It is far too easy to get caught up in the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" when it comes to school. My brother has not even graduated yet, but he already said that he would choose a different major if he had the opportunity to do it over again. For me, college was a time of self-exploration, while GSLIS has been all about professional growth. My GSLIS mindset is completely different than my college one, and thus far my personal and professional development reflect that. I feel like I will reemerge into the working world as an improved version of my bachelor's degree-holding self.

That said, don't apply to an advanced degree program in the library, or any other, field solely to look more desirable to employers. The fiscal and time requirements are too demanding to be squandered on something that you are not at least 95% sure about. (Note: This is not meant to suggest that I have everything all figured out, but I think I'm gradually getting there...maybe.) When it comes to your career aspirations, take advantage of reality checks and "aha!" moments when they occur, as those will encourage and motivate you to pursue your desired career path. I was oblivious to those moments in college, but am now quite aware of them as I once again seek an entry-level position (I'm hoping they still exist!), albeit this time with a master's degree.

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