Your Career and You: “Don’t Blame ‘Them’”


Publication1I’ve been here in Taipei for the past several weeks, decompressing, doing some serious introspection, and pretty much doing what I do every day anyway…reading local newspapers, watching the news on TV, and marveling at the fact that it doesn’t matter where you are…the news is pretty much the same. Murders. Scandals. Motor vehicle accidents. Fires. And an occasional celebrity sighting to break the monotony.

But one item in an English-language newspaper, The China Post, caught my attention this morning… “Reflect before complaining about low wages.”

The gist of the article was that local university students are complaining that “the government” isn’t doing enough to ensure that they will get high-paying jobs upon graduation.

The expectation seems to be that, upon completing the requirements for a college degree, there will be a long line of local companies waiting, anxiously hopeful that one of these graduates will deign to select one of them as an employer.

Nothing from these students about “how have I distinguished myself from the thousands of other graduates vying for the same job I want?”

Not a peep about “have I done anything to show that I really, really want this job and am willing to work hard to prove it?”

Nope. Just a pout and a “I have my diploma; where’s my high-paying job?” And finger-pointing at “them”…“the government.”

My interest in this topic lies in the fact that I have been teaching in Boston-area colleges now for more than a dozen years. Not enough to qualify as a wizened higher education guru. But enough to have seen similar attitudes exhibited by some…not all, mind you…of the students who have passed through my classes.

I teach full-time at Curry College now, but I also have taught at Bridgewater State University, Emerson College, Stonehill College, and Regis College. The privileged attitude that I’m talking about exists at all to varying degrees…as well as at other colleges and universities in the area…and, obviously, around the world.

The good news is that this does not represent the majority of students who truly are dedicated, hardworking, determined young pre-professionals who are ready and willing to go to the ends of the earth in their quest for a future.

They balance maxed-out course loads with part-time jobs and internships. They are engaged and involved in on-campus activities. And their grades are exemplary…maybe not all Dean’s List level, but a heck of a lot better than the grades I racked up in college!

My take-away from the article combined with my own experience over the past decade is this: “‘Life’ doesn’t come with guarantees or a ‘preferred customer’ list. You make of it what you put into it. It’s as simple…and as complicated…as that.”

As Global Views Monthly founder, Charles Kao, was reported to have said in response to the local students’ complaints, “Young members of society should review their own abilities and dedication before blaming the government for their low income.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

So don’t stomp petulantly around with your bottom lip poked out far enough for a rooster to park on it. Don’t blame “them” for things that you didn’t or don’t want to do.

Take action now to better improve your chances for getting a solid start when you graduate. Show how you are different, and how you will make a difference.

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About kirkhazlett

35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience followed by more than 10 years' undergraduate and graduate college teaching experience. Community and media relations expertise, as well as a fanaticism for quality service and customer satisfaction. PR for healthcare and member services organizations ranging from Blood Bank of Hawaii to Medical Area Service Corporation to Boston Harborfest. Consulting services for Manila and Singapore Red Cross.
This entry was posted in careers, Critical Thinking, Curry College, feedback, internships, job hunting, job search, networking, public relations, Regis College, Thinking, Time management, Undergraduate Communication and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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