It’s A Buyer’s Market For Young Job Seekers

I’m a big fan of National Public Radio, or National Liberal Public Radio as my brother likes to call it.

But I was a little amused and confused recently when I was listening to a news feature about the job prospects of recent college graduates.

Oh the shock and dismay the grads displayed at the prospect of moving back under mom and dad’s roof while they looked for work. And the disdain they had for taking entry level jobs or waiting tables while they sought just the high-paying job their degree entitled them too was laughable.

I guess my perspective is from 180 degrees across the table.

I’ve been on multiple job interviews in the past year. Big companies. Small companies. Startups. Nonprofits. Hospitals. Schools. And the list goes on.

One common theme has emerged over that time. Recent college grads and those who are at the beginning of the career food chain are far more desirable than folks that have a career of knowledge and experience.

One of the reasons is the price is right. Obviously, when you’re climbing the ladder every rung you grasp is a move up to your ultimate goal. And when you’re climbing your way up the money seems to get better and better.

Spoiler alert, here comes the old-guy whine. Many times employers think veteran workers are going to take a job and be gone as quickly as soon as the next great thing comes along.

I’d offer that just the opposite is true. A veteran worker in this market appreciates the opportunity and understands loyalty to an employer. Most people who fall into this group aren’t job shoppers.

Conversely, a young worker who is climbing is often eying their next move as soon as they get their stuff located in their new desk.

The other big advantage younger workers have is a skill set that is in demand. While veteran workers bring knowledge of a trade of industry, often times a recent grad will have specialized skills that set them apart from other candidates.

So NPR, next time you go trolling for stories you might want to do just a bit more digging.

And if you’re here digging for a website content editor, here’s my shameless plug to look at my online portfolio.

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One Response to “It’s A Buyer’s Market For Young Job Seekers”

  1. Alexandra Goff Says:

    Hey Greg,
    I find some of your points about the generational difference between job seekers interesting, and here’s my two cents coming from a millennial.

    I think the reason a lot of recent grads are hired is because we’re trainable. Especially in news, different stations and papers do things specific ways and have certain reputations within the community. We have the same skill set, but we’re not stuck in old routines. We won’t say “Well, at my old station we did it this way…”

    Also, we do take less pay. The average recent grad salary sits around $30k when people mid-career are used to making somewhere in the $50k range.

    We don’t have families and mortgages and other obligations. We’ll work in the middle of the night or on holidays and probably be excited about the little extra on our paychecks.

    Mostly, we’re surprised when we graduate college and we can’t find a job because we’ve been told our whole lives that’s what happens. Work hard, make good grades, get a diploma, get a good job. If the deal was: work hard, make good grades, take out $35k in loans and you have a 50% chance of making more than minimum wage upon graduation and you’re certainly not going to get your choice of job, you have to take the first one offered regardless of where it is, I really don’t think as many of us would have made the decision to go to college. At least not straight out of high school.

    Lastly, I find it interesting you say you’d be more loyal to a company than a millennial. I’m not sure if I was in your boat I would be particularly loyal considering how loyal employers have proven they are to you. Just a thought.

    I really enjoy reading your blog and getting the perspective of a seasoned journalist instead of those in my generation. Keep it up and I hope the right opportunity presents itself soon.

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