Be kind to the recently graduated seniors (well, I guess not technically seniors anymore) that you know. They have it rough. Do you know what most of their lives look like right now? I’ll tell you: a basement rec room and a list of a dozen “contacts” to “call” and “network” with for “potential future opportunities.” Basically, what I’m trying to say is that a lot of new graduates find themselves without any type of job offer. And so they’re banished back to their childhood bedrooms to devote themselves to the months (usually) long task of finding a job. It’s hard, but incredibly worthwhile. It breeds humility and character. But a lot of people make them feel incredibly shitty about it.
What people you ask? Well, mostly all the other graduated seniors they know who graduated with a job offer. These people offer unsolicited advice (“have you tried networking?”), passive aggressively throw shade (“No sorry, I don’t know where the career center is – never been”), and in general, brag all the fucking time (“I’m not studying for midterms, I already have a job so I don’t even care”).
Now, if you’re a recent grad who has a job offer: good for you! Or, if you’re a rising senior who’s 99% sure they’ll be finishing out the summer with a job offer in hand (looking at you, Finance majors): also congratulations! I’m very happy for you. You’ve worked hard and you absolutely deserve it. I’m not saying to hide your accomplishment from others in case you accidentally make a job-less classmate jealous. You have every right to be to take pride in in what you’ve accomplished. The only thing I’m asking you to do is to take a beat, think about where you are in life, and not act like a dick. Because even though you’ve “done what you’re supposed to do” and graduated with a job offer, it doesn’t make you any better than your fellow classmates who didn’t.
First of all, let’s face facts: you did not secure your job offer because you’re the next Zuckerberg. You got this offer because you’re young and were in a feeder internship specifically set up by a company or firm to replace their entry level-employees in fields with high turnover rates like investment banking, accounting, pharmaceutical sales, corporate engineering, etc. Sure, you worked hard, but these are fields that need to a constant supply of bodies being thrown at them. Most of you will probably wash out after a few years. Not because you’re bad at your job, but because these companies are structured that way. They take the very few top performers and promote, then push out the rest to make way for more recent college grads who are cheaper, don’t have complicated personal lives, and can take the stress of these jobs without having a heart attack. Simply put: nothing about this job is personal. Don’t act like you were able to cash that bonus check because you’re intrinsically more employable than a lot of other people.
Also, since you’ve gotten a job in one of these fields, it’s safe to assume that you were in a pre-professional major. In that case, it’s no surprise that you graduated with a job offer since that’s the entire point of choosing a pre-professional major. If you hadn’t graduated with a job offer I could have only assumed that you like, insider-traded accidentally and got fired or had a 1.7 GPA. When viewed through this lens, saying “I got a job offer” is pretty much like saying “I passed all my pass/fail courses”. No shit.
And finally, don’t just assume that this first job offer means you’ve bypassed the pant-shitting terror that comes with building a career. Sure, you got this one job. But it’s just one job. The next job you get you won’t be fed into by your internship and it will be way more competitive because it’s not entry level. You’ll actually have distinguish yourself entirely on your own from your dozen equally qualified co-workers. And then odds are you’ll make a career switch because honestly, that’s what most Americans do. More than once, in fact. And then you’ll be back at square one. Or maybe you’ll need to get a graduate degree to advance but your GPA took a hit senior year after you stopped studying because you “already had a job”. There is no fast track career path, despite what some of you may think.
Although honestly, if all else fails just marry rich. Or old. Or both!.