Posted by: Professionals In Human Resources Association (PIHRA) | October 27, 2010

Do you remember when?

By John Silver, D.C.G.
Board Member, California Placement Association

Do you remember when you finished school or college?

Do you remember your first real job and who gave you that opportunity?

What was the position you secured?

What was the name of the company?

What was the person’s name who hired you?

Ironically, when asked, most of us remember what, whom and when.  We all started our career path somewhere with the help of someone.  Nothing has changed!  Today’s students/graduates starting their career path need that opportunity in a similar way.

However in a market flooded with talent and crowded with people seeking employment today’s mantra is “So what? It is a buyer’s market.  With California hosting an unemployment rate of 12.4% or 2,261,451 people (California Labor Market Review 8/2010), employers have the luxury of hiring people with years of experience many of whom are willing to work for significantly lower salaries than previously earned.

Many companies seem to be looking at short term fulfillment, employing competent individuals for positions well below their capability.  When the economy turns-around and employment opportunities become more abundant will these individuals remain or seek employment commensurate with their education and experience?

Hence lays a dilemma. Let’s face it today’s graduates are our future and yet we are in danger of losing a generation of educated employees.  So where and when are these graduates going to be able to start their career path?  College graduates are in an awkward situation, in an extremely competitive arena, they want a professional opportunity to initiate a career path notwithstanding the ability to be financially independent.

Isn’t it the case though, new graduates are passionate about what they want to do, eager to learn and are far more committed. They can be molded to the position and culture of the company.  Most are untenured hence do not the experience to have learned bad habits and are generally realistic regarding compensation and the worth of the position.

Five, ten, fifteen years from now when today’s graduate is asked “Do you remember” wouldn’t it be terrific in the answered “yes” my first real job was, working for, and that person’s name was YOU.

Their future is intertwined with our future.


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