A reader writes:
As a recent college graduate using your tips, I was able to secure a job as an Administrative Assistant at a brand-new charter school that is opening up in my area in the fall. Granted, it does not offer many benefits and the pay is $10.00/hour, but I am also from an area where the job market is very dismal at the moment. This job is so I can start saving money to go to graduate school and to become self-sufficient from my parents, along with gaining valuable work experience since I will be the person putting all of the office procedures into place. Overall, I am excited to start my new job in a few weeks and the lady that I am working for seems like she is very kind and down-to-earth.
Now, here is where I need your advice. My mother is not happy with me taking this job whatsoever. She thinks that since I double-majored in four years from college, I should be able to find a job that starts me out at $18/hour. I understand that she just wants the best for me, but honestly I think she is in denial about how bad the job market is at the moment for recent college graduates (especially since both of my majors are in the humanities). She thinks that just because I graduated college, I should be able to find a prestigious job. But I have looked on multiple job sites and sadly $10/hour is on the higher end of the pay scale around where I live when it comes to entry level work. I am lucky that I found a job in general that is full-time, especially since so many of my friends that live around here cannot even find that.
My mother complains that the pay at this new job is too low and that they are trying to screw me over since they had to change the start date for all of the new employees around a few times since there were delays in remodeling the classrooms and receiving all of the office supplies for the new school. If it was a seasoned employer that was doing this, I would be skeptical, but my new employer has been informing me on what has been going on with the new school every step of the way and has been very good with answering my questions and concerns in a prompt manner. My mother says that I will be “working for a bunch of monkeys” and that I lost too much money since I received the job offer in mid-July and will not start until the third week of August. But isn’t it normal to wait that long to start a new job, especially since it is for a school?
Sorry if my thoughts are all over the place, but so many of my friends are getting ripped apart by their parents for the fact that they cannot find a well-paying job out of college. I think it would be beneficial if you can address the fact that the economy is still pretty bad for recent college graduates since many of our parents have not looked for a new job in many years and do not see it first-hand.
As of right now, all parents are prohibited from giving job search advice to their children. All of them. Yes, the sensible few will be punished for the transgressions of their peers, but that is the price that must be paid to put a stop to this epidemic of awful advice.
Your mom is wrong. Your friends’ parents are wrong.
The fact that you double-majored has nothing to do with your job prospects or earning potential when you are right out of school in the midst of a terrible job market and have little/no experience. When there aren’t enough jobs to go around, no one cares that you double-majored. Hell, when there aren’t enough jobs to go around, no one cares that you have a degree at all.
And I don’t know where she came up with $18/hour, but she’s clearly not familiar with the current job market, which is one where people with much more experience than you would be grateful for a $10/hour job.
She should be congratulating you on finding a job that you’re excited about, at a time when many of last year’s graduates still haven’t found jobs … and when plenty of people with tons of skills and experience are unemployed.
As for the “bunch of monkeys” allegation, no. The timeline of your start date is normal, the delays in remodeling the classrooms are normal, the whole thing is normal.
Ignore her. Ignore anyone who seems not to be aware of the terrible job market that entire country is dealing with.
And congratulations on your new job!