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Old 10-05-2011, 02:30 AM   #1
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Default Entering the job market

I recently graduated with a degree in political science. I chose poli sci because I am interested in politics and I thought I'd be going to law school. Now I have zero interest in doing that, and I'm stuck with a fairly useless degree. School guidance counselors should really discourage people from majoring in liberal arts, because you graduate with pretty much no marketable skills. I finally moved out of my parents' house to outside of D.C., so one would think someone like me could find a job in politics. Well, I've applied for so many that I have lost count and only got one response, and I didn't end up getting the job. Pretty much every job I apply for, I'm up against 30 or more other applicants with nothing to separate me from the pack. I went through this same thing with applying for internships (never got any) and without that, or actual work experience, I'm SOL. I have lots of experience volunteering on campaigns and even some paid campaign experience, but that's not cutting it. I have no connections, which seems to be the thing that matters in this town. I don't have time to develop them, I need to start paying rent soon.

Any advice? Honestly, I know it might sound arrogant but I didn't graduate college to go back to making espresso drinks. I'm really interested in working in the brewing industry and eventually opening a brew-pub (cliche I know) and I've applied to every beer job I could find. I even had interviews with two breweries, but things seem to have stalled with both of them. I was thinking of taking some welding classes and working as a bartender (if anyone would even hire me) for now.

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Old 10-05-2011, 02:38 AM   #2
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Do what you have to do to pay the rent. Espresso, welding, etc.

Networking is what you need, so don't roll up in a ball somewhere. Get a job, rub elbows, and keep a keen eye out for people in industries that you are interested in. Don't be shy; start up convo's, ask a lot of questions, listen well. Don't tell people how smart you are - you become a competitor.

New grads can find work much more easily than older unemployed workers for a lot of reasons, but the easiest one to put a finger on is energy and enthusiasm. Work on those things, as well as a persistent positive attitude (even if you are serving coffee) and things will work out. You might be surprised where the great job opportunity comes from - likely not where you were looking.

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Old 10-05-2011, 02:41 AM   #3
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Have you considered giving a handy to a senator? Sorry, just being an ass.....

Seriously, good luck and network. I know a few people in politics in DC and they got in with pure luck and by knowing the right person. Is it politics after all.

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Old 10-05-2011, 02:49 AM   #4
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Well I worked sh!te jobs for many years after I graduated, finally went back to school and then after grad school I worked several more years before I ended up with a decent career job. It took me 15 years to pay of my loans! That was 30 years ago. Tings are worse now. No real advice but don't be bitter, it is the way the world is, just keep trying and learn to weld while you are looking!

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Old 10-05-2011, 02:58 AM   #5
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I also have a liberal arts degree, and never worked any internships. Today I work in politics, but with a twist--I work for a state agency that monitors political campaign finance and ethics-in-elections issues.

I started out in the front office, making copies, but now I'm one of my agency's chief investigators. That might be a good route for you--have you considered working in elections administration, or in an ethics agency like mine? Many states, counties and cities have them. There's even seasonal work in elections offices, around November when things get crazy. Just to get your foot in the door.

Anyway, best of luck. Hang in there.

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Old 10-05-2011, 03:05 AM   #6
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The advice would be to not be too arrogant to work in the coffe shop if that's what pays the bills. You chose your degree, now deal with it. Life isn't about what's owed, it's about what happens and how you handle it. Good luck friend

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Old 10-05-2011, 04:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexbanner View Post
Honestly,
If it's politics, don't you need to rid this work from your vocabulary?










Sorry, someone had to jump on it. Good luck with the search and tending bar may be able to get you into the networking or at least to meet interesting people. Otherwise, the ethics in elections idea sounded promising.
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:15 AM   #8
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Honestly, a degree doesn't entitle you to anything. Find a job, any job, work hard, network, make connections, work hard, and work hard. You can't get to the top of the ladder without climbing the first step.

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Old 10-05-2011, 05:24 AM   #9
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Yep, lots of successful people started out in retail or food service jobs. Just how it goes. No shame there; just work hard and keep applying for the things you want.

If you are really interested in doing something with beer, bartending is absolutely the way to go. Plus it's really fun, especially if you're 22 and single. Money is good, you usually have your days free (to apply for those political jobs you want), and you get to meet lots of people of the opposite sex (or same sex, if that's what you're looking for). If your bar stocks craft beers, the distributor provides a nice connection to the breweries themselves, and may give you an in. I bartended in various capacities for a bunch of years in my 20's (in a few different bars, for caterers, etc.), and it was one of the funnest experiences ever.

Obviously it's tough out there, but if you're keeping your head above water and paying your bills you're doing great. Keep plugging away and the right career path will open itself up.

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Old 10-05-2011, 10:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexbanner View Post
School guidance counselors should really discourage people from majoring in liberal arts, because you graduate with pretty much no marketable skills.
Why would they do that? The school has a much better shot at you actually sticking around the full 4 years and collecting tuition. Yeah, the jobless statistic can sting, but as long as it's on par with the rest of the nation in the same degree who cares right? Oh, yeah, the grads...

Keep up the hunt on beer jobs though. Every brewer I've met didn't care if you had a degree or not - a mash shovel doesn't care either. You'll probably be dirt broke for a while, but it's a step.

One thing I've noticed in my career, always ask the question. If you want something, apply for it even if you don't necessarily qualify for it. You'll be surprised how often rules get bent or broken, regardless of how "in stone" they are.
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