It’s the same story every year: New college graduates waving their bright new diplomas are out looking for their first ‘real’ job. They expect to launch right into their profession and start making the big money. Then reality sinks in. It sure did for me.
What actually happens is that you fill out tons of applications and sends in dozens of resumes to land an interview. Then, just on the verge of being hired, you’re told the starting salary. Your first reaction is to feel insulted and slighted by the hiring manager. That’s because while college gives you information specific to your major, it may not give you the financial facts of the real world.
In the real world, your degree means that you have a specific type of knowledge. It tells the hiring manager that you know how to do certain things; however, you have probably never done them any place but in a classroom. You are untested and need to be trained in how employers want things done. You are also just beginning your career and have nothing to show the hiring manager that you are worth anything more than the base starting salary for your field. This is where many graduates have trouble: they don’t understand that everyone starts at the bottom.
Start your job hunt with a more realistic view of what you can expect. Have you researched the job market in specific areas? Do you know the salary range for the type of job you’re seeking? If you were an intern in your field, then you have some real world work experience in your field, and that means you may command a slightly higher starting salary. If this is the case, you still need to realize that you’re going to have to start at or near the bottom of the pay scale and then you will have to prove yourself to your employer before you see a higher salary.
You may have graduated from college, but once your enter the working world, your real education is just beginning.