Why Grad Jobs aren't for Special Snowflakes

It’s Grad job season, the economy is turning sour, and you are considering moving to New Zealand if you can’t get a grad job (pro tip: Australians are entitled to unemployment benefits in New Zealand).

That dream job at Credit Suisse appears farther from reach, as Grad opportunity growth fails to keep pace with demand after the Federal Government’s uncapping of university places. This year will be the most competitive to date – it being the first year to apply for graduates who started in 2012. The first uncapped finance cohort will be entering the jobs market. Your grades aren’t particularly impressive.

Even if you are lucky enough to get a graduate job at a management consulting firm, big four accounting firm, or investment banking firm, welcome to two years of ten to twelve hour days and data entry.

Ultimately the work will become more interesting, and the hours will be less intense. But unless you are a sycophant with cheap loyalty who plays hard and loose with personal identity, you’ll never stop feeling like you’ve spent years of your life building something that will never belong to you.

There is that prestige though, you’ll go to a party or a bar, or a party at a bar, and you’ll be asked what you do for a living. “Oh I’m a clerk at Jones Day,” you’ll say proudly. Suddenly pants will fly off, clinging to the walls and you have your pick of the litter. This probably won’t happen, but it might.

If you don’t get or don’t take a grad job, someone else just as talented, if not as imaginative as you will take that job. PricewaterhouseCoopers won’t even notice, they certainly won’t be missing out.

So if you have some niche skills; if you can write software, you can make mathematical models, you can think in a particular way, maybe you can fundraise, maybe you have a strong network in politics – if you can understand or do something most people can’t, you are wasted in a graduate job.

Help build up smaller institutions with bigger potential. Fledgling tech firms, NGO’s, small hedge funds, small software companies, start a new business. Do something that wouldn’t be done if you didn’t do it.

For everything else, there are grad jobs.

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