While browsing the web, as I often do, I found a a wonderful article on what not to say to recent college graduates.
I read every sentence and nodded in appreciation because when I graduated from a master’s program, a woman I really didn’t care for and perhaps vice versa, asked if I was going to law school.
Realsimple.com lists the woman’s question about law school as one of the five huge things not to say to a recent college graduate. Particularly on their graduation day.
The other four are:
1. Don’t mention the success of other recent college graduates you know. Save that story about your niece, nephew or Godson who landed a job in Macy’s corporate offices starting at $55k per year for never. That’s not a reassuring conversation for a recent college graduate. It actually sounds like, “Poor you. You’ll never be as successful as —-.”
Most college graduates sat through uplifting commencement speeches by somebody rather important who encouraged them to stick with their goals and dreams and be persistent.
2. Reminding a college student that the economy stinks and that there aren’t enough jobs to meet the labor pool isn’t encouraging. Graduates are aware of that. What they need to know is how to power their social networking profiles in a way that appeals to employers. This is the 21st century version of “selling yourself.”
Above all, we want to encourage college students, (and everyone else in transition!). Don’t compete with college students. They’re often too wide-eyed and humanitarian to recognize haters. More than likely you graduated years ago and the market recent college grads will enter is quite different from the market you competed in when you were young (er).
3. Don’t ask college graduates if they have a job lined up. It suggests they haven’t done their duty or fulfilled a graduation requirement. Instead, ask a college graduate if they’ve been networking out meeting people. Offer positive feedback, rather than feedback that defeats their optimism in people and the country.
4. Don’t deride a graduate’s degree. Business majors get crazy respect but arts and humanities majors, not so much. Graduates with degrees in the arts are surprisingly successful in sales, public relations and supervisory careers.
The realsimple.com list of what not to say to college graduates speaks to the air of condescension, derision and resentment that lingers over college grads as they grow into somebody rather important,
If your college graduate hasn’t found fulfilling work after graduation, remind them that money is green and two or three different hourly paying jobs in outlets they like love, fashion, sports, food, and children are all fine.
The goal: Give your college graduate something more than a hard time.