Be Open-Minded – But Not Because You Need to “Settle”
By Gautam Ganguli and Lauren Katzberg, Second-Year Career Advisors | april, 2013, Issue 2
Gautam Ganguli and Lauren Katzberg
As of today, the classes of 2013 and 2014 are right on pace with Booth's excellent track record for job placement. Of course, that isn't much comfort if you haven't found what you're looking for. If the job search is beginning (or continuing) to stress you out, there are a few key things to remember.
Many students who have not yet accepted an offer have chosen that path, whether by choice of industry (e.g., private equity, venture capital, entrepreneurship) or by taking a narrower focus within an industry (e.g., general management, but within pro sports). There are students every year who are looking for positions that just aren't available until later in the school year. For those students: Remember when you said in the fall and winter quarters that what you were recruiting for meant that your search would be off-campus and late? Well, this is where the rubber meets the road! Don't fret because consulting and banking recruiting ended way back when. You wanted to take a different path, and you are right in the thick of that now. Be thorough and be patient.
If you are searching and not getting the results you expected, reevaluate your strategy. Are your expectations unrealistic? If you are recruiting for tech VC, but you don't have experience in investing or in tech, then consider whether your goals are overly optimistic. Is your industry one that hires only just-in-time? If so, then remember it's week five; it's not "just-in-time" quite yet.
Finally, it pays to be open-minded. It's vital to recognize the difference between settling for a job and exploring an opportunity with which you are less familiar. To be sure, many students do settle for a job that is not their number one choice. This is often the best stepping stone to your longer-term career success. But there are also many jobs that pop up in GTS and elsewhere that might not have always been on your radar, but could be a great fit for you.
Think back to a time when you started a brand new job. How well did you really understand the challenges and the day-to-day responsibilities before you got there? There may be a job at which you would be great and enjoy, but that you never even knew existed! There are countless stories of "oh well, why not" resume drops that turned into gratifying positions. Take some time to sit down and understand what being open-minded and ambitious would mean for you, in particular.
Keep in mind that you are still in an enviable position. While it's a very tough economy (in the US and globally) and a very tough job market, you are skilled, accomplished and highly educated. You are in a very good spot. It may not seem that way for everyone right now, but you are an elite candidate, and you will find a great position.