Know what you want; many jobs not as glamorous as portrayed

Katrina Sargent

Katrina Sargent

On Saturday morning, the fall 2007 graduates will walk across the stage and receive their diplomas. These students will need to make decisions about living arrangements and careers.

Graduates should take some time to figure out what they are looking for in their careers before jumping on board. Some jobs sound glamorous and look exciting when seen on television, but in reality are not that great.

Marty Nemko outlined a number of these careers in an article in U.S. News and World Report. One of Nemko’s overrated careers includes advertising executive. According to Nemko, people see ad executives as really creative people who come up with entertaining commercials, when in reality, much of an ad executive’s career is devoted to taking business away from competitors and calming demanding clients.

Lawyers are also included in his list. Many people see lawyers on Law and Order and assume that all lawyers work on high profile cases to improve society. Nemko said that in reality, lawyers spend a massive chunk of their time filling out paperwork to meet their firm’s target.

Nemko also includes careers such as chefs, teachers and small-business owners in his list. These careers are not bad choices, and many people do enjoy them, but one thing to keep in mind when considering a career is that television and other glorified representations do not show the career in its entirety. It would be beneficial to do hands-on research about prospective careers. Many professionals are more than willing to discuss their jobs and all that is required, and some even allow students a chance to job shadow. Another way to gain experience for a potential career is to take on an internship.

A career is one consideration; the other major choice facing graduates is living arrangements. Location and money are the main factors of this decision. Some questions: Own place or parent’s house? Close to home or far away?

According to Jay Nargundkar, a reporter at the University of Maryland, 42 percent of 2006 graduates live at home with their parents. There are many reasons: some people have jobs near home, and do not see a reason to pay rent when they can live at home for free, others are close to their families and do not want to leave and some just need a stopping place while they search for a career and steady income.

Some of the downfalls to living at home include not taking on the responsibilities of an adult and remaining under the control of parents. Paying rent and bills builds responsibility and offers more freedom than living at home. Some tips for finding a place to live from Quintessential Careers include carefully reviewing the lease, the age of the neighbors and location of laundry facilities. Renter’s insurance is also usually a good idea.

Some things to keep in mind when moving, especially away from home, are to change your address with credit cards, magazines, loan providers, your driver’s license and car and voter registration, said Quintessential Careers. They also suggest finding banks, transportation, post offices, churches, restaurants, movie theaters, local organizations and other places, especially if moving to an entirely new town.

For those students who are not graduating yet, or who happen to be on their fifth, sixth or even seventh year of college, do not give up hope. An 87-year-old woman just graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas, according to a report by the Dallas Morning News. Helen Small began her studies in 1938, but ended up putting her education on hold.

During this time, Helen got married, raised a family and ran a construction business with her husband. After her husband passed away in 2004, Helen started school again at the age of 84. Now, 69 years later, she graduated with a degree in psychology and plans to volunteer as a counselor at a women’s shelter.