Many companies like to hire and gobble up college graduates. When I ask employers why the answer is always the same “They’re young, have so much energy, and our passionate!” It wasn’t until a couple years into the workforce that this started speaking to me on a entirely different level.
Yes, we are young. With youth brings a lack of inexperience. When applying for jobs we all thought that was a disadvantage – and it is, but not to all companies. Some companies love that we 20 somethings do not know anything because they can fill our minds with whatever they want! If this is sounding all negative, I do not mean it to be. We need these companies to take a chance on us and give us that magical substance of ‘experience.’ More often than not though I think we are being fooled. Youth means we are not well versed at reading between the lines of a job posting or asking the right questions in an interview. To some companies, youth means they can sucker you into cold-calling for two years because you didn’t understand the position initially and you need it to pay the bills. Youth doesn’t always mean naive though. For the company I work with it means ‘unattached.’ I can up and move around the country at the drop of a hat because I have no real attachments to a location. I lucked out with the right kind of ‘youth’ minded company!
Energy – Well we all know that comes from the all-nighters we gladly went through to pass the class/great night out.
Passionate. This one is harder for me. I feel that we are not a generation of deeply-passionate people. Don’t get me wrong! There are many people who are 20 something who are changing the world and care greatly about global warming or animal cruelty. However, I think most of us lack conviction for something. We like the idea of dedicating ourselves to a cause, we just don’t know what idea that is. And it is only recently that I realized what they mean by passionate. We passionately want to care! We want to throw ourselves into our work at this age. We want those late nights, gruesome business trips, and last-minute presentations. We want them because we want to have a cause, even if it is just making sure the client’s ridiculous requests are met.
There are many reasons to hire a recent graduate. We are young, energetic and have a deep sense of passion. Companies out there can see the potential in us (and thank goodness for that). But, there are still some who want to absorb up all our positive attributes and spit us out. Be smart when applying for jobs and know that even if you are young, you still bring a great deal to the table.