The writer is a student at SUNY New Paltz and a summer intern at Spotlight Newspapers.
Everyone knows, even those who don’t pay attention to the news, that with these tough economic time comes a scarce job market, scarce meaning almost non-existent, especially for the younger crowd. Employers want experience. They want to hire employees who know what they are doing to cut down on time spent training. The problem is, everyone knows that with age comes experience, which means tough luck for for the younger crowd. From high school to college, the younger generation has fallen victim to a harsh fact of life — the job market is brutally competitive, and if you don’t have experience already, most employers brush you off.
What this younger generation must learn is that being “choosy” is not an option. It was a hard lesson to learn, but I realized that when it comes to paying for school books, money is money. No one truly wants to work in a thrift store for an unhappy manager, which was exactly how I spent the summer after high school graduation. Somehow I managed, hating every minute of arguing with customers about predetermined prices, but I managed. This was after working for the high school library and a party supply store in the past years.
What I noticed was many high school students tell themselves they have time to hold out for their dream job, part or full time, which is untrue. The simple fact of the matter is you can’t pick and choose when it comes to a part-time or summer job. The ideal way to spend my summers did not include the high school print shop or the household wares section of a thrift store.
Yes, retail is not a desired career choice, but while filling out applications, I knew that some experience was worth the pain. There is no such thing as an “undesired” job. The school, some thrift store? Maybe those weren’t the ideal places to spend my summer vacation, but I had to ask myself, did I really have a choice?