ECU Grads...You Have To Start Somewhere.

Around 3,500 ECU students will become ECU graduates next week and many are likely wondering what they're going to do because of the current job market.

Around 3,500 ECU students will become ECU graduates next week and many are likely wondering what they're going to do because of the recession.

A story Dave Marcheskie reported on today about the job market for soon to be college graduates took me back to that frantic first job search of mine.  Let's just say it was  awhile ago. (O.K.  It was 1988)

I remember thinking I would be a failure if I didn't have a job by graduation day.  And not just any job.  It had to be a good job.  Well, graduation day came and went and no full-time job for Dave.

I continued working part-time at the radio station in Clarion, Pennsylvania where I went to college.  My job search kicked into high gear because, with little money, I had to move back home.  I commuted an hour each way for what was minimum wage.  I hardly made enough money to pay for gas for my Chevy Chevette.  And it was only $1.08 a gallon back then!

The commute in my non-air conditioned Chevette came to an end two weeks after graduation.  I finally landed that full-time job.  I was finally going to be making a full-time salary.  I was a success!  I was headed to Altoona, Pennsylvania as a radio news reporter and anchor.  I don't recall the exact salary,  but I think it was around $14,000 a year. (Actually, that may be a few thousand-dollars high)  That's not a lot of money now, and it wasn't a lot of money back then either.  The Median Household Income was around $27,000.  Today that figure is around $50,000.

I've had a total of four full-time jobs in radio/TV since that first job hunt as an eager twenty-something who thought he knew everything.  And with every job...pay, benefits and responsibilities have steadily increased.

It's often difficult to envision how careers can progress when you're young and hope to land that dream job right out of college.  It happens for some.  But for most, it does not.

My message for soon to be college graduates, especially with today's economy...don't be afraid to take whatever job may come your way, even when it's less than ideal.  The real job once you get your foot in the door is to keep working hard to achieve your dreams.  Who knows where you'll be in 2029!  Hopefully in a position to look back and realize the struggle was worth it.

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