TMCnet Feature
June 03, 2019

Why People Don't Work in Their Specialty, and How to Fix It

It's a problem that isn't discussed much outside of career centers or job fairs, but it's true:  A large percentage of college students aren't going to work in their desired field. This means that, while you might study to get an English degree, you could end up with a job in business. And this isn't a minor issue:  One-third, or even more, of graduates are going to have a job mismatch. But why, and how can you avoid it? There are relatively simple explanations and fixes to help you understand how to stay in the field you love.

Employers Look at Dedication, Not Major

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. After all, you’ve worked hard for your degree, whatever it might be. That alone deserves some value. But, now that so many jobs require a college degree (many of which of these careers would not require a university education a few decades ago), they only look for people with a diploma. Not necessarily those in their field. This not only makes it more likely that you'll work in an unrelated sphere, but that it will be overrun with people in that same situation.

Employers Value Work Experience Over New Graduates

Because a degree has become mandatory for many positions, even the entry-level, new grads usually lack work experience, which teaches a person some things that you just don't learn in school. Some colleges and universities try to remedy that by offering work-study or internships. There are also the students who have to work, sometimes full-time even while they're going through college. However, your major isn't really taken into account when hiring.

Grads Aren't Learning the Appropriate Skills

This ties in with what was mentioned above. Graduates often lack some vital skills in the professional world. These might be related to all careers or those specific to the one that you want to pursue. Often, they aren't taught in college classes, even the most advanced ones. Stress management for those who want to work in high-tension fields, for example, is something that not everyone knows. Likewise, being able to talk to people easily and hold a ready conversation isn't taught in any classroom. College might leave you able to write an expert essay, but it doesn't teach these skills.

Career Advice is Lacking

We're not talking about the more traditional career advice. A lot of that old-fashioned pieces of advice are outdated and not complete. It's the same thing that the parents of young adults would have heard while they were getting their degrees. Some campuses are offering more up-to-date information, including the ways to make sure that you get a job matching up with your major. If you're not lucky enough to have access to proper career advice, there are internet sites where you can learn the same information, though without the personal touch.

Fix One:  Build a Variety of Skills

By building up a wide variety of skills, you'll be able to advance your work in any field. This means that you'll always have a good, steady income, whether you work in your desired profession or not. So you might freelance as an essay assistant for a while so that people can get help online with Edubirdie while holding out for your dream job. Writing skills will take you far, even if you don't give online essay help in the desired field. People skills are good to have, as well. Knowing how to address a person and carry a professional conversation is an invaluable skill.

Fix Two:  Develop the “Hidden Skills” Your Specialty Needs

College is really good at turning you into The Essay Expert, but often little else. Therefore, it's up to you to find the ways to learn the skills you need for your dream job. The first thing to do is to look at what the “hidden skills” of your field are. These change depending on what you want to do and are too numerous to list. Someone looking to work in politics or public relations, for example, needs to learn to be a people person. The ability to keep calm under pressure is necessary for both high-level executives and professions dealing with the legal system.

Fix Three:  Build Relationships in Your Industry

Making relationships in your field is something that too many people don't bother with. A good mentor can also help you pinpoint those hidden skills we discussed above. They can also offer you connections, a resource worth more than anything you could buy.

Part Four:  Be Patient and Persistent

The biggest thing you can do to make sure that you work in your specialty. Be patient, but be persistent. Even if you follow the tips above and do everything right, you could still find yourself working outside of the field. Build up work experience, and add it to your resume. But that doesn't mean you should give up. Keep cultivating the skills you'll need and keep applying for the jobs that interest you. If you continue being persistent, you're more likely to end up having your dream job.

It's all too common today for recent grads to work in a position not related to their major. There are many reasons for this, but just as many ways to fix it. With these tips and some hard work, you can end up exactly where you want in your professional life.

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