Today, The Next Day and the Day After – the mysterious black hole called your future

Pick my brain, please! I gave my students 15 minutes to brainstorm topics for the Airbubble blog where I provide a running brain dump of what a teacher is really thinking. No holds barred. Ask it, and I’ll discuss.  Here’s what 15 minutes of freestyle thinking produced – a blog about careers.

Seriously? I was all primed to do some good old style teacher trash talking and the most common topic submission was resumes and interviews. Just like my students to focus on themselves. 

So here we go. I’m going to talk about a mysterious illness called the Pizza Delivery Syndrome. Or – what happens when the only thing on your resume is the low level part time job you’ve been snoozing through for the last few years? No mystery here – it’s going to be pretty hard to distinguish yourself in the crowd of recent grads when there is nothing on your resume that stands out. And no, you can’t say you went to Harvard if you didn’t. My suggestion – stop reading and start looking for opportunities that you can build a story around.

Here’s an example. Start something on your campus. You don’t need to cure cancer; you just need to initiate something. It’s the story that counts and the learning you acquired through the process of starting something. 

Let’s use the example of Student X.  For argument sake, I’ll call him Greg.  Greg approached me recently and asked if he could restart the Marketing Club on campus. I’m assuming that’s a rhetorical question because undoubtedly the answer is Yes! Yes! Yes! Why? – Because now Greg can regale his future employer with the steps he took to create something from scratch. It’s called leadership and employers love it.

By the time Greg is half way though his detailed explanation of how he petitioned the student government and secured a budget for his fledgling club, his future employer will have jumped on his desk in exaltation. “We love ya, kid. Here’s your offer letter!”

Bottom line, opportunity exists and you need to seek out opportunities that provide a platform to promote yourself.  And don’t forget the most obvious opportunity – your professors are creating an environment that will allow you to perform to your highest potential. That achievement is captured in a number less than 5 and hopefully greater zero – your GPA. Get it higher than a 3.0 and you’ll have something to put on your resume.

  • Bruna Gjeci

    I agree with everything you posted, its right down to the point and a completely logical view of how things work in life in general. The pizza delivery driver syndrome is a very accurate description of what most young adults resumes consist of. It is very important to stand out and show that you have drive and the intelligence to initiate it all. There are many other freelance things that you can get into that will look great on your resume. Tutoring is a great example.

  • Abenai

    The opportunities that I am blessed to have aren’t available for everyone to take part in. Yes there is a huge aspect of success that forces you to search for your opportunities but what if when you search and find and attempt, you aren’t accepted into the opportunity. I do feel that is it important to make your own opportunities but I only say that if you’re ready and able to. Ethnicity and social class still hold a lot of people back when it comes to reaching their many goals and I feel like this is why most people settle.

  • Abenai

    Hey bruna,

    I agree with your comment. I feel as though people want the satisfaction of being successful but don’t want to take the small steps towards success. Tutoring is a great example and is very powerful on a resume. Jobs and internships look for well rounded individuals who are great with people. So getting involved with anything whether through school or not is a good thing

  • Meco Galente

    Meco Galente
    Professor Verne
    Blog Entry
    February 12, 2013

    I agree with basically everything that was stated in the article Today the Next Day and the Day After – The Mysterious Black Hole called your Future. Fields that offer long term success are being limited in job positions due to all the competition. Take a career as an engineer for example. They are being flew in mostly from China and Japan to get top spots because they are very skilled. We as students, and as people living in this nation have to accept and deal with the fact that it is not only the people in our classroom we are competing with, it is every single person we see during the day. If you have only a little job in the middle of nowhere on your resume that nobody has ever heard of it is not going to do much for you. If you take the route of having a small place of business you have to be one of the best at doing what you do, even then however you do not make any type of money compared to an established job that you would receive after you successfully complete your college career. Some people may not be as fortunate and have to deal with things outside of the common eye, undisclosed problems that not everyone deals with. Such as poverty, taking care of a family with no parents and having to work every day and/or lack of drive. But none of these is an excuse it is the common principle that in America, more than anywhere else for that matter, that if you do what you are supposed to you will achieve “success.” This can in tale high grades, common knowledge of products an/or being ethical to people you meet. Unfortunately in current day how people view America is slowly changing. People are not being put in jobs when they are certified/qualified for them. Military veterans are not able to access jobs when they return from battle. And the biggest, most differentiating statistic is that the new jobs that America is known for, (the “American Dream”), are not being created and ran as they once were. Businesses are cutting back on workers and are ensuring that they have the correct cost-effective methods even if it means less workers than usual. You cannot fall victim to this syndrome of giving up like other people have. Contrary to these negative things and the uninspiring activities you may see throughout the day there are many things/items that people do not even think of can help you boost/enhance your resume. Activities such as volunteer work, certain clubs or organizations you can join at school and of course previous experience in the filed that you will be going into.
    Once you do good in your educational career doors will open, at least thats what we are told. So obtain a high grade point average, attend class regularly and try to stay sane. If you need a little extra income and something to keep you level headed you can have a small job as long as it does not interfere with your educational opportunities.

  • Jedidiah Omorebokhae

    I totally agree ,how creative is sometimes what professional are looking for especially in the marketing and Advertising field.I love Marketing it makes me think and analysis things more. I guess you can say I’m a THINKER. I also feel its very important to create your own opportunities, and getting involved in college activities shows creativity, leadership with ownership. so shout to Greg.

  • Domenick Buck

    The future is a scary place for most 20 year olds like me. Growing up; from kindergarten to 12th grade the future was something that was somewhat certain and predictable. For example in 1st grade you know by this time next year you will be in 2nd grade and 2 years from now you’ll be in 3rd and so on (granted that you don’t fail). But now as I look toward the future all it is, is a black hole (don’t mean to sound emo). I don’t know where I’ll be 6 months from now forget about 2 years from now. But with this great stress, comes great opportunity. I am a 20 year old male with nothing but the future and opportunity ahead of me; but at the same time I lack experience. I could relate to the pizza delivery driver syndrome, because before I landed my current job it took me about 8 months to find a job because of my lack of experience. Every potential job turned me down because I was a 17 year old with no prior experience except for working at a summer camp. The thing that I did not get is how could I ever gain experience if that’s the reason why I’m getting denied from these jobs? It’s not like they were hard jobs that only a brain surgeon could do. Most of them were cashier or stock boy jobs. All I would need is a week and I’m pretty sure I would understand the “complexity” of their system. I later went to a few of these places that I applied to and I saw that most of their workers were above the age of 30 (most likely with past experience). Since I landed my last job I’ve done some volunteer work and other things of that nature to try to make my resume stand out.