Every week, I coerce employed friends into giving job advice.
Major: Comparative Literature and Society
What I do all day: Strategy consulting, i.e. help my already huge employer take over the world (but I swear, they’re not that evil). I am responsible for research and analysis that helps our executives make business decisions. More precisely, I stare at spreadsheets, make pretty PowerPoint slides, interview old white men (and an occasional woman), and build Excel models.
What I would rather be doing all day: Traveling the world, trying unusual food for www.weirdfoodclub.blogspot.com, and sometimes doing exactly what I’m already doing (see above)
Where I found this job: On ColumbiaTRAK during my last week of college
Why they hired me as opposed to hundreds of other overqualified Ivy league grads: Because I had previous internship experience at a small consulting firm and all other consulting-oriented Ivy Leaguers weren’t job-hunting by that time of the year (all had $60K+ jobs already lined up). Plus, it helped that I looked like my boss (see photo).
Best part about being employed: Getting a mandatory kick in the butt every morning to actually get out of bed, learning every day, meeting interesting people, and unexpected perks (free massages with my health insurance, free dinners if working late, etc)
Worst part about being employed: Not being able to color my hair bright orange (actually, I was able to pull it off on a 4 day weekend before redying it back to a natural shade) and feeling inferior to my unemployed peers who are doing way cooler things with their lives than sitting behind a screen (oh wait, they are sitting behind a screen all day too, just in their pajamas).
Heartfelt advice to your jobless friends who may have been freeloading off of you for months: Go to some place in the world where you’ll feel rich, cool, yet humble, at least until the recession is over. Then see if your overseas experience will help you land a job. Or, once you go abroad and find something unusual they have there but we don’t have here, bring it here and make it a stellar business. Most importantly — just because you’re unemployed doesn’t mean you should be wasting time. Start or find an interesting project — you have so much time! Do exactly what you’ve always wanted to do and be conscious of the fact that not having a job could be an advantage.
If you would like to be featured in the weekly Why I have a Job column or know someone who would, holla.