Don’t Go There: What Not to Ask a Recent Graduate

Did you really just ask that? What not to ask recent grads. (Image: Thinkstock)

Post-graduation, emotions are running abnormally high. Normal thoughts (Think: what am I going to eat for lunch? Or, should I apply for this job posting? ) become consumed by images of loan sharks calling mercilessly to collect back payments and, even worse, your array of possessions reduced to a single box housed on the street. Yes, your mind will take you there a few months out.

Often times, parents and loved ones are concerned about your well-being, but, hey, this is the real world so they want to know what your next steps are: a job, master’s/doctorate program, international exploration, or something along those lines. Although new grads care about the next BIG move, they also are concerned how people approach them about it.

As a fresh grad, I wore my educational upgrade on my sleeve. And although I was jobless, most people were more enthralled by the fact that I was a 21-year-old college graduate (or so I thought).

One afternoon, after giving a seasoned woman (who’s known to keep it real) a brief update on my then-current life course—a B.A. toting grad juggling two unpaid internships—she did what she does best, gave me the honest lowdown.

“So, when are you planning on getting a real job?” she asked, right after I poured my heart out about how much I loved my internships.

“Uhhh,” I stuttered. “Well, I’m in the process of finding one.”

“Yeah, you need a real job,” she added, with an extra dose of sass.

“Wow,” I thought. “Did she really just ask that?”

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