Don’t Go There: What Not to Ask a Recent Graduate - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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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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Janel Martinez

With a focus on news and the under 35 crowd, Martinez develops engaging, daily reports for BlackEnterprise.com. She also pens the blog, After School Daze: Life After Undergrad, where she delves into the day-to-day issues and concerns of recent graduates trying to adapt to life off campus. Prior to Black Enterprise, the Bronx, N.Y. native contributed to Latina, Latina.com, Honeymag.com, Syracuse Record and The Post-Standard. When she's not writing articles, the self-proclaimed travelista is on the prowl for her next excursion.   Martinez holds a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism and sociology from Syracuse University.


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