Get a day job

The choice for young Americans is not selling out to evil corporations or “starving as an unpaid or underpaid activist,” writes Eric at Classical Values. Get a day job while you’re waiting for your big break. Join the working class.

In response to two books on the job market’s indifference to film and women’s studies majors, Eric praises Molly Hartmann Ahrens, a Bryn Mawr sociology graduate who found an income and satisfaction as a bartender. Now she gets paid — plus tips! — for observing social interactions.

He blames “the relentless, all-encompassing self esteem movement” for creating an entitlement mindset.

Even people who might have practical degrees in something useful nonetheless think it is beneath them or degrading to have to work in entry level positions and work their way up.

Another head of the monster is the creation of a useless and unemployable caste, by the conferring of meaningless degrees in an unending litany of identity group “studies.” The holders of these degrees have their self esteem delusionally bolstered by a false belief that the “system” which sees no value in their valueless degrees is victimizing them . . .

No wonder they feel entitled. If they didn’t have the feeling of entitlement, I’m afraid they’d have nothing at all.

He suggests grads who majored in “me studies” consider training in bartending, automotive repair and handyman skills.

When my daughter was graduated from Stanford with a degree in American Studies, she found employers were eager to hire her — as an unpaid intern. She lowered her sights a notch, found a paying (not very well) job, worked for awhile and then started law school. (I visited her this week in Chicago, where she’s working for the summer in the U.S. attorney’s office, and heard “Richie the Rat” testify in the “Family Secrets” trial of elderly gangsters.) If young people have a sense of entitlement, it doesn’t last long once they hit the job market. You take what you can get or move back in with your parents.

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  1. superdestroyer says:

    I remember reading how the use of the internet for job applications is one of the reasons that fluff majors are having a harder time. It used to be that a directional state graduate with a degree in business could be personnal impressed with an Ivy league degree in sociology or American studies. Today, the algorithism in the human resources software lump the American Studies degrees from all universities into the same discard pile while selecting the business/technology/management major from a directional state university.

  2. Walter E. Wallis says:

    And I remember when the big push was to discredit college courses that were “just job training.”

  3. My brother has an associates degree in computer science. 7 years ago he got his first job answering phones for a software company in tech support. He was paid $24,000/year. Instead of complaining about his crummy low paying job, he worked hard and became the best tech support person at the company. Customers regularly asked for him by name. Year two he was paid $26,000. He continued to work hard at his job. A new higher paying position opened up. He offered to perform that job for the same pay. He did so for several months, got the job, and was paid $45,000/year. Seven years later he is at the same company, makes $75,000/year and owns a home. He just turned 30. He is very grateful for his job and salary and does not have a sense of entitlement.

  4. What’s wrong with bartending? They can meet interesting people AND make better than average tips?

    Or am I the only one who remembers those old commercials for bartending school?

  5. Deirdre Mundy says:

    I had a friend who went into Bartending after college… she used it to supplement the income she earned from working for a non-profit, and she LOVED it.

    I loved helping with her class assignments. =) The best one (this was in Chicago) was to pick a Friday night and go to 5 different bars, staying at each one for at least an hour, and “observe the bartender…”

    Those of us who accompanied her on this unofficial pub crawl had a GREAT time.

    Eventually my friend made enough money to pay down her student loans a bit and join the peace corps…..

    but she’ll always be able to make great drinks for herself!

  6. Walter E. Wallis says:

    There was that old matchbook ad – “Don’t envy the plumber, be one”.
    If I had stayed an electrician I would be retired on my yacht today.

  7. Walter,

    I took Ed. classes with a plumber, he said he was becoming a teacher, and taking a HUGE paycut, because he was tired of crawling through other people’s dookie to fix a plumbing problem.

    I prefer my jobs dookie-free, although as an elementary teacher that doesn’t always work out.

  8. Cardinal Fang says:

    A lot of young graduates “sell out” because that’s the only way they can pay back their student loans.