Voices: College students face difficulty in work force

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Tyler Boydston

Assistant Managing Editor

In the job market, college students have a difficult time.

I only say this because I was laid off from my job a month ago. For two years straight, I had a stable position at a job in Duncan, and drove back there for the weekends. I had it made until I was let go. Then I realized just how difficult things actually are for college students looking for jobs.

The search for a job brought about the problem of availability: the amount of hours I am available to work as a college student are very limited, and most jobs are not exactly willing to work with the hectic schedule of a college student/newspaper editor.

While I, too, began looking for a job, I have several friends who were also job searching.

The job search ‘ended’ relatively early when I landed a job in town for minimum wage and minimal hours. When another job called for a slightly higher pay, I jumped at the opportunity. Suddenly, I thought that the job and school mix would work, but then slowly but surely came to the realization that my hours were still limited, and my ability to pay rent and bills was gone.

Things got difficult, and fast.

I was hired on as a temporary worker with the ability to get hired on full-time, and took the risk and went with it. My inability to work a constant Monday to Friday job, however, proved to be my downside when I was scheduled eight to 14 hours a week.

Over the course of my time post-layoff, I have had to adapt to the job market, and I have come to the conclusion that full availability is the only way to get a good amount of hours.

So, this is why I write this now: As a full-time college student, the job force is a difficult thing for not all but most of us. While some of us still find ourselves in that awkward phase in life where we’re not entirely sure what we want to do with ourselves, it is difficult to wrap our heads around school and work. However, it is even more difficult for managers and store owners to schedule around our own very hectic life schedules as college students.

What we have to do, though, and what I realize that I have to do now, is set up our own school and work schedules to coordinate well with one another. We also have to let those interviewing us understand our schedules when we first talk to them. Nothing is more important than letting potential managers understand upfront what our school schedules are.

Another part of the job search that I had to realize very early on was that my own personal appearance had to slightly change in order for me to be taken seriously for any position. Sad though it may be, a few employers are not going to hire someone with long hair and a beard (as is seen in my editorial picture). Since that picture was taken, I cut my hair short and shaved the beard (it is in the process of growing again, so shed no tears). This disappoints me to great lengths, as my appearance in that picture is an appearance I very much like.

Most importantly, however, is one’s ability to work. If you lose your job, or you are looking for a job, search high and low, look everywhere, and do not count any job out in your quest. After that, be prepared to work hard at the job, and you should be fine.

That being said, I continue my quest.

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