Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on February 8, 2012 By Draginol In Personal Computing

Here’s a growing problem: College graduates who have never had a job of any kind.

I get a lot of these resumes on my desk now. 4-5 years in college, living at home, never worked. No mall job. No McDonalds. No summer landscaping. Nothing.

I used to not pay that close attention to that but I do now.  I have to because kids who have never had a job have no idea what’s expected at a job. Basic things like getting up every day and being at work at a consistent time. 5 days a week.

If you’re a parent and you’re not making your kid work so that they can “focus on their grades” you’re doing them a disservice. I won’t interview anyone anymore that has never had a job. I don’t care what their GPA was.

Comments (Page 1)
on Feb 08, 2012 only be 5 days a week...

That's why I don't lament not having  Net access when I'm away with the Motor Racing....

But you're right.... a heck of a lot MORE is learned from 'Real Life' [tm] than from school ....and Work is 'Real Life'....

on Feb 08, 2012

I agree. Degrees are largely economic ventures, rather than proof of ability nowadays. People that never bothered with internships or even summer jobs can often be unready for the workforce. Of course, I would still hire them as interns for a year. Nothing wrong with giving them a try. 

on Feb 08, 2012

Damn I was planing to waste my summer away.

on Feb 08, 2012

on Feb 08, 2012

Often it's hard for younger folks these days to even get the crap jobs.  The malls are closing up, the landscaping jobs are largely immigrants, McD's is filled with adults who got laid off from living-wage jobs that got sent to countries where it's legal to work employees to death.  It's not impossible for everyone, but it's much harder to get the job then it used to be.  This trend isn't going to change without some external force.


About a few years back it was noted that workrates among teenagers were dropping, it's starting to creep up.



on Feb 08, 2012

That's all fine Brad, but to give you a for instance my son, who is almost 17, has had applications in at 13 different places here in my town at McD's, local restaurants, hardware stores, K-Mart, you name it. Not even one phone call in six months. It is all fine and dandy to say that kids need to work and establish themselves, but if there are no jobs to begin with, then it just isn't possible. I know when I was his age I had already been working for 3 years. Picking vegetables in farmers fields is gone due to automation for the most part, pumping gas at gas stations is not possible any more as customer service is gone and has been automated also. The jobs are just not there Brad, and he is really frustrated that he cannot find a job anywhere.

on Feb 08, 2012

Good points LightStar. I to have 2 nephews and a niece that all want to work real bad and there is nothing worse than sending application after application and getting no response at all. Trying to sell ones self in the market place and having everyone pass you by without even a glance is not the proper way to start out life in the work force. My 1 nephew is on medication for depression because he did everythiing he supposed to do and not even a nibble.

When I was young I didnt even look for a job, people offered all the time. Thats why wages always went up, employers did not want to lose you to the next guy. Now its "forget safety, if you wont do it there is a thousand applications on my desk of people who will". Yes that was actually said to me at my last job just before I quit.

on Feb 08, 2012

Also if you're going to a good school far away from your hometown for college, getting a job can be near impossible in many places. Getting a job during school often means a lower GPA (assuming you can get one with other students needing it just to pay tuition costs), and during the summer employees aren't interested in hiring people for only three months. Unless you know people of course... but that's part of the problem.

The recession forcing many older people with work experience into low pay/part time work hasn't helped either...

on Feb 08, 2012

I have had a retail job since 14, only once was I jobless for 6 months... That sucked, dozens of resumes out, talking to people over and over and over (felt like a stalker). Luckily Target has been good to me (only one bad team lead but thats been fixed). Unload trucks mostly right now (3rd shift aint that bad and I don't mind physical work and there is always plenty of work to be done) and only have 2-3 years of school left! I can get educational leave if I need it or only work 1 or 2 days a week during school. During the summer load up on money!

Light- When your son turns 18, try telling him to look for 3rd shift. 1- most people think they are too good for 3rd shift and look for only 1st or 2nd shift jobs! (seriously people are this stupid even in these economic times!) 2- more pay 3- its helps give you incentive to finish college "do i want to unload trucks for the rest of my life... no so get college DONE! 4- it isnt that bad, (you might get some luxuries) I get to listen to my ipod when the store is closed and I don't have to deal with crazy customers too often (honestly haven't had one in years that I can recall). 5- ya sleep cycle well everyone has their own way of dealing with it (I sleep half and half, 3-6 hours before work and some after to get 6-8 hours total). 6- he might get some discount (if retail).

Also if he does go for 3rd shift tell him to tell the HR people that he doesn't mind hard work, dirty work and working in hot and or cold conditions! I know a few HR people and if you tell them that they will hire him! Best of luck to him because this economy sucks!

on Feb 08, 2012


he is really frustrated that he cannot find a job anywhere

Man, do I know that feeling.

there is nothing worse than sending application after application and getting no response at all.

Unless it's getting 6 rejection e-mails in less than 2 minutes. That happened to me last month. It's downright depressing. This is the longest I've ever been out of a job and I've worked since I was 14.

I have a long work history, good references and quite a few "real world" skills so if I'm having trouble, I can only imagine how tough it is for young folks starting out.

What "recovery"?

on Feb 08, 2012

Given the situation my family was in, I did well to complete high school.  Not all of us are so lucky to have gotten the opportunities that we need; LightStar's post is one such case in point.  Also see Wizard1956's post; spot on.  But that doesn't mean that we're not willing and able to do what is necessary.

While I do think it's a bit of a sweeping generalization, I understand and agree (in principle) with your perspective, even though I've never had a "real" job (one with a paycheck) myself-just under the table stuff.  Perhaps that's "enough" for you, but the tone of your post suggests I shouldn't bother wasting my time-or yours, for that matter.

No offense intended.  I just wanted to draw your attention to extenuating circumstances, and open your eyes to potential diamond-in-the-rough candidates (other than me, I swear!) that, for reasons beyond their control, don't meet your stated qualification.

on Feb 08, 2012

When I apply to a job I bug their asses for the next couple of months. Convincing an employer to hire you is more than just turning in a form. Lots of employers have slackers on their staff. The trick is to convince the boss that you will be a better employee. Works every time for me. Also, I have been doing construction landscaping for a long time now. The reason only immigrant are hired is because only they are willing to work hard enough to do the job. It is purely a matter of lazy Americans not being able to handle the work load. I am sure it is different all around the US, but in Washington you can find a job if you are persistent. I know this isn't the case in Georgia at the very least.

If I applied to Stardock I would have 18 years of work experience at various industries, references from influential men and women of industry in my home state, a flawless 4 year record in the Navy, an arm's length of mod experience with Stardock games, a BA in Russian, and an attitude of hard work, but more importantly teamwork. I have considered applying to Stardockia as a secondary option if the Navy's budget is cut by greedy politicians. I wonder how I would rate among those applicants. 

on Feb 08, 2012

Part of the main reason too, is a growing trend highlighted by Draginol himself. He will not hire any one without work experience, trouble is many companies are doing the same, even for low paid traditionally starter jobs. How some one supposed to get work experience, when they will not hire you because you have none.

on Feb 08, 2012

I'm at university and have had jobs on and off since my senior years at highschool. I have worked in a lumberyard, a mall parking lot,  in construction, as a dish washer, as a property manager, and some other stuff. Currently I work part-time in a residence kitchen on campus.

I always have had to put out tons of resumes in order to get a job, but while I have gone a summer or two without finding a job I usually do work. I also acknowledge that I am a horrible job seeker, I hate going in and talking to management. I personally think that with good planning it's not impossible to find a job if you really want one, getting your foot in the door is the hardest part. Although I have never worked there most of my friends from highschool started working at Wal-Mart and then moved on. However Canada is probably a bit different from the States though.

on Feb 08, 2012

I had experience under my belt by the time I got my degree(s), but still, actually I found full-time work very EASY compared to college--even grad school.   I mean--you work only 9 hours a day, 5 days a week???   And on top of that, you have MONEY!!!   Ohmigosh I was rich!!!    In college, every hour you spent doing something was an hour you could have spent sleeping, and there was no hour in the 24-hour day when you were any more or less likely to be asleep than any other.   All this, and you got to PAY THEM for the privilege to do it.   Work was a breeze!    Granted, I do miss my social life from my college days (my social life was never better), but I was actually afraid I was going to turn into a slacker when I got my first career job.

We hire NCG's (new college grads), and overall I am pleased with who we got.  I think the biggest problem is that they have no house, no family of their own, they're paying no thought to retirement, and maybe they can always fall back on their parents.   The pressure of responsibility hasn't quite set in yet.  With most NCG's that has not been an issue at all, but it can happen.   Usually how it turns out is, if they could handle college and graduate, they can handle work.   I also see cultural differences in that NCG's are still alive & well on the social scene (whereas experienced people have families and...not so much...), but that has almost always been a good thing.  It's good to see my guys bonding with each other. 

I do say "almost" always a good thing, though:   we had one girl play a prank on her boss.   He showed up to work one day to find his office full of balloons.  And I do mean FULL--as in from floor to ceiling.  As in he opened his office door and got bowled over by balloons.  Everyone on the hall was out watching him with a knife going "pop pop pop pop pop....".   Hilarious as mad.  But um...she got talked to.  I mean, pranking your boss is probably not a very wise career move.  The work hours spent filling his office (and him popping them) was not received very positively.