post grad etiquette: a helpful primer

(original article via CNN)

Shush! Things Not to Say to Recent Grads

CNN has had a lot to say lately about the state of the economy and how it’s impacting recent graduates. But, according to CNN, there are phrases to zip your lip on when talking to today’s recent grads about their next moves. Take a look, and see if you can’t pass this on to some of your skeptics:

What can you do with that degree?

Now, isn’t that inspiring? CNN made a good point when it stated no one asks this of recent grads with engineering degrees, but the same can’t be said for us liberal arts folks. If someone poses this question to you, simply ask them if they meant to say, “What have you learned that will help you do what you enjoy?” Hopefully, that will be an easier question to answer.

You should go to law school

Huh? Are you kidding me? There’s a reason I’m a writer, and it’s because I wanted to cut down on the textbooks as much as possible. According to CNN, this question can often come with pressure attached and can even leave some law students (or medical students, for that matter) regretting their choice of life after the under grad years.

Do you have a job lined up?

For the lucky few of us who can answer ‘yes,’ we often answer this question eagerly and proudly. Unfortunately, we happen to be the far and few between. “This type of question can make students heartsick,” said CNN’s Anne-Marie O’Neill. Instead, CNN suggests question-askers to let recent grads vent about the state of the economy and to offer any advice they may have.

The economy has been bad before. You’ll get through it.

Now, that can be hard to hear. It leaves the person on the receiving end feeling just as helpless as before their conversational counterpart opened his/her mouth. Instead, recent grads should be encouraged to develop their LinkedIn profiles (duh!) since that’s where employers are looking for new hires these days.

My fill-in-the-blank relative just graduated, and she’s doing great!

Well, good for her. Unfortunately, the competitive nature of today’s market can make recent grads even more susceptible to jealousy, so to hear about a peer’s success can be hard. “In reality, that’s terrifying,” said 23-year-old Rachel Walls. “We would much rather believe that everyone feels as nervous and lost as we do. Tell us about your neighbor’s son who is balancing four part-time jobs—none of which have anything to do with his degree—and assure us that he’s doing just fine.”

via College Gloss: Shush! Things Not to Say to Recent Grads.

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