Why Settling For A Subpar Job Right Out Of College Can Hurt Your Career For Years

By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Nearly 43 percent of recent college graduates are underemployed, that is, working in jobs that don’t require a college degree, according to March numbers from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

CHICAGO

Since graduating from college last month, Gabriel Villagomez has been polishing his resume, updating his LinkedIn profile, and worrying.

Sure, the job market looks promising for new grads. And Villagomez, who plans to apply to medical school, just needs a job to hold him over for a year or so.

But with student loan bills looming, Villagomez can sense how the need for a paycheck, any paycheck, could suck him into a job that doesn’t take advantage of his education.

He has seen cousins and friends abandon ambitions and fall into the rut of low-wage work when life gets in the way.

“I’m worried about not following through on my plans,” said Villagomez, 27, who spent five years in the Marine Corps before enrolling at University of Illinois at Chicago, where he majored in economics and minored in biology.

“Sometimes it’s easier to get stuck in these other fields.”

While the nation’s sunny jobs reports show low unemployment and growing payrolls, the jobs available aren’t necessarily good ones, and many new college graduates find themselves settling for less than what they bargained for.

Nearly 43 percent of recent college graduates are underemployed, that is, working in jobs that don’t require a college degree, according to March numbers from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

While making lattes or staffing a cash register is often considered a youthful rite of passage during that bumpy transition from campus to the workforce, new research suggests that settling for a subpar job out of the gate can harm career prospects for years to come.

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