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chubbychu's avatar

How to get started with my post-undergraduate life?

Asked by chubbychu (145points) September 16th, 2010

Hello Fluther! I just wanted to ask you a question.

I feel like I’ve graduated from college with no real marketable skill. I’ve been back and forth in my mind about where I am in life and am just absolutely driving myself insane with the fear that my future is insecure.

I was a hospitality, tourism, and event management major and compared to a scientific major, like engineering or something, finding a high paying job right out of college or even 10 years later seems absolutely out of sight.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had lots of great internships during school and have cultivated a pretty good résumé. However, when I’m looking for jobs, I’m constantly asking myself “can I even do this job?” “Do I want to be working front desk at a hotel forever?”

I’d love for some advice from people that have been down this path before. I’m also considering going back to school for another degree in a different field. But that seems like a step backwards into the right direction.

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8 Answers

KhiaKarma's avatar

Being in school right now might be a good idea, until the job market stabalizes. I understand the frustration. I think furthering your education is a step forward if you have a plan. But along with the plan, allow yourself to be flexible because you never know where you will land. And once you feel that you have landed, things change again. or maybe that’s just my experience

perspicacious's avatar

Apply at some hotels in coastal towns. My nephew’s girlfriend just graduated UF and landed her dream job at Ritz Carlton in Naples, FL. The jobs are there, you’ve got to go where they are.

marinelife's avatar

Consider living outside of school for a while. Try a job in your field. Why not try working in a hotel event sales office.

Consider doing it in a resort area while you are young.

Live a little.

Everything does not have to be decided now. You can always go back to school later.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s a recession. It’s hard to get a job. You might have to accept something less than what you were hoping for. But this does not mean you will be here the rest of your life. You will get better jobs as time goes on.

Also, don’t look down on hotel reception jobs. You learn, or can learn about much more than handling a reservation system. One of the most important things to learn is how to provide great customer service. A receptionist has a great opportunity there.

I graduated in the recession of ‘79 (yeah, last century). It took me a year to find a regular job (I’d had odd jobs up til then), and even then, it was a door to door fundraising job. Sounds like shit, but I learned a lot at that job. Most importantly, I learned how to sell. But I also learned how to manage and train and a bunch of other things. Many of my compadres areound the country are now holding down elected positions. You learn how to listen to the people when you go door to door.

Good luck.

lifeflame's avatar

The first couple of years out of college are the toughest, because it means starting out bottom.
But you gotta start somewhere, and you can learn anything from anywhere.
When I first graduated in 2003 and returned to Hong Kong, SARS hit and the country was in recession. I ended up in a cubicle for a year, something really not my cup of tea, but I didn’t have a choice. However, working there really clarified what it was I wanted or didn’t want to do, which led me to apply for a theatre school in Paris. Furthermore, I really learnt a lot about bureaucracy, hierarchy and office life and four years later, used this experience to make my first public theatre piece.

In short, you never know when some experience might be useful. If you don’t know what you want I don’t think you should go back to school yet, and as @wundayatta says, you can learn a lot even from hotel reception. Also, if you ever plan to be, for example, a manager in a hotel, it’s always helpful to have had this experience doing the grunt work. That way you can better understand your employees.

chubbychu's avatar

Guys and Gals, I just want to thank you all for your uplifting anecdotal advice. I really think it’s a struggle that every emerging student goes through, but to know of lot of people experience it to really makes me more confident that no matter what happens, as long as I stick with it, It’s gonna get better. wait…that was the moral right. :)

I’m currently at the front desk, and @wundayatta you’re right, I’m learning a lot about people in general.

Evelyn_475's avatar


I would suggest that you read into books such as “Conquering Your Quarterlife Crisis” by Alexandra Robbins. I am currently in your shoes and I am finding a lot of comfort in reading this book. There are stories from other “twentysomethings” who have been where we are and came out victorious and true to themelves. The predicament is so common these days, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still very frightening. I feel you my friend. :)
Also, maybe you can look into hospitality that offers more exciting experiences? Maybe working on a cruise line where you get to travel the world and meet all sorts of people would spark your interest?

Wishing you luck in your discovery,


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