Monday, June 11, 2018

Congratulations On Graduating, But You Don't Deserve A Job

Congratulations, Class of 2018!

You've about to graduate - and you will graduate, that I'm certain of - and feeling excited and fearful of what lies ahead.

You'll be missing school, of course. School's fun. But work is way better, definitely. Work can be both fun and fulfilling.

Congratulations! You're ready to work, to face the world on your own, to chart your own destiny.

Employment not guaranteed

You Think You Deserve A Job - But You Don't

First, the bad news. You're not going to like hearing this, but please bear with me.

Most of you must be thinking: "Great, now I can work for a big firm for 3-4 years, then I can move in-house for work-life balance, spend more time with the kids..."


You think you've already made it, haven't you? You think you've got your whole life plan figured out, right? You think you deserve your dream job, don't you?

No, no, no.

You deserve nothing more that you haven't gotten already. A law degree, a virgin resume - that's all you have right now, and that's all you deserve.

Don't get me wrong. You deserve to graduate - and graduate you will. You deserve to get to this point where you can finally look for a job. And that's all you deserve to get from all your 4 years of law school.

You don't deserve a job at a top law firm. You don't deserve a 5K salary. You don't deserve a new car. You don't deserve to be made partner in 7 years. You don't deserve a smooth transition to in-house.

Only now, your life journey truly begins. Where you go from here, how far you can go - you've got to work for it, you've got to earn it.

Right now, you deserve to apply for a job - nothing more, nothing less.

Your Future Employer Thinks They Deserve You - But They Don't

And now, some good news. Not exactly great news, but news that will steer you down the right direction.

Senior lawyers will gaze at you and your resume for about 20 minutes, and think: "She seems smart. Should be good in research. Just like the last one from UM..."

STOP! No, that's not you.

You're more than a law graduate. You're more than a smattering of A's, more than an EXCO member of this and that club, more than the person your 2-page resume can ever describe you to be.

Sure, they'll hire you for who your resume represents and how impressive you were in that short 20-minute interview. That's a good start as any. They're hire you because they feel you deserve the job.

She's good in research - she deserves to do more research.

She's from a public university - she deserves to do some translation work.

She's a mooter - she deserves to be in litigation.

You get the picture now? Why it's not so great after all when people think of giving you things because you 'deserve' this and that?

Be brave and tell your boss:

I don't deserve to draft submissions, but I think I can handle it and would like to try.

I don't deserve to attend the client's meeting, but I think can handle it and would like to try.

I don't deserve to do corporate work, but I think I can handle it and would like to try.

Not in those exact terms, of course. But you get the picture. 

Don't let them stereotype you. Don't let them short-change you. Don't let them mould you into someone you're not.

And if they push back and say, "Well, maybe next time... We kinda hired you because you're good in research and you're fluent in BM..."

STOP! Walk out the door. Quit. Don't look back.

You don't deserve a job, but you deserve an equal shot as anyone to do the work you love and you're good at.

Bad bosses everywhere

Congratulations on Graduation - You Deserve It

'Deserve' is such a dirty word. It arises from expectations, not results. From entitlement, not merit. From effort, not performance.

No one 'deserves' anything.

Studied really hard? Well done, so you got yourself a First-Class. And that's it. You deserve nothing more than that. Sure, you may have built yourself a head start in job interviews. But that's all. You don't automatically get your dream job.

Still, obtaining a degree is a major achievement, no doubt about that. Keep going at this rate, and you'll definitely be on track to earn many more rewards in life.

Congratulations on your graduation, Class of 2018. Your life truly begins now.

No comments :

Post a Comment