Some Graduates Turning Down Job Opportunities

By Staff
July 27, 2009

College career counselors are increasingly seeing that some graduates are opting to turn down job offers and preferring to wait until better offers come along.

"I don't think the students understand, I really don't, but come September, October, when they still don't have jobs, they're going to be panicky," said Clarice Wilsey, career counselor at the University of Oregon, who was quoted in The New York Times.

Diana Parson, for example, graduated from the University of Wisconsin two months ago and turned down two jobs because she did not wish to relocate or work nights. "I'm really worried," she told the Times. "When the right thing comes along, I'll know it."

Similarly, Robert Sherman, a finance major at Syracuse University, rejected a $50,000 a year job as head of technology for a consulting company because he "did not get a good vibe" from his potential bosses. He is currently doing odd jobs while trying to start off two technology companies.

"I'm definitely seeing a lot of the older generation saying, 'Oh, it's so awful,' but my generation isn't getting as depressed and uptight about it," he said. "We're working within the bounds of the situation. The economy will rebound."

The Tennessee Journalist, published by the University of Tennessee's School of Journalism and Electronic Media, cited an interview with a graduate who seems to support this point of view. "I try to be a little picky even though this economy is not really allowing for that," said Corey Benick, one of the top four graduates in the university's business school. "I don't apply for every job that has something to do with business just because I don't want to get stuck doing something that I'm going to end up hating. While it is hard to find a job right now, I know there are still jobs out there."

Some believe the approach has merit. Steven Rothberg, founder of the online job board, told the Times that grabbing whatever position is available is not a good idea. "A lot of times, the offer is simply not acceptable to them, the compensation is far beneath what it should be, the job does not line up with their career interest," he said. "If they take it, they're going to be stuck with that career path and compensation level for years to come."

But not everyone sees it that way. Anthony Scruggs, a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas, recently moved home to Houston to take a $30,000 a year job in a real estate development firm--the only offer he received in seven months of job hunting.

"It kind of took me by surprise because you just assume when you're in college that when you graduate you're going to get the job, and here I am," he told the Times. "I'm 23 years old, and I'm going to move back in with my parents. I kind of had to rearrange the game plan for sure."

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