How Long is Too Long for a Bro to Play the Field When Looking for a Job?
Mr. Nicholson, 24, a graduate of Colgate University, winner of a dean’s award for academic excellence, spent his mornings searching corporate Web sites for suitable job openings. When he found one, he mailed off a résumé and cover letter — four or five a week, week after week.
Over the last five months, only one job materialized. After several interviews, the Hanover Insurance Group in nearby Worcester offered to hire him as an associate claims adjuster, at $40,000 a year. But even before the formal offer, Mr. Nicholson had decided not to take the job.
Rather than waste early years in dead-end work, he reasoned, he would hold out for a corporate position that would draw on his college training and put him, as he sees it, on the bottom rungs of a career ladder.
In one way, the wrath and scorn from the Internet's faceless bleacher creatures is understandable. I'll be the first one to say that Nicholson comes across as an overconfident, lazy, and out-of-touch prick with his head up his ass.
The statistics seem to agree. According to the piece, the unemployment rate for 18- to 29-year-old is pushing 37 percent. Statistically speaking, passing on a $40,000-a-year starting salary without professional experience in favor of waiting for a cushy corporate pipe-dream job isn't just stupid; it's borderline insane. To millions of jobless, penniless Americans, that's nice work if you can get it. Yet, Nicholson — the Colgate douche who's living in his parents house, contemplating a gig as a bartender (presumably without previous experience), and relying on his parents to pay a share of his $2,000-a-month rent for an unused Boston apartment — remains “absolutely certain” that his two-year long post-grad job hunt will eventually pay off.
Nicholson has been playing the field for two years, so I hope he eventually lands his dream job. However, unfortunately for tenacious, job-hungry recent grads, the New York Times uses Nicholson's situation to illustrate and generalize the work ethic of an entire generation. If you're navigating, searching, climbing, and switchbacking your way up a career mountain, this should be disturbing. It's tough enough out there to land a job. It's even more upsetting to think that simply being a recent grad between the age of 22 and 28 may justify Human Resources tossing your polished resume in the trash bin.
As BroBible has noted before, there are worse things in the world than living at home and being “Funemployed.” I've been in those shoes and have plenty of close friends who returned to the nest after college to eat homecooked meals and live rent-free. However, Nicholson's spoiled sense of career entitlement without having to sweat, work for pennies on the dollar, or get his fingers dirty comes across as douchey and immature, which, without saying, pisses people off. In reaction to the piece, Jessica Pressler at New York magazine's Daily Intel sarcastically quips that the recession has made the job market brutal for 24 year olds like Scott Nicholson, “who have been forced to suffer a startling realization: Sometimes, when you're an adult, you have to do things you don't want to do.” As many a Bro can attest, taking a few hard knocks and checking that sense of self-importace isn't just for rappers and street ballers; it's a character trait of being a responsible, motivated adult who hustles in the big leagues rather than sits on the sidelines.
How long is too long for a Bro to play the field when looking for a job? A summer? A year? Two years? Agree? Disagree? Bro? Not Bro? Sound Off in the comments.