A few weeks ago a few different notices went out to Cal Poly Pomona’s’ Health Nutrition and Food Science student body about potential job postings and internships. It was a bombardment of information, and it sort of felt like when your best friend tries to convince you that the bootleg copy of Hunger Games is as good as the blue ray ultra HD version and they won’t stop talking about it. Well, this sort of mindset may be what is holding back some peers to obtaining careers that are intellectually and monetarily worthwhile. Think of it this way; in our field over 80% of promotions, or hiring to upper levels, happens from within. Now in retail and sales the opposite may be true, but we are neither. Therefore, it seems to me that the age old adage of getting your “foot in the door” may apply more so to our field than most. Now as a student, father, husband, full time worker, and social volunteer I understand how hard it is to achieve high academic standards while still taking care of life’s responsibilities. I too feel as most students do; that the first stop in my career should be worthwhile and monetarily compensating for the amount of knowledge and experience I bring. However, most times we over look great opportunities by focusing on the hourly wage or salary. We feel that if the number is to low, it is beneath us, or not equal to what we feel we deserve. At this point we should take a step back and realize that nothing in life is given and we must earn everything whether we “feel” we deserve it or not. As students we should look at the big picture and all the potential that an opportunity can bring. Many doors that we never knew where available can be opened by humbling our scholarly egos, and planning for our futures. Here are some things to think about, instead of focusing on overall salary of hourly wage.
- Health- Staying healthy is not cheap and parents can’t support us all. Certain job openings have above average pay (14.00-19.00hr or 48,000-52,000) with full health, dental, vision, sick pay. Even though the pay may seem low at first, consider the benefits of having full medical coverage. This should be a priority when considering jobs, especially if you are married, have children, or both.
- Retirement/401k/ect., ect.- If a potential job opening offers 401k benefits along with retirement benefits, then it should be considered. As the Baby Boomer population ages, there will be a flux in the way retirement is paid and honored. It’s best to stay ahead of the game, unless you want to work until your 80.
- Paid Vacations/Holidays/Sick Days/Flex Days- Many jobs opening have paid days off. What’s better that not working and getting paid for it (isn’t that called being a Senator…Jk…Jk). But seriously, this really helps out when you need a day for yourself or for other non-work related activities. It gives you peace of mind that you can “afford” to take the day off. So this is definitely something to be considered even if salary if below our expectations.
- Union position vs. Non Union- Simply put there are benefits to both. If you are looking at openings within school, state, city, county, or prison/jail systems then there is a possibility that you may be part of a union. This can be a huge factor in benefits and pay so do your research. It may benefit to take a pay cut in entry level positions if the benefits will provide stability and job security. Once again, unions can be good, bad, or just ok so do your research.
- Happiness- If the job seems awesome and interesting, and you won’t be bored then do it. There are always opportunities to grow, if you make an effort to make them happen. So be happy and even if it’s less pay you won’t regret taking a job that you love.
Now don’t get me wrong, pay rate is a big deal and is important when considering a job. Money makes the world go round, and I’m all about people getting their cake and eating it too. However, we as students need to focus on long-term responsibilities and endeavors, and consider other important factors that can benefit us in a job position. Till next time, stay classy!