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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33 No. 12. 5 August 1970

Choosing a Career

page 22

Choosing a Career

During your years at the university you will have heard many comments about the relevance of your studies to the job that you will take on leaving the University. Many employers now are taking the view that a degree is more an evidence of a higher general education than a specialist qualification. It is claimed by both employers and university teachers that graduates who have made good use of their time at the university as well as obtaining a sound basic theoretical knowledge in their courses should have developed the ability and willingness to think lucidly and constructively. This implies the development of a critical faculty, the ability to discriminate between fact and opinion, between the relevant and irrelevant, true and false statements. We assert that graduates have had practice in analysis of complex problems and in reasoning step by step to a conclusion, that graduates learn quickly and that they may be expected to adjust speedily to unfamiliar situations. While a graduate should, by the time he finishes at university, have learnt to communicate his thoughts in a logical and convincing way and have learnt something of the tolerance needed in dealing with human situations, few students leave the university with practical managerial experience or practical knowledge or understanding of the wide range of human problems encountered in business. Government departments or the professions. Most employers recognise this and many provide induction and training courses, before placing graduates in a position of responsibility.

Transition to the Outside (Real) World

On starting a new job you become acquainted with a new group of people. You must accept the discipline of the organisation you work for and reconcile your status as an individual with your status as a fairly new member of the organisation. You will probably have only the vaguest idea of its aims, policies, structures and operations. You may encounter some prejudice from fellow employees who have not had the benefit of a university education but have gained, through experience, a great wealth of knowledge about the organisation and the human relations involved. Confronted with this situation you need to be patient and receptive using your analytical skills learnt at the University to find out as much as you can about the organisation and the job you are expected to do. You may feel that your qualifications and training should entitle you to greater responsibility. Responsibility will come as you show that you have ability and have acquired sufficient knowledge of the organisation.

Who will be the Lucky Employer?

In deciding on the nature of your career and the employer you would like to work for there are many factors you should take into account. You should consider not just the immediate financial gain you will get from a particular firm, but also look at the long term prospects for you in that particular career and in that particular firm. While you should give thought to job security, more important is job satisfaction. Nor is it sufficient to think of the job satisfaction for the first four or five years. Your working life is likely to be 35 to 40 years and you will want to still be enjoying your job when you are 45 and 55.

Life Values and Job Choice

A study at University of Queensland in 1968 on students' attitudes towards education and employment revealed that students rated marriage and family relationships as being of the foremost importance in later life. The prospect of marriage either in the immediate or long term future is often a strong influencing factor in job choice. Because of the need to support a non-working, wife and provide adequate housing you may feel that an immediate requirement is for a high salary. Your marriage may influence your thinking concerning the locality of your first job or how much time you would be prepared to be away from home.

Women graduates should note the increasing trend for married women in their late thirties to go out to work again after their children have reached school age. Thus a woman needs to think of her career being in two parts. Married women often work for three to five years before having their first child. The experience gained in this time may have a decisive effect on the job opportunities available when you want to go back to work again.

Job Hunting

Many young graduates are uncertain of exactly which firm or organisation they would like to join or even what area of work interests them. If you are one of these uncertain ones, be prepared to talk to several employers. Many now visit the university annually and are happy to talk over the prospects in their firm with individual students. Several employers will be visiting the University's Careers Advisory Board during the third term. You can book an appointment by ringing the Board's office. If you haven't already discussed your career with the Secretary of the Careers Advisory Board at 6 Kelburn Parade, book an appointment to see the Secretary, Mr Peter Romanovsky, sometime in the third term. He will help you appraise the opportunities open to you and tell you something of the state of the employment market in the areas that interest you. The Careers Advisory Board Secretary is happy to see students at any stage of their university studies to discuss career opportunities and the courses that they are studying at University.

Naked dancing cartoon

"Business is up 1.37 percent this quarter, and you ask why we're dancing?"