My son Cam Sackett graduated from college in May from the University of Michigan. He’s an amazing young man.
His plan A was to start his career in Communications/Marketing/Social Media with a global media company (Viacom/Disney/Netflix/Apple/HBO/NPR/NBC/CBS/Etc.) in a great city like New York, L.A., Chicago, D.C., San Francisco, London, etc.
He has an education. He has the internships at big brands, doing the right things, and getting the right experiences. He’s a thousand times more prepared and ready than his old man coming out of college.
It’s rare that you have once in a lifetime things happen. It’s called a one-hundred-year flood for a reason. It usually will only happen every one hundred years, and there’s a good chance it won’t happen to you. But, it’s going to happen to someone.
Millions of college graduates graduated from college this spring and early summer. They all have hope and aspirations of starting their careers in great jobs they’ll love and will stay with for the rest of their lives! This is their plan A.
Plan B – which we don’t talk about outside of maybe Mom and Dad, was they would accept a job outside of their desired companies, but still in one of my target cities and in their chosen career field. At which point, they would kill the game, and eventually end up at their dream company and in their dream job!
This is not Plan B.
Plan’s C – Z all suck. At least that’s what they believe. Plan C isn’t in the location I want or the company I want or the job I want. Nope. It’s a job. It’s a company that needs your help. It’s in a location that is where the job is. They might not even care that you went to college and graduated, or that you were Summa Cumma Laudda whatever.
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. – Mike Tyson
Covid-19 is a world champion heavyweight boxer in his/her prime. And it’s punching the vast majority of folks right in the mouth.
So, you wobble back to your corner and you sit down on that stool. Head still ringing from the shot to the head you took. You instantly get pissed at folks around you. Your school. Your government. Your parents. Your friends. How could they not prepare you for that punch! Why didn’t someone tell you that you were going to get punched right in the face!?
The bell rings and you must get back into the ring and prepare yourself to get punched in the mouth again. There is no throwing in the towel. The older you are the more you smile at this. It’s because you’ve taken punches. You’ve got knocked out. You’ve gotten back up, and you stepped back into the ring. We all will take punches and it sucks! It sucks super hard! I’ve tried with all of my might and wisdom to put my kids in a position where they would not have to take a punch. God damn it! They still are taking punches.
That is not Plan A, but it is the plan you’ve got. Welcome to the show, kids.
You have spoken for all of us with a recent college graduate. We are right there with you and all the uncertainty. Now, since the apartment has been vacated and the Mechanical Engineering degree received, Sam has settled in with us at home. He is thankful for a summer position, and continues to keep an open dialogue with the potential career job that is in hiring freeze until things change. With a good attitude and trusting in the plan God has for him we keep on. Good luck to Cam and what his future holds. Thanks for a great column.
I hear ya. My son graduated in May also, with a degree in Chemical Engineering. In January, all was right with the world. Now, not so much. I think/hope they are more resilient than we give them credit for, because that is what we taught them. I keep telling myself he will end up where he is supposed to be, even if it’s not where I thought he was supposed to be. Man plans, God laughs.
Thanks for all your great columns. I enjoy reading them.
And I bet Mom and Dad (and no doubt his intrepid Grandma) raised him with courage, resilience, flexibility and good humor, too. The 80s were a crappy time to graduate for me and my husband, as was The Great Recession for our oldest, and now COVID for our youngest, but we all get through and stronger for it. Good luck to Cam – he’s gonna be fine and he’s lucky to have a great support system. Fear not Future Gen!