Before I graduated from college, I visited the career center at my university to get help making a résumé. I learned all about action verbs and bullet points and the sovereignty of Times New Roman. But I remember thinking not even the strongest verbs or the most nondescript fonts could make my two summer jobs and an internship look very impressive to potential employers. I was not enough.
My degree is in Music Education. For a couple of years in high school, I wanted to be some kind of art major, but in the end I decided to major in something more practical. I can always have hobbies, I said, but I wanted to have a “real job” too. During my college application process, I heard about my school’s nearly 100% job placement rate and felt confident in my decision to go to college, get a teaching job, and work full-time for the foreseeable future.
Once upon a time, this was a realistic ambition. You could graduate with a Bachelor’s degree (or even just high school diploma), find a full-time job, and expect to keep it for several years. But sometime between my Freshmen gen-eds and my walk across the stage in the field house, everything changed.