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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

As we say goodbye to our time at university, anxieties about the next steps make us wonder, what do I do now? Entering the workforce was what most of us are looking to do, but as many students all over social media have expressed, this task is much harder than it appears to be. Don’t worry, you’re not alone and it gets better, but it will be difficult. As someone who is also searching for a job post-graduation, I understand the trials and tribulations of the 2024 Graduating class.  

It’s safe to say that most of us graduates are working tirelessly to find a job that fits our skills and will pay us enough to live. Unfortunately, there are about 1/100 positions that have that, at least in my opinion, and the chance of them reaching out to you is even slimmer. According to an article from LinkedIn, there has been a 1.9% decrease in the job market and a huge disconnect between recent graduates and employers. It’s hard to understand why we are being ghosted or why jobs are simply disappearing after we apply for them. Hopefully, I can provide a little bit of an explanation from what I have heard from employers, social media, and news coverage.  

Quiet hiring has taken the corporate world by storm, making even finding a job listing excruciatingly difficult. According to Indeed, quiet hiring is, “when a company either works with contract workers or asks current employees to do things outside of their job roles.” Essentially, companies are hiring internally, which means the listing is technically out there and ready for outside candidates, but they are looking for an employee who is currently working there to fill the role. This is something to look out for when working internships, as there may be a job built into the company for you. While you’re working there, it never hurts to ask if they would give you the opportunity to apply.  

On top of quiet hiring, we are also dealing with fake listings. These are listings put up by companies for positions that are not available. These positions are very disheartening, but they do explain the job ghosting issue that has been happening to candidates. If the job does not exist to begin with, the company has no room to hire someone else, so they disappear. I have experienced several of these before and have no idea how to get around them. The way I see it is that you did the best you could on that application, and all you can do is move on to an opportunity that is better suited for you.  

Salaries are one of the largest job market tragedies that have been occurring across the board. Many companies are offering significantly low pay in comparison to the cost of living for the economy in 2024. What was once a livable wage for a family of four is not even enough to cover rent for a one-bedroom apartment. According to an article from NBC, the average cost of living for a family of four requires a salary of $275,000 or more. NBC also provided the average income needed for a single person to live in a major city around America; It ranges from $112,000-$140,000. The average job listing currently pays between $40,000-$55,000 for a full-time position requiring a bachelor’s degree or more. That is a disparity of over $50,000. Not every person is applying to work in a major city, but many career-boosting opportunities are in bigger cities. The cost of living makes it almost impossible to boost your career, along with affording groceries and rent. The thought process behind these low salaries is that someone will be willing to take it, which is true now. I am just as guilty for wanting these positions despite the low pay, because at the end of the day, it is a job.  

These examples only cover some of the challenges that soon-to-be graduates are facing, and when it’s laid out, it can feel very daunting. It’s important to know that almost all of us are feeling it, and we are working hard to find opportunities to grow as professionals and meet our goals. Entering this next stage of life can be very overwhelming, so it’s important to acknowledge that it’s alright not to have everything figured out. You may need to bounce around, move back in with your parents to save, work from the bottom up, and many more variations of the in between. This is a part of experiencing life after graduation and is equally beneficial and important to moving towards the next step. For those who have snagged jobs and are moving into professional careers directly out of school, congratulations! I know you will succeed in your position!  

Everything is a learning lesson, and this time in our lives counts as one too. Remember to enjoy yourself, prioritize your mental health, keep in touch with friends and family, and continue to try. While you’re still in college, look to your university for help with career plans. Temple University has a Career Center with dedicated students, professors, and staff all there to help you succeed. Utilize them and remember they are there for your disposal. Don’t be afraid to reach out via email. Some of the best connections I have made have been through cold emails and starting non-work-related conversations. Your professors are here to help you prepare for your career, so always ask them questions, and express your concerns to those you trust! Good luck Graduates of 2024!  

Catie Lane

Temple '24

My name is Catie Lane and I am a senior writer for the Campus Life and News section for Her Campus Temple Chapter. This includes events, activities, organizations and any events that involve what is happening on cm campus. Any news that occurs around the community and that involves my university and the surrounding area. Beyond Her Campus I have had the opportunity to work with the Philadelphia's Mayor's Office of Communications as a PR and Communications intern. Here I wrote posts, articles, press releases, and newsletters. I also worked to plan events such as press meetings, conferences, and workgroups. I also have had the wonderful opportunity to work as the Philanthropy Day Chair for my sorority Alpha Xi Delta, work on the PR and merchandising team for Temple E-sports, and work with Web and Podcasts for Temple Universities radio station WHIP. In my free time I love to read books of all genres, trying out new fashion trends, traveling, dancing and indulging in different styles of music. I love spending time with my cat and binge watching the latest show releases and movies.