Post # 1
So I’m officially convinced college was an absolute waste of my time as it has not served any benefit to me whatsoever. Im gonna be working meaningless mediocre jobs I dont even want for the rest of my life for a crappy wage! Sweet!! *End bitchy sarcastic mini rant*
I am so frustrated! I graduated from college with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice FIVE years ago. FIVE. Since then, I’ve managed to only get useless administrative/reception jobs that don’t pay crap. My main objective was to go into law enforcement when I was done with school, but a few years ago I messed up my knee to the point that the physical strain I would endure during academy made my dream just unrealisitc. I’ve tried for probation/correction jobs but it seems these days there are budget cuts/hiring freezes as well as a million other people in line waiting for those opportunities to open, including those who already had those jobs and had gotten laid off.
My whole working career all I’ve done is admin work, and it adds up to about 10 years of well rounded experience (though none of it in the CJ field). Yet for the last year, all of the jobs I seem to get interviewed for (if I’m lucky) end up being receptionist positions that pay a little more than minimum wage. Currently I’m working in a Dr’s office part time (a temp position) and slowly I feel like I’m getting roped into working for them permanently. Homestly, I don’t want to spend the rest of my life working in the medical field, especially when all I will be doing is dealing with billing and insurance.
I can’t help but wonder where I would have been career wise had I chosen 2 years of college then LE (my plan A: getting some time in the field while I was still young and the economy hadn’t taken a dump yet) or military (plan B: Navy career involving aviation, LE, or intelligence). Instead I feel frustration and resentment, as well as fear that I’m going to be working unfulfilling jobs the rest of my life. I know of several people who haven’t even completed college who are way ahead in their careers and doing well for themselves (hence the title of this post).
Ugh. I know I can’t be the only one feeling this way, I have seen the threads here where others are going through job frustration. I mean, I know I should be grateful I even have a job (even if it is just part time) but this whole thing is really depressing me. I guess I just wanted to get this out before I had a breakdown. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.
Post # 3
Honestly hon, it’s all about networking. I don’t work in the field I got a college degree in, but seriously, every single job I’ve had since graduating college, I’ve gotten through a friend, or a friend of a friend, or a friend who knows some guy that’s hiring. You really need to put feelers out and find people that can help you network, and put yourself out there and let people know you really want their endorsements. This may not be ture for everyone, but I’ve been in the working world for 16 years, and EVERY job I’ve ever held has been gotten through people I know. Just sayin.
Post # 4
What’s to stop you from enlisting now, if that’s something you’re passionate about?
You can’t change the past, but you are free to change your future. Just because you started on a path years ago, doesn’t mean you ‘re stuck with it for the rest of your life.
Post # 5
How much do you want a career in Criminal justice? Are you willing to relocate for a job? Are there other options in this field other than police? What about private investigation or paralegal? It sounds like you are building a resume that is taking you further and further away from CJ. Maybe you just need to reevaluate what you want to do long term and make an actionable short term plan. Many people do not work in the same field as their degree but that does not mean your degree is worthless.
Post # 6
You are not the only one out there. I have 2 degrees and I am looking at minimum wage jobs right now as well. It is definitely a depressing thought. For some sick reason though, I am looking at getting a third degree……..its sad.
Post # 7
This is a really bad time for CJ grads because so many CJ jobs depend on federal or state funding.
On the bright side, I have a coworker who majored in CJ and now works as a consultant in a non-CJ related field. He actually never worked in CJ, but did get some good jobs in other fields. Sometimes, all you need is the degree, no matter in which area.
Most CJ grads I know are in LE, but one works at the courthouse. Have you considered this? Also, how about grad school? A bachelor’s degree does not get you places anymore like it used to. Many advanced jobs require a graduate degree.
Post # 8
I felt that way for a long time until I realized that I can fix the mistake I made by getting a Bachelor’s Degree that pidgeonholed me into a certain job role by going back to get a Grad degree in something concrete and in demand. You have the bachelor’s and a ton of working experience. Is there any way for you to take graduate classes at night for something you like? You can still rectify this if you are as frustrated as you sound.
Post # 9
Have you considered going to grad school/law school? Its also not a great time for lawyers but there are jobs out there, especially if you know someone/can network. I have a master’s degree and I’m also working in jobs that I’m overqualified for (although I do really like my job so I’m not complaining – just mentioning). Its a tough time out there right now for everyone 🙁
Post # 10
Thank you everyone, for your kind words and suggestions. I want to go to grad school, but I can’t afford to go right now, particularly because Darling Husband needs to finish his Bachelor’s first, and we can only afford for one person to go to school. I’ve tried jobs at the courthouse, jobs related to my volunteer work (still don’t know how I got looked over for that one, it was an admin job at the place I used to volunteer for, and my resume has been looked at by pros who say it’s good) and I’m just not having any luck right now.
@moara: I’ve been thinking about going the Reserve route, as I can’t do full time active duty at this point in my life. I know that’s got to open some doors, and I can always switch to active if that is what I really want to do.
@slicey19: I relocated to Seattle from Small Town, CA for better opportunities up here, but unfortunately the timing was not right. When I got here, the hiring for a lot of govt/CJ related jobs came to a screeching halt. I’ve been applying to other related jobs in the field like dispatch but didn’t make it to the final round.
@littleteapot: Thanks for your advice. I need to learn how to do this more effectively!
Post # 11
+1 …. I wish you didn’t go straight from higschool then into college and didn’t constantly tell you how you make x amount more than a person without a degree. Really, these days I can make just as much as a person off the street with no education.
For some people its easy cause they know what they want and there is a degree for it. Others, not so much.
Post # 12
I am so sorry—I don’t have much advice but definetly hear you. HUGS and wishing you all the best 🙂
Post # 13
@ladyjustice: I’m sorry you are having such a tough time. It’s really a bad time for anyone to be looking for a job.
I do agree with @littleteapot who suggested networking. Lots of jobs are never even advertised; they are filled by someone who was suggested by someone inside the organization.
The only suggestion I disagree with is law school. DO NOT GO. I’m an attorney and cannot tell you how many new grads I know are working the same kinds of jobs you are…the difference is they have incurred an addtional $50-100k of debt. A WSJ article from earlier this month noted that the legal field is THE MOST DIFFICULT in which to get hired. There is less than one job open for every 100 working attorneys.
If anyone is interested, the article can be found at:
Post # 14
Hindsight is 20/20. You could not have predicted the knee injury. That being said, I tell my students that if their sole purpose in attending college is to make big bucks – then they are likely be disappointed. I know some of my fellow grad school students are working retail and making squat for pay. I urge my students to make sure they get education and experience with marketable skills and NETWORK. The last three jobs I got (including as a college professor) was because of WHO I knew.
Post # 15
I know you are feeling discouraged, but something will pop up. I know a lot of people that rea going through this right now and working minimum wage jobs just to get the bills paid when they have degrees they arent using. Its sad to think about, and I hope that things will start looking up for you soon!!