Early January – New Year, new semester, or maybe even new job

by Patricia Rose, Director of Career Services

This week the new semester will begin. The wonderful thing about an academic calendar is that you can “begin again” twice in one year. This is a new chance to study harder, do better, participate in a new group or make a larger contribution to an organization you are already a part of. In January, some of these thoughts may coincide with New Year’s resolutions, or may be in addition to your determination to work out more, eat healthier food, wake up earlier, etc.

While those of us in the working world can and do have New Year’s resolutions, we don’t share the experience of starting anew. Work continues on, despite the new month and new year. This constancy in the world of work is one thing that some new graduates have difficulty adjusting to. I joke that drop/add ends at graduation, but for some new to the workplace, it is difficult to stick with assignments not just for the 14 weeks of a semester, but for a year or longer. I believe this is one reason new grads tend not to stay in jobs longer than a year or two. It’s a kind of drop/add for the workplace. When these graduates move to a second job, though, they tend to be happier. They are more clear about what is important to them in a job, or they have finally accepted that the world of work is much different from the academic world. They adjust to this new rhythm, and move ahead – at least until the siren song of graduate school beckons. Happy New Year!

Author: Patricia Rose

Patricia Rose is the Director of Career Services at the University of Pennsylvania.