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Bad Job Market? Sue Your College!


graduate lawsuitThis may be old news to some, but I recently stumbled across this little gem. Yes, you read that correctly: a recent graduate of a college in New York has sued her alma mater because she can’t find a job…after a grueling 3 month job hunt.

The economy is in the tank, but it has been particularly stressful for recent college and professional school graduates looking for their first “real” job. Combine this with the stress of being unceremoniously thrust into the real world (a stressful period in one’s life in the best of times), and you can understand the anxiety and frustration that many people are feeling, especially when they have massive student loan debt hanging over their heads.

But it should go without saying that this is not the way to go about improving your lot in life. First of all, most people assume (correctly) that school career services are supposed to be tools for students to use in their own job hunt – they don’t exist to hand recent graduates a job on a silver platter.

According to the story, this student graduated with a GPA of 2.7, and her crowning academic achievement is a “solid attendance record”. Oh, but it gets better. According to the recent grad, “They’re supposed to say, ‘I got this student, her attendance is good, her GPA is all right — can you interview this person?’” On what planet? Once again, career services offices exist to help you in your job hunt, not to find jobs for you.

In a recent post I talked about the importance of managing one’s online presence, and about the fact that filing a lawsuit, even if it has merit (which this one definitely does not), is not always the best way to accomplish one’s ultimate objectives. In my earlier post, I noted how the mere fact that the apartment manager filed a lawsuit over a single Tweet did far more damage to its reputation that the Tweet ever could have.

Here, it is clear that the unfortunate alumna, by filing this lawsuit (and agreeing to be interviewed by CNN), has done irreparable damage to her future employment prospects, regardless of the state of the job market. A quick Google search for her name returns nothing but news articles and discussions related to this story on the first page.

It is now common practice for employers to run internet searches on prospective employees. In this case, do you think an employer would like what he or she is bound to find?

It’s probably been said before, by people more eloquent than me, but it bears repeating: Think before you sue.

Ken LaMance


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