So Mr J and I watched the movie He’s Just Not That Into You the other day. Bit mainstream compared to our usual selection, but I like a chick flick every now and then. I have to say though; I wasn’t impressed with this one!
Now I’m not much of a feminist, but the women in this movie give women everywhere a bad name, in my opinion. Needy, obsessive, untrusting, etc… Regular bunny boilers, frankly! Not that the men fared much better: Heartless, cheating users the lot of them!
What I did take away from the movie though was a lesson about expectation management and realising you are probably not the exception and are far more likely the rule. The opening sequence covers this well by highlighting how well-meaning friends and family always help us to look on the bright side: If he didn’t call you back it’s probably because he likes you and doesn’t know how to act. Maybe he’s married, but you can’t choose when or who you fall in love with and maybe he’ll leave his wife and you’ll both live happily ever after. Etc etc etc. You can imagine the rest!
But anyway, I got to thinking: This exact same situation applies to today’s students. I blogged recently about my expectations of them but what about theirs? There is no one person responsible for managing their expectations: We all play a part. We tell our kids to work hard and they will get a good job. Same with our teachers and lecturers – Get good grades and you will get a good job. Same with peers – ooh you’re so much cleverer than me; you’ll be fine! But plenty of students work really hard, get really good grades and still end up in entry level / retail positions when they graduate. And the reality may not be as depressing as the press implies. And there may be employers still struggling to find candidates of the right calibre for their graduate schemes. But it is tough nonetheless and no-one ever tells them quite HOW tough it might be. No-one tells them they might have to consider starting out in a more junior position and on a lower salary. No-one tells them they’ll probably need to be flexible when they start out and work their way up. No-one tells them.
There are those who ought to (deserve to?) succeed more than others and there are those who succeed against the odds. And sometimes I wonder whether the reason for this is expectations. Maybe sometimes those who should succeed don’t because the reality of the world of work and finding employment has just totally floored them.
But who’s to blame? Well, in my humble opinion, we all are.