Grades really don't matter much in the long run. I hate grading and I think most teachers agree with me. That is the least interesting and rewarding part of our jobs. We really might as well pass everyone and let the workplaces sort people out. Because that is what happens anyway.
Education has yet to catch up to the realities of the modern world. I wish we could educate the "whole person" and send them out into a world of fascinating opportunities. But that would raise a lot of kids' hopes that would just get crashed. Businesses just move right on while we in education try to play catch up with a zillion competing demands and goals.
I have a 50-something friend who is "reinventing" herself after a career with the military and as a corporate professional. She is starting over from scratch in the work world. And it is not pretty.
She has found out that: there are a lot of companies eager to hire her, they are paying higher than minimum wage, they offer benefits of a sort. So, the economy is looking up. That is the good news.
The bad news is that, as Anfauglir just stated, these jobs are not the cool, creative, rewarding work that everyone thinks they will get after high school or college. Who is hiring older people at the entry level? Warehouse work where the main qualification is the ability to lift 50 pounds and pass a drug test. Inventory jobs where you are on your feet for eight hours all night when the store is closed, entering merchandise counts into a computer. Call centers.
Those are the kinds of jobs available for the less social and less physically appealing older worker. Of course, for those who look nicer and can handle face to face contact with the buying public, there is always retail sales.
My friend, with 30 years of work experience, is now dealing with this: a call center job with a company that rhymes with "horizon". Where they hire 100 people every month and fire about half that many; the training is harder than most college classes; and the shifts are sometimes 12 hours long, sometimes starting at 4am, sometimes at 7 or 8am with hours changing weekly. You do not get to plan your life because you have no idea when they will need you. And, no, you do not get to choose your shift. You do get to choose to work extra
hours, beyond the mandatory scheduled overtime
People with small kids or other family responsibilities clearly need not apply. Why is the work so grueling? Because we in the US of A are now competing with folks at call centers in Bangladesh, India and Jamaica--people who also speak English, can pass the training program and will happily work 12 hour shifts for a quarter of the US minimum wage. That's why.
Graduate from school and welcome to the modern global sweatshop. BTW my friend got excellent grades in college and held a very high clearance in the military. Nobody who is hiring cares about all that. The advice I give to young people nowadays is this: if you don't have a clear career path in mind (like accounting, law, medicine, teaching, engineering, etc) figure out a way to start your own business. And they don't need high grades to do that, either.