I wrote and posted this elsewhere, but I thought I would share it here, as well.
“I’ll tell you what this job market is like…it sucks. Plain and simple. Want to know why? Perfect example, a good friend of mine recently moved to the beltway after finishing her masters in health policy from a pretty decent program up near Boston. This gal, took her masters degree OFF of her resume, and suddenly she was making less than $30k being an executve [sic] assistant. Prior to that, she had had interviews but no bites, she was either ‘unexperienced’ or ‘overqualified because of her two degrees.’ That just makes me sad, especially since she’s smart and probably perfect for these jobs who are telling her ‘more experience [please].’”
To say that the unemployment epidemic in this country is miserable and unrelenting would be stating the obvious. The distinction between those who are immune and those who are not seems completely arbitrary. It is like an unexpected car wreck; the shards of glass and twisted heaps of metal do not care who they strike down.
It is to the point where people who would normally be unhappy in mediocrity are overjoyed to simply be surviving. They have either been spared the rod or were somehow miraculously able to land a job. It does not matter what the job was, as long as it was a job… any job.
This understandable survival instinct has turned a generation of idealists, dreamers, and thinkers into a pack of restless wolves in search of one thing: income.
They are underpaid, overlooked, or simply denied. To use a term that is overused to the point of abuse, it is seemingly generational theft. Are we setting an example with this generation? Take what you can get. Be happy. Smile because at least you can pay your ever-increasing rent on your crappy apartment. Oh, and don’t forget to dumb down your resume as your accomplishments are now a hindrance.
You smiled with your parents for pictures, dolled up in your cap and gown, clutching your newly earned diploma like it was a million dollars. For many that diploma will mean nothing.
What will be the long term repercussions? Will a revolutionary business remain the drunken ramblings of an overworked administrative assistant who cannot drum up enough start-up capital? Will a brilliant writer be relegated to freelancing forever, writing on how-to projects that she has never completed herself?
Are the days of fostering creativity and dreams over? I mean what is creativity and what is a dream if you cannot even get your foot in the door?
This crisis is not just about numbers and an ever-increasing unemployment rate. There will be consequences. Those who spent years being beaten down and bloodied will be more than happy to have a paycheck every other week in years to come, instead of hoping for and working toward something greater.
Keep your head down. Be the good little worker bee.