According to the Associated Press, half of new grads are jobless or underemployed:
“I don’t even know what I’m looking for,” says Michael Bledsoe, who described months of fruitless job searches as he served customers at a Seattle coffeehouse. The 23-year-old graduated in 2010 with a creative writing degree.
Initially hopeful that his college education would create opportunities, Bledsoe languished for three months before finally taking a job as a barista, a position he has held for the last two years. In the beginning he sent three or four resumes day. But, Bledsoe said, employers questioned his lack of experience or the practical worth of his major. Now he sends a resume once every two weeks or so.
Bledsoe, currently making just above minimum wage, says he got financial help from his parents to help pay off student loans. He is now mulling whether to go to graduate school, seeing few other options to advance his career. “There is not much out there, it seems,” he said.
Yep. Regardless of whom you feel compelled to blame, the economy is down. I know nothing of economics, so I’ll just state that as known and leave it at that.
Here’s J. D. Bentley in his essay, “A Touch of a Revolution”:
I’ve been appreciating the lightness of being slave to no one. As I’ve grown older, I’ve found that freedom is the quality to be most considered as I make decisions. The freedom to do what I want, when I want, with whom I want, where I want is of paramount importance.
My life is driven by the desire to find the underlying principles that fuel the greatest ideal and then to apply those principles so that I might one day achieve that ideal.
Regarding freedom, the two greatest principles are these:
- Want nothing.
- Owe no one.
Do not misconstrue “freedom” as “sitting around playing video games and having no responsibilities”. I define “freedom” as having the ability and the opportunity to do great work — the work I feel is important, not the work society tells me is important.
It seems to me that despite the state of the job market, there is an intense silver lining here for us twenty-somethings.
While the economy is down, the Internet is thriving. Never before has it been so easy to create something on the Web. A blog, a website, a portfolio, anything. While the economy languishes, technology advances.
A down economy means that conventional jobs are hard to come by. Why should we struggle and compete to squeeze ourselves into the few remaining boxes in which society demands we live?
Why not create our own boxes?
What if, years from now, the history books read that my generation beat the recession with creativity and passion? With vision, care, and the tenets of entrepreneurship?
The older generations have never had available to them the technology that currently resides at our fingertips. It’s no one’s fault, but we cannot expect them to be able to comprehend the technology or how we wish to leverage it. The iPhones, and iPads, and computers — these are the devices of our generation. While our parents now exist alongside our technology, the majority lack the immersion afforded to us by growing up with it, rather than before it.
I can think of no better time to think and live outside the box. To build my own box. I have no desire to fight for a job I don’t really want, especially when such a job might as well be a unicorn.
What would happen if we saw unemployment not as misfortune, but as opportunity?