Watch this video. Feel your heart and hope die a little, and then we’ll have a serious talk…
Videos like this really make me sad…but mainly annoyed. Everyone is saying that the economy sucks, but what’s going to happen when it recovers? I will wager that those “careers” we’ve all been told to seek out during our college years simply don’t exist anymore- they will never come back (Pensions? What are those? Working in a career for 30 years? What? Did we think the new millennium was just a cool new number?) The game had changed while we were still in high school and college, but the economic fallout just made it abundantly clear that we had our heads in the sand to technological and economic changes we can no longer ignore.
I would say that the traditional job market is on a sinking ship, but truthfully- it’s already sunk. The fact that this piece is even newsworthy is like seeing survivors of the Titanic waiting in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean l0oking for an apology instead of trying to save themselves.
It’s sad, in college that we aren’t taught to innovate. The whole POINT of going to college was so that we could get a good job, right? Well, most of us feel more compelled than ever to seek out that “good job” and career now since there are such steep loans to pay.
I want to be completely honest with you- I think that even when the economy recovers, the fact is- the game is completely different now. Jobs that we spent 4-6 years preparing for simply aren’t there, or, they’ve been snatched up by others with more experience than working as a barista while getting a degree in Art History, but the answer is NOT “more schooling.”
We can continue to play the “blame game,” of the bad economy- or we can pick up our game pieces, engage our minds and start to strategize for a new game where we play to win. If the jobs you’ve had thus far hasn’t made your résumé competitive, you need to start looking for something completely different, it’s worth a try. If you feel that you can’t get a job due to “limited education or experience,” your answer is NOT to go back to school for an advanced degree- if the degree you have now isn’t helping, I guarantee you, another degree will make you overqualified in one area (*cough cough* sociology) and underqualified and ill-prepared in others (
The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuck
Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable–Includes new bonus chapterby Seth Godin
Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actionsby Guy Kawasaki
Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativityby Hugh MacLeod
-Develop more marketable skills that you can “sell” to potential employers, or use to start your own business. It might have been great that you graduated at the top of your class, but to potential employers or potential clients if you go the entrepreneurship route, it won’t help them if you’re great at cramming for an exam or can write a good term paper without reading the book. (Just chew over that for a minute).
The skills that got you through college don’t do you much good now. (Blue books and Scantrons are not tools of the trade, sorry!) What will make you look savvy and hireable is being able to sell the fact that you know how to promote a business with social networking (more than just logging onto Facebook for status updates during work hours), or being able to promise your boss to boost sales with email or Twitter campaigns. Trust me, many employers aren’t savvy on this- that’s why you SHOULD be. Lots of people know how to use FB and Twitter, but can they profit off of it? (Chew that over too). Learn how and you will be marketable my friends!
We have to be students of life if we’re going to make it in this competitive job market. What used to be a past-time or part-time passion could be employed as full-time income or a side hustle until you find a job. Take your college experience with a grain of salt and think critically about what will make your application or work experience stand out among the pack.
UPDATE: I originally wrote this post when after listening to a few friends complaining that the jobs were gone nearly a year after they graduated. Now, in 2012, I too have left academia with a Master’s Degree in hand, and it looks as if the job market isn’t as hungry for us new grads as we’d hope.
I had a taste of my own medicine, hit the books and ramped up my own at-home business while applying for jobs that typically left me in a pool of about 100+ other applicants for ONE position. The
Is there anything you could do, any skills you could pick up that other college grads don’t have? Any ways you can make money in between gigs? I realize my original post was uber-snarky, but I hope it helped!