In one of my last blogs I talked about the hardships of life’s transitions. The hardest transition by far has got to be the college to the workforce change. This is the most complicated because these days, with my degree, it’s so difficult to find a job. First off, I chose a field I love, something I am very passionate about, therefor, I chose a field that does not have many jobs available. (That stuff they tell you in high school, the “pick a career you love so you never have to work”, yeah, you never have to work because no one is looking to hire those professionals.) Another reason it’s hard to find a job is that employers generally don’t like hiring the new people that lack experience. Sure, I did my internship, but that isn’t enough for most companies. They all want designers with 5-10 years of creative firm experience, but creative firms do not hire anyone without that experience, therefor college grads cannot get that experience to have it help them receive other jobs. Sound confusing? It is. And to be honest, it’s stupid. There is no even flow of professionals. It’s all stop and go, while many get left behind. Even at the minimum wage level jobs, many do not want to hire you for being “over qualified”. What is that? Stupid! It’s stupid!
I know I sound spoiled, maybe like the “occupy this and that” people from a few years back. I’m not trying to sound unappreciative. I appreciate my education, that I paid for myself. My education is all the more reason I need a job. I took out loans to pay for it. I had no choice. I don’t come from the type of family that pays for their child’s tuition. I worked minimum wage jobs (30+ hours a week) to pay for college (+rent, gas, bills) and still had to take out loans. I need to know that all of that work was worth something. I need to know that I won’t default on my loans. I need to feel important. I don’t care if the job offers a 401k, insurance, or any pretty benefits. I just need a job. I don’t care to be rich, I only care to pay my bills and be able to pay off my debts.
I am not alone, neither are the other graduates with my degree. I know many students who proudly walk off the stage, move their tassels from one side of their cap to the other, into a jobless, debt-filled life. Where do we go from here? One thing I’ve been incredibly proud of these past few years is that my generation is by far the most educated. We also happen to have reached a point in time that does not present many job opportunities. So what does this mean for my generation? That most of us will be college educated, minimum wage workers? I mean at least its a job, but for every year we spend not working in our chosen fields, we will not have that experience, and we will forget a little more of what we learned. Just about every professional field out there requires continuous learning. So once we do find real jobs, how far behind will we have fallen? It’s scary to think of. Once more positions do open up, those employers will not want meat that has been sitting around, left to spoil, they’ll want something fresh, some new grad. Leaving more of my generation working low paying, unskilled labor. According to statistics, millennial make up 40% of the unemployed in our country.
I am not lazy, I want to work. I want to work so many hours I barely have time to sleep. I don’t just want some beautiful paycheck, I want enough money to pay my bills, and I want to earn it. I am not entitled, I have worked for everything, and I will do my best to continue. I am not useless, I have wonderful skills. I am not weak, I have a beautiful portfolio.