Getting Employed in the 21st Century

(September 2016)

Whatever happened to the days when a person could be an apprentice and work their way up the chain of command to a higher position? What happened to the days when a person was employed not because of how much they know but simply for their willingness to do the job? I ask these questions as if I lived in those days. Phbt!

Getting a job in the 21st century is like rocket science. Growing up in the 20th century, I remember being told by everyone and their momma to aim high, to go to college, and not just settle for that. I was told to achieve more and get a graduate degree. I always wanted to go to law school, but how I would get there was the question. And then it happened. I graduated from law school. I was excited! But I was concerned about finding a job. Ten years ago, I would have thought it would have been easy for a person with a law degree to find a job but that’s no longer the case. Sadly, I’ve heard of law graduates still seeking employment a year after their graduation and of others working as paralegals.

Companies are looking for gods among men who can move mountains and do the impossible and if your resume does not show that you have split rock by staring it down, or created Mars, or stopped WW3 from breaking out, you might as well not even apply for the job. I read a friend’s personal statement to business school and I couldn’t even understand what she was saying. What amazed me, even more, is that in discussion she describes her job duties in the same convoluted manner. It’s as if employers are looking for complicated lingo double coded and translated to binomial terms only comprehensible to a genius. And if your resume does not include those crazy phrases and words, “Thank you for your submission, but after much consideration…”, you know the rest.  >=|  (-_-)  And if you’re name looks remotely ethnic, like mine, or isn’t similar to Bob Evans or Susie Johnson, then double whammy for you!

It’s crazy how employers seek candidates who have years of experience. The sad irony is that if no one hires new graduates, new graduates will never get the experience! So how is this helping anyone? How exactly is a 22-year-old graduate supposed to have 10 years of experience when he spent 22 years in school — getting the education that society told him would supposedly prepare him for that job he wants but is now supposedly unqualified for? I thought the purpose of internships and externships was to provide that experience or at least substitute it. But I guess that’s no longer a viable thing, huh? The sadder part is that people who are really passionate about some profession may get discouraged and take the first mediocre unrelated job they can get. It kind of breaks my heart! And maybe that is why I am passionate about helping people get a job and keep their job.

Having a job and a career is really important but companies are only looking out for their own self-interest and NOT being good civil agents. They don’t give applicants an opportunity to prove themselves and to gain experience, yet companies will set up community service days and give huge sums of money to prove that they are civilly minded and care for their communities. I, personally, see that as bovine defecation. If companies are so flipping concerned about their communities, then they need to start with what really matters. Give the people some jobs. Give back by giving opportunities to recent grads, give by giving pay raises, give by taking a chance on that person who may not have the years of work experience but has interned and has the educational experience to back up their claims of competence. Give by allowing applicants to try out the position. Companies can allow people who believe they are qualified to work in that position unpaid for a short season, say a month. The applicant can complete all the job duties required of the position but would not get paid until after their trial period is over and they are hired as a paid employee. The company would not be losing anything by having the trial period. They surely wouldn’t be losing money and they could probably terminate the trial period whenever they want. Companies just might find that right person for that job that they were looking for by doing this, but companies will never know if they never try.

There are millions of jobs available in this country. Just check any job Web site. Rather, check all of them. No politician should be singing the blues about the unemployment rate – ever! Why are there so many jobs, but yet so many unemployed? If politicians want that stupid unemployment rate to drop then they need to speak to companies and employers and see to it that they hire eligible and qualified people for those jobs. It doesn’t start with young people getting more education. There are many people with degrees on top of degrees in this country, so much so that it is quite shameful how many of those people are unemployed. It speaks to the way things are being handled by politicians, corporations, and even schools. Schools should not lie to students and tell them how much easier it will be for them to get a job or land that career because of a degree. Schools need to be honest with students rather than trying to suck them dry and get them entangled in the bondage of college loans.

What’s even sadder is that getting that silly education that actually turns out to NOT open the door of opportunity, ain’t cheap! Getting any degree is quite expensive. You might as well be buying a house. They say it’s an investment but I’m starting to see that as a bald-faced lie. Loan companies don’t stop calling simply because a person cannot find a job and the government does nothing about it! It’s unfair to students and even unfair to the economy. If politicians really cared about students, unemployment, and the economy, they would work hard to ensure that new graduates are not punished for their lack of experience. America has to do better for college students and for new graduates. America needs to restore the once treasured value in pursuing higher education and it needs to address this now.

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4 thoughts on “Getting Employed in the 21st Century

  1. ” America needs to restore the once treasured value in pursuing higher education and it needs to address this now.”
    Amen. Many celebrities with millions of social media followers don’t necessarily have degrees and are living the so called American Dreams. The lines of success, how to get there and getting a job, have really been blurred for millennials.

    Liked by 1 person

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