The way has been lit, you have etched your path in stone and you’re on the back nine of securing your more than $60,000 piece of paper which supposedly has mystical powers that are unmatched when you sit down at an interview to look for a new job that’s capable of allowing you to support yourself.
Then comes the crisis. Application after application has been submitted and still no reply for any interviews. Dreams have been dashed, the lit way has dimmed and you’re willing to go back to the crusty retail hole you had hoped to have crawled out of at the end of your educational endeavor. The fact is that as college students we may all go down in flames when attempting to enter the labor force for the profession that we personally believe to be our calling. If not all, at least a majority.
On March 1, 2012, Forbes reported saying that around 60 percent of college grads can’t find employment in their field of study. The article went on to refer to this generation of college grads as “Generation Jobless.” A year later on May 20, 2013, the Washington Post published an article that said only 27 percent of college grads find work that’s strictly related to their major. A 2010 U.S. Bureau of the Census American Community Survey found that only 62 percent of graduates have found work that is congruent to the necessity of having higher education.
The Washington Free Beacon reported on April 30, 2014, that for youth ages 18 to 29, unemployment stands at 15.6 percent. Even then it was found that around 50 percent of recent college grads are unable to find employment in their field of study. Those grim statistics seem to be about as devastating as the closing of Sweetbriar College. The studies are redundant but the reason for noting those redundancies is to show that this is a problem that has been around and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.
The black and white of getting everything, or nothing, that you want in a job post graduation is unrealistic. Sure, I’d love to write for Saturday Night Live, but if I was able to get just about any writing job that paid over $20,000 a year I’d probably be content for a while. A job is just a job and the main motivation behind working for the income is survival. But what comes past that? I don’t want to merely survive, I want to thrive. I want to reap what I have sown.
My labor is my product and at this point in the game with four jobs, one internship and, by the end of the year, a bachelor’s degree with over 5 years in the workforce I get the feeling that I shouldn’t just settle.
I don’t want to settle. I don’t want what I need, I want what I want. I’ve put my time into it. I’ve paid the opportunity cost of going to school and forfeited the possibility for a majority of the jobs that I could have acquired to support myself and I know that I am much more capable than I have been given the opportunity to show. I am worth more than what those statistics have shown me, I’m worth at least an entry level job into the profession that I want to be in.
That’s not reality though. Until then I’ll just waver in the inch of thread between my fear of success and my fear of failure.
The most you, I and anyone else can hope for is that the job you’ll end up at in the meantime until you find the entrance to your desired professional path will allow you to inherit a certain set of skills that’ll allow you to put toward the field that you’d like to be in and allow you to embark on far greater opportunities than are currently available to you.