Youth Unemployment Rate Predictions Don’t Have to Reflect Your Employment Status

The International Labour Organization just released its Global Employment Outlook, and stated the youth employment rate is looking bleak as the Euro crisis spreads. Unfortunately, the trend of graduating from University and not finding employment is very real. But it doesn’t have to be you.

My career hasn’t even been all that glamorous, which I have alluded to earlier. I’ve worked in Subway, sandwich bars, nannying, English tutoring, microeconomics tutoring, swimming teaching, and reception work. (And above, that’s me house painting while I was unemployed after just moving to Singapore). Every single job gave me something towards my character, and knowledge. In fact, when a previous person in my life refused to get a job while they waited to work in something they were qualified for – we very quickly lost contact. The drive to work and earn for yourself is an essential character trait in the friends I choose to hang out with – and coincidentally, is essential for most employers too.

Yes, the ILO is right, the difficulty to find more gainful employment is our reality. But employment is employment is employment. We all gotta pay the bills. We all need to treat ourselves with ridiculous purchases because we earned it. The word employment does not factor in whether it is appropriate to your field of study.

Do you know what the good thing about employment is too? It makes it easier to get another job! Sad but #truefact, recruiters prefer to employ people who are in jobs than unemployed people.

You need to be employed, and there are crappy jobs out there for you to fill. That crappy job will be your ticket to a better job. Your parents’ financial support will not enable you to answer interview questions about past work experience.

Now, before you go all worst case scenario on me about getting stuck in a crappy job because it gives an employer the wrong impression about you – let me ask you this: Do you want to work for someone who does not understand the basic concept of needing to pay the bills? Explain it to them that this is something you didn’t want to do, but something you needed to do – however, you are still qualified and ready to take on their job. If they don’t get it, I anticipate they will also not understand things like looking after sick parents or mid-day appointments with specialists. Hmmm….

You can be employed – perhaps just not in what you want. The path to your field will be windy and bumpy, but it will emerge.
And if you’re doing that crappy job for the moment, please take this as a token of my major respect and admiration of you. You rock. Seriously, just awesome.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever done to pay the bills? And did you get stuck in it, or find your way to your chosen field?
Cheers,
Sarah
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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  • 11 September 2012
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