Today, pursuing long studies is no longer a guarantee to land a good job, it seems as though it has become the prerequisite to get a job at all. Many young people who have received their degrees over the last few years, often find themselves in a delicate situation.
They come out of university thinking that all doors are open for them, only to quickly be confronted with a bleak reality. I see many people who have after a first Master’s degree continued with another, and then another in order to be even more qualified, or maybe to hide from the job market… Then there are those who go from unpaid or underpaid internship to the next, with no hope that they will be taken on board, especially when 25% or more of the staff are interns.
It is not rare for people to move back in with their parents. Boomerang kids… It is not rare either that a more or less long period of time after finishing university is spend unemployed. A post higher education depression might kick in, even if the person in question finds a job. After all this job is very often far from the ideas and expectations. How many people work in odd jobs with salaries and activities far away from what they had imagined? Making a living through pizza delivery or babysitting probably was not on their minds…
Being rushed through school, job candidates are considered too young, too immature, and too inexperienced. Who with 22-24 has a Master’s degree and 5 years or more of professional experience that does not include internships? Sometimes within the same sentence they are told that they are both overqualified and too inexperienced.
Being rushed through school has another negative effect, what is thought to bring money and a career is studies, no one listens correctly to their heart. So once done the big question arrises: “What do I do now?” or even “In fact, what do I want to do with my professional life?” It can take moths or even years to figure out the answers.
On the other hand I have seen people land high paying jobs rather quickly, but they threw in the towel after a few months as it wasn’t the right thing for them. Sadly before studying they had never thought about if they would like the competitive corporate world. Some stay, not completely happy, but they do not ask themselves any questions.
Still not everything is bad for this generation of overqualified and underemployed. After months or years of being unhappy in their job, they shift their focus onto essential questions.
Hearts begin to beat again for the forgotten passion. In my case writing.
The discovery of a whole new professional field is made, one that wasn’t envisaged before, but one that is of their liking.
I do think that the search for our passion is important. The discovery and pursuit of it even more. After a few years of struggles, professionally and often mentally, life’s priorities start to be clearly defined.
Once the passion is rediscovered, after all with rushing through school it was suppressed, it is time to do everything to do something in relation with that passion. People who follow their passion, who invest time and money to make it possible, have their eyes light up when they talk about it. Maybe the generation of overqualified and underemployed won’t be known for its corporate careers, but maybe it will be a generation that avoids the midlife crisis, as life’s essential questions are asked far earlier on. Being young, these people still have all possibilities to live for their passion(s), even if it means earning less, but that is a small price to pay for happiness.
I have taken a habit to encourage people to think about what they REALLY want to do. To think about what their heart is beating for.
Do you know or are someone who has experienced similar situations?
Have you found your passion?
Has this problem existed for other generations?
© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.