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What Happened to Our Employment Opportunities

Updated on March 7, 2013

Unemployment Rising

So you’re done studying and all equipped for the real world with your new degree, blazing heart and boundless energy. You are ready to find jobs and make millions, save Planet Earth one plastic bag at a time, be the lead engineer in the iPhone 65 team or invent the cure for cancer. Life is an oyster of opportunities, or was it a box of chocolates? All I know is that it’s at my feet and ripe for the taking, all I’ve got to do is put my shoes on. For those who are rushing to get a job immediately would be facing the unemployment rising fact. But as for me, I think I’ll sleep in first; all that studying in the last number of years has really worn me out – I deserve a break. Maybe travel for awhile, see the world before work and responsibilities overtake me. Maybe continue studying, pursue a Masters degree in Austria while temping as a bartender. I’ll write my CV tomorrow, I think I’ll watch some House; M.D first and then maybe a nap.. Since there are lots of employment opportunities out there.

Why not take advantage of it?

Fast forward two months and three public holidays later and I’m still leeching off my parents and nowhere closer to getting employed or figuring out if I really want to do that Masters of Law program in Austria. And I know I’m not alone here; out of my bath who’ve recently graduated from university, only one of us is currently employed AND he just bought a car. The rest of us are still floundering in unemployment bliss of lack of a better idea or option at this present moment of time. But what’s the big fuss? The social stigma attached to unemployment is most definitely a recent social phenomenon born of a post-capitalist society. You call it bumming around; I call it “maintaining a freelance position in a fast-changing and fluid society whilst simultaneously making every opportunity and option available as well as pursuing character building interest”.

Unemployment allows you to:

Be good to your parents. I have never spend so much time at home since I was 16, allowing me to tend to my immediate family with a diligence and care that, let’s face it, is largely absent from modern society. We seem to forget how our parents have painstakingly put us through years of education. Parents are the few people in the world who genuinely want you to do better than them, its only appropriate to repay that kindness in non-monetary form before pursuing financial success. Since graduating, I’ve successfully attended all family activities. Besides, one should never bite the hand that feeds. Unemployment brings family together.

Be smarter. Contrary to popular belief, education doesn’t end at university and further still, most of what is studied at tertiary level is barely applicable in the real world, hence things like corporate training and other similar programs. Thus, with bumming around and not doing anything, one has the time to enrich one’s knowledge by reading – yes reading, absolutely anything and everything since one is no longer restricted to curriculum. Being in university really doesn’t accord anyone’s time to do anything other than study and try to be moderately sociable, so if there was any time for self-enrichment, that time is now. My library has significantly increased by ten books. None of which I’ve yet to read.

Enhance, acquire and hone your skills. Ever wanted to horseback ride, learn how to dive, learn a new language, perfect your coffee making skills, volunteer at a soup kitchen or adopt a turtle? There’s no time like the present, especially if the present does not include a 9 to 5 job in a cramped cubicle, as the stereotype goes. Again, contrary to popular belief, just because you want to do something exciting and fun doesn’t mean it’s a total waste of time. Most career jobs prospects with a diving license increase, including the noble professions of frogmen or gold divers. On a more serious note though, a degree may act as that piece of paper that qualifies one to apply for a job but it’s one’s character that gets one employed. By the end of January, I’ll be more than willing to demonstrate my rhythmic ability by drumming my fingers on the table of my interviewer.

At some point one has to take a step back and consider why there’s such a rush to get employed and kick start the duller side of life – an almost primal need to do something considered to be of some financial merit when such an ideal can hardly be used as a measure for success. I think it was the Julia Roberts movie Eat.Pray.Love that I was coerced into watching, which promoted ‘the sweetness of doing nothing’, a celebration and indulgence of life and the senses. Maybe if we all became obnoxiously rich or travelled to cheap countries for outer body experiences, such an indulgence later on in life wouldn’t be a problem, but frankly with each passing day, such a reality becomes more and more distant. I’m not saying that one should do nothing permanently, but if there was ever a time to relax and do nothing, wouldn’t it be right now?


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