Graduates And Employment: Is Society Too Focused On Jobs And Careers?
I remember a beautiful Sunday morning not too long ago when I settled down to read the papers. It was probably sometime in the early months of 2009, when we were in the midst of what is arguably the worst economic crisis the world has even seen. I had been without a proper job for a few years but have been somehow making ends meet doing whatever projects that come my way and fully intended to continue along the same path. Jobs, careers, employment and employers were words and concepts that were starting to grow alien to me while entrepreneurship, initiative and business were becoming my constant companions.
I flipped through the first few pages. There was the usual news about US government bailouts, and assurances that the bailouts will work given a little time. There were some rumors about a big bank in Europe being in trouble, and some minister was quoted as saying that inflation will start to be a concern in the coming months.
I turned to the local section. There were some investors asking a local bank to compensate them for losses sustained. A government minister was saying that we have enough in the kitty for any and all eventualities, should they arise. And then, a comment from a graduate of a local university regarding the financial situation caught my eye.
He said, "The government expects us to be self-reliant. But how can I be self-reliant if I can't get a job?"
That comment disturbed me.
He is a university graduate, probably reasonably intelligent and capable. As a graduate, he would have been taught to think for himself. He should have a wide perspective on things and be able to approach a problem or situation from different angles. He should be well-read and be familiar with world affairs.
In short, a graduate would have the best education that the country has to offer.
As a result of his education, I would expect a little more from him. It might be too much to expect him to want to be the CEO or founder of the next Fortune 500 company, or to invent the first human powered craft, or to eradicate poverty.
But still....I expected him to dream. Or, at the very least, to be proactive.
But when faced with a financial problem, his response was a plaintive cry that he needs a job. I had expected more from a graduate.
What do you think?