More: 13 Tips for Jobless Grads on Surviving the Basement Years - Bloomberg
By Megan McArdle
If you’re a recent college graduate, I commend to you this story from the Wall Street Journal on the peripatetic career paths of the Ohio State Class of 2008. With the financial markets crashing, these kids ended up taking jobs they didn’t want in places they didn’t want to be — or moving into mom’s basement while they struggled to forge a career out of their thin employment prospects. But the kids the Wall Street Journal interviewed are (except for one sad chap who decided to move to New York) basically OK. They’re not doing what they thought they’d be doing. Still, they’re having good lives, and even good careers, though it took them longer than it took luckier classes that graduated in more prosperous times.
Don’t get me wrong, youngsters: I feel your pain. I graduated from business school in 2001. The job I had lined up with a management consulting firm evaporated, with the coup-de-grace delivered just as the MBA Class of 2002 began recruiting. Suddenly I was competing with kids who hadn’t lost a job — and even though the job loss wasn’t my fault (my whole class was laid off), employers didn’t see why they should take a chance on an unemployed person. To make matters worse, I spent a year doing administrative work in a trailer at the World Trade Center disaster recovery site, rather than immediately looking for a new “career” job. To make matters still worse, my previous job had been in the tech industry. There was about a year and a half when I had no idea where I was going to find another full-time job. I began to think I had inadvertently ruined my life.
Eventually, I got a job with the Economist magazine, which I found because of this blog I’d started while working at the World Trade Center. Ten years later, things are pretty much all right. Okay, I got lucky … but you know what? As the Journal article shows, eventually, if you keep moving, you’ll probably get lucky too. So here are some hard-but-hopeful truths for the classes of 2008-13, inclusive:
1. You need to take a job, any job. Every time you leave your house, or otherwise make contact with the real world, you create opportunities for something good to happen to your career. Leaving the house also keeps you from falling prey to depression, which tends to plague the unemployed like, well, the plague. Also, it’s easier not to look completely desperate when you have a little money coming in. “Desperate” is not a good look to wear to a job interview.
2. Don’t say you can’t work a lesser job because you won’t be able to focus on your job search. After the first few weeks, your job search is not taking you 60 hours a week. There just aren’t that many prospects out there. Don’t give yourself excuses to stay home and sulk and/or sponge off mom and dad — who will, incidentally, be much happier to have you in the basement if you’re visibly working hard.
And here’s the kicker:
11. If you really want to work somewhere, volunteer to work unpaid. Take it as a second job — nights, weekends, whatever. Yes, this will cut into your social life. So will working at Target, in your thirties.
More at Bloomberg.
Fuck you Megan and your privileged white ass.
All of the “13 tips” are just variations on “work for nothing” or “work for whatever you can get.” BE HAPPY FOR THAT BOWL OF GRUEL. You know that people who are working part-time at Walmart or McDonald’s for minimum wage still have to make themselves available for scheduling 24/7, if they ask for a few hours to go to a job interview, they might not have that part time jrrb to go back to.
When unpaid internships (slave labor) are the norm for entry level, then what used to be entry-level salaries will become the norm for someone seeking paid work after a year or two years of slave labor. And all experienced workers’ pay will slide downward accordingly.
The American Dream will be fulfilled when everybody is striving to work for minimum wage (after working at an unpaid internship) and the Waltons have all Teh Moneys.