A shadow seems to remain over the job market for new college grads. The Hire Ground blog quoted my colleage, Lindsey Pollak:
While many of Gen Y’s employment troubles can be blamed solely on the current economy, there are other difficult circumstances they must overcome, Pollak says. Those with the misfortune of having been born in the 1980s are also the first wave of job seekers who have been trained to seek conventional careers yet are entering a workplace that is alien to every previous generation.
“The old paradigm is clearly not working anymore,” she says. “The thinking was that all the baby boomers would start to retire and there would be lots of new positions open, but that’s not happening. Even the meaning of the word ‘career’ is changing. You’re not going to see people working for one company for 30 years anymore.”
There’s no doubt that Gen Y (and all) job seekers who embrace the new paradigm will be the most successful finding fulfilling positions, but those positions may look very different from the old norms.
Pollak, author of the new post-grad bible, “Getting From College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World,” says some new terms are cropping to describe the peripatetic nature of employment today, in which workers will commonly jump from job to job, sometimes moving into several different fields. Some are calling these “slash-careers,” she says, referring to the need to add a series of slashes in job descriptions (e.g., editor/speaker/dancer). Others say young job seekers are members of “free-agent nation” and need to become their own CEOs and take more control of their careers.
“…slash careers integrate and fully express the multiple passions, talents, and interests that a single career often cannot accommodate.“
Anyone looking for a job, particularly young people with less experience, will do well to embrace a variety of types of internships, part-time work and entrepreneurial options to take advantage of the opportunities the current economy offers. No, it isn’t your father’s job market…The situation requires a creative approach and may result in different types of results from the ones college students might have expected. However, there are positive aspects to the situation – the proverbial “silver lining.”
For one Gen Y’s optimistic take on the situation, see the video interview with Stephanie Perrett, a Gen Y intern for Stephanie A. Lloyd and Radiant Veracity:
If your search is stalling, consider getting some help to get it jump started? Not sure you can put all of the great tools at your disposal to good use? Need a great resume? Learn how I can help you propel your job hunt forward.
photo by hana8hana