Friday, April 15, 2011

Feeling Forever Alone? Use the Time to Your Advantage!

                We all go through periods of time when we have limited or no social activity. This could be due to things such as working overtime or combining a full time job with other activities such as returning to school. I myself have been having limited social activity due to the fact that I completed college at the end of last year and no longer see my friends from school as I have returned home. Whatever reason you are experiencing limited social activity it is important to view it as a both a temporary, and a positive, experience. Having a lot of alone time is a good opportunity for self-improvement and to get back in touch with yourself, your interests and your hobbies. Some activities you might enjoy can only really be enjoyed alone. I will give you some activities from my own experience. I read a lot of books that had been collecting untouched on my bookshelf and went to a library for reasons other than school for the first time since I was a kid. I got Netflix Instant Viewing and caught up on a lot of movies and TV shows (I never watch TV) I had missed. I explored the internet and found websites and forums that were relevant to my interests, and I caught up with people I had not seen in a while. Next, you should know that this is definitely the best part of your life for self-improvement which is something that everyone needs and should continuously develop. I just graduated with a four year degree but now I am already looking at the requirements for business graduate school and trying to decide what master’s degree would make me more marketable. If you did not complete college now is a great time to go back, especially if you are one of the many who have found themselves suffering under the lagging economy. The internet is an amazing tool for researching degrees that interest you and can make you more interesting to employers in the job market. I know that studying and doing schoolwork was often best done as a solitary activity so now could be a perfect time for you to go back to school and It would probably put your social life back on track as well. Finally, now is a perfect time to get in shape. I myself was always kind of heavy in high school but after devoting time to putting my gym membership to use I looked awesome! Of course, I eventually let that slip when I transferred to a difficult university but now that I have graduated I am getting back on the fitness level. The gym is also a great place for social activity as there is always plenty of people like you trying to get back in shape.
                In conclusion, use this time to improve yourself and your life, enjoy activities that can only be enjoyed alone and reflect on where your life is going. Remember that aloneness happens to everyone and is only temporary.
“Alone! Whether you like it or not alone is something you’ll be quite a lot”
Dr. Seuss

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Economic Frustration of a Recent College Grad

It has been little over three months since I completed my first bachelors degree in Business with a focus on Human Resource Management...and I am still unemployed. I can think of two things hindering the young college graduate looking for a job right now.

The first being the high number of economic "refugees". I do not remember exactly what term economics uses to describe the people who have been displaced from their jobs and are being forced into lower paying jobs, often in other industries than the ones they normally specialize in. I just know that there are a lot of them, and they form the basis for my competition. Why do I call them refugees? because that is exactly what they are. They have been forced from their "lands" by an economic "famine", and being that they are starving and have nothing to eat they have come to eat my food. Now, whenever I go to apply for an entry-level job I am always told the following: they (the prospective employer) likes me, loves my resume, I am qualified for the job, and I am also competing with about a dozen other people who have already have five to ten years of direct job experience. I then hear the very familiar explanation that they have many interviews to conduct and if I am selected they will call me. I may be educated, I may have a high GPA but when it comes to actrually getting a job I obviously can not compete with someone who has already been doing the job for many years. Perhaps they can make jobs that are lower than entry-level to make room for guys like me in the new economy. If I can't come in through the front door perhaps I can climb in through a window on the other side of the building and sleep in the basement until work starts.

Hilariously enough it is also difficult for me to get a unprofessional job as I have now moved from being under-qualified to over-qualified. Now when I apply for a basic job, say, a front desk clerk at a hotel or a teller at a bank my prospective employer always acts over-suspicious concerning whether or not I will be unhappy with the job and pay and end up picking up a professional job a month later. If the economy was different they would be perfectly right in assuming this, but not in this economy.

My hopes resting on finding a job with the federal government have also been diminished. First, with the announcement by the President that there will be a two year freeze on raises for federal employees (as if they were overpaid to begin with) and now several "non-essential" federal workers may be out of work while Congress fights over the fiscal budget.

I always thought the recession would be over by the time I graduated, but it will probably be one or two more years before we can feel the effects of the recovery phase.