Youth unemployment: A global issue
While I certainly know how young adults in America are struggling to find employment (being among them myself), this Huffington Post article makes it clear that youth unemployment is a global issue:
Unemployment Plagues Young People Around The World (huffingtonpost.com)
The article profiles young adults in America, Spain, France, Canada, and Great Britain who are struggling to find jobs that utilize their skills and education, while also having to pay off student loans.
Brette Jackson signed up with her parents for $50,000 in loans to attend the Art Institute of Seattle, but after she graduated, she realized that the institute had misinformed her about its ability to help graduates find jobs.
Since graduating, Jackson has worked in retail, been a temp worker, and currently works at a part-time at a supermarket, using food stamps to help feed herself.
Thomas Pallot, a 25-year-old in France, has been unable to find a job as a computer technician and gets by through temp assignments that include menial tasks such as lifting boxes and distributing flyers:
Pallot thinks of himself as a hard worker, capable and pragmatic, but two years of going without work is undermining his sense of value. “I feel I’m projecting the image of someone with no willpower, someone who is waiting for something to happen and doesn’t see anything happening,” he says.
Despite his frustration, Pallot offers this advice for other young adults who are struggling with their careers: “Be patient, keep your hopes up, stay active, work your connections and, above all, ‘get as much support as you can.'”
Damilola Odelola is an unemployed 21-year-old in Great Britain who is searching for employment in media and education. She discusses how she stays hopeful despite having to deal with constant rejection:
“I’ve learned to understand that being rejected doesn’t mean I’m a failure, it just means that I wasn’t the right puzzle piece,” she says. “I’m a very hopeful person and I believe that everything happens for a reason, and the reason may not be clear now, but when it is I’ll look back and think, ‘Yeah, that needed to happen.'”
Odelola also argues against the stereotype of young adults as being lazy, citing their penchant for entrepreneurship:
“My generation is very active,” she says. “We enjoy being busy and doing stuff, we have bred a lot of entrepreneurs and self-starters. Many of us have begun building our own brands and making a name for ourselves, because nobody else will.”
Alberto Jiminez, a 24-year-old in Spain, is an example of that penchant for entrepreneurship; after struggling to find a job that utilized his art history degree, he opened a bar in his neighborhood.
It’s sad how young adults who have worked who have invested so much time, money, and effort into their education are getting so little out of it. But it’s also inspiring how young adults stay optimistic and inventive through these difficult circumstances.