If you’re a 90s kid like me the video above will not be lost on you as your childhood/tweenies were filled such cheesy TV programming like Boy Meets World. The grainy/hazy footage, montage of silly pranks and the neo indie rock/new jazz/hip-hop theme songs were indelible signatures of our childhood. Whatever your poison was (Saved by the Bell, 90210,Moesha, etc) you loved the characters and lived your life and the lives of others right in step with the direction of the show. You either related to, or were enlightened by the challenges the characters faced in the show. You were vicariously prepared for what lay ahead.
But as much as love I the TV programming of the 90s and the approach they took to guide Millennials on the right path into their future…they missed some points. But what’s to be expected? It was 90s, they tackled the problems of 90s.
Fast Forward (does anyone remember that show?) to today and a Girl Meets 2012. She didn’t succumb to peer pressure and do drugs, she was careful and respected her body so no teen pregnancy, she committed herself to her studies, extracurriculars and volunteer work which resulted in graduating in the top 10% of her high school class and enough scholarships to all but constitute a free ride. This trend continued through the college years only seasoned with personal growth and still she crossed that stage a proud woman with her Bachelor’s Degree. The view is rosy, right? Not really.
This scenario can be applied to any graduate floating off the ceremony within the past 2 or 3 years, male/female regardless of degree or education level. But instead of these smiling scholars taking off into the sun and beyond many are going to the last place they wanted to go: back home. Don’t misunderstand we’re grateful our parents are willing to float us until we get on our feet but truth is, we didn’t toil for four or five years at an accredited post-secondary institution just wind back up in our old rooms, or worse the basement. But why are all these bachelors returning home? No one could have predicted that the groomed Millennials would be struck by an affliction as result of a change in their environment. I’m calling it DES or the Ruts.
DES (or the Ruts) stands for Delayed Entry Syndrome. Delayed Entry Syndrome is the inability to simply enter the workforce due to the poor economical environment. Many graduates in these early years of the second decade, despite their education, can’t find a job. Including myself, I cannot count the number of certified bachelor’s degrees are doing nothing more than hanging on their parents wall. But why is this? You’ve got a certified formal education, many would write it off as a lack of self-application….they’re usually in the employed crowd too. Most can admit the difficulty of finding a job period but most still wonder how can Bachelor’s degree NOT find a job. I’ve talked this over with my other unemployed friends and a couple of surprising walls have raised the barriers of entry.
The most elusive and ambiguous qualification on an application especially since the experience validated differently from company to company. This especially true of management positions which, despite how much work graduates may put in other jobs, cuts a good portion of graduates off. And if experience isn’t enough to intimidate those lacking, then the required amount of experience will. These days they want you to have 3 and 4 years of formal cleaning experience to qualify for a housekeeping job. So in others words all those years doing chores at home don’t count? No they don’t.8/ The true sting of experience is the argument of needing experience to get a job when you need the job to get the experience.
Your Education (????)
So you lack the experience they’re looking for but you’ve got a certified education so despite the cast type that all Millennials are lackadaisical, semi-professionals with a huge sense of entitlement, you’ll work your way up. You sign up for the entry level positions as a way to get your foot in the door figuring that hell, it can’t be worse than pledging. Then they hit you with a big one: You’re overqualified……..No I’m speechless. So now you walk around like Bugs Bunny mulling the name “Hansel” replaced with “overqualified”.
This pattern persists which causes another kind of delayed entry of career field. You need work to keep you busy and on your toes but that’s not availalber so you go for a job to tide you over until things get better. But seasonal and part-time jobs are just as hard to get into as a career is because the high school population have those jobs on lock.
This is DES. A stall in forward movement, in to full blown adulthood. A rut where lack of practical application of deteriorates present skills and lack of opportunity offers no chance of improvement. And then there’s the 6-month curse: being unemployed for 6 months makes you unemployable. Period. That time is easy acquire, unfortunately.
So what’s left say but…….is there a cure?