I’ve heard a lot about unemployment numbers lately, what with the midterm elections and all. Republicans blame Democrats, Democrats throw the blame back at the Republicans. Conservatives lob the blame grenade at the Liberals who drop the blame bomb on the Tea Partiers. It’s a never ending blame game.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying our elected officials are blameless or should be let off the hook, but I know several young people who are unemployed at the moment. (I‘m in my 40’s, which means if you’re the same age as one of my kids or younger, you are a “young people.” Since my oldest is almost 30, that covers a lot of ground.) None of them seem to be in a hurry to find a job. If this is the case with the majority of young people in the US, well, we can’t lay all the blame on Mr. Smith up in Washington. He can put any program or incentive or law in place to encourage, bribe, coerce, or force people to work and it won’t do any good if they just do not want a job.
I don’t know if young people don’t know how to look for a job properly or if they just have a streak of lazy running up their backs a mile wide. News flash: A person cannot stay up all night watching TV and playing video games and then lie in bed until ten or eleven o’clock the next day before turning over for the first time and hope to find a job. That just isn’t how this works. Finding a job is a job in and of itself and has to be treated like one.
I’m watching kids right out of high school and other young people who have little or no experience doing anything, certainly not something they are applying for at the time, ask for outrageous starting salaries, full benefits packages, even asking about paid vacation time right out of the gate. Now, I understand one has to be careful to know everything being offered before accepting a job these days, but come on, how many kids do you know straight out of high school who know enough about anything to ask for $10 an hour with full benefits when the minimum wage is $7.25?.
I can totally understand having a high sense of self-worth. I worked hard to instill it into my own kids, but have we created a generation of monsters who think the world owes them a living because we couldn’t or wouldn’t say no? Because we wanted everyone to feel like a winner and made sure all who participated got a trophy whether they deserved one or not? Because the hardest thing we asked little Johnny and Jenny to do was to clean their rooms and when they didn’t we stepped in and did it for them because it was easier than fighting with them over it? I’d say probably so from the looks of things.
When these young people finally decide to get out of bed and grace the world with their presence for the day, they can be very selective about where they are willing to work. In my day, we got up early, chose an area to go to and blanket with applications, hit every place we thought might hire us, and came home and made a plan to do the same thing in another area the next day. Not so with today’s young people. From what I’ve seen, they only put in one, maybe two applications a day or possibly a week, and that is if someone tells them a place is hiring and they already have a friend working there who can speak up for them.
I’m not stupid, I know it’s always better to have a reference already working for a company who can speak up for you when you’re trying to get a job, but waiting for a job to open up at the place where your buddy works while you’re selling off your stuff to pay the rent isn’t the best plan of action to find a job. This is what I’m seeing time and time again with young people today. Has being connected to the internet and cell phones 24/7 created a world where networking has now taken over? Where people can no longer think for themselves and must live and work in large groups whenever possible? A world where nothing can happen outside of your network because of constant attention to Facebook friends, likes, and pokes and Twitter followers, retweets, and shares? It certainly seems that way.
If you’re looking for some great information about landing a job, especially a part-time or first-time job, take a look at Adel Landman Steyn’s When Finding A Job Is Your Job (Part 1: The Part Time Job)
Yes, part of the unemployment problem lies at the feet of our elected officials for not creating new opportunities for work. But I’d say more of it lies at the feet of the people who simply do not want to work. Those who do not want to go out and do what it takes to find one of the jobs that is already out there. Those who want $20 an hour to work in a pie factory tasting pies. Those who want to start out at the top looking down at the bottom. Those living in a dream who need to wake up and smell the coffee before it’s too late and they’ have run their lives and this country off into a ditch no one can pull any of us out of.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.