Saturday, April 9, 2011

I Feel Your Pain, Ted

A long time ago when I was near to finishing my bachelor's degree, I remember hearing -- and experiencing -- the common almost-grad lament:
All the jobs I see want me to have experience I can't get until I get a job.
That caused a lot of frustration way back when in the fuzzy, cocoon-like world of the mid- to late-1990s, when the economy was robust and companies and government were offering all kinds of opportunities for just the right person.

Years later, I'd like to go back in time to my almost-grad self to deliver the following message:
It gets worse.
I have, right now, a pretty good job. I'd like a better one. But in cracking into the current job market of the early 2000s, when the economy is in the crapper and companies and government are keeping hires to a minimum, the challenges even in getting an interview are astronomical.

Used under the fair use doctrine for commentary purposes.

The bar is continually raised. I'm not complaining about that. I realize that I can't expect to experience a career in stasis: I have to continue educating myself and working to make myself more marketable to employers. Still, there is some frustration. I have earned a masters degree. I have taken that degree and parleyed it into a part-time teaching gig at BYU-Idaho -- but until I actually get a class to teach and am invited back, that entry on my resume is going to bear that asterisk.

Meanwhile, employers knowing that there are a lot more people out there looking for jobs, are able to be a bit pickier. I'm not complaining about that either. Obviously, an employer wants the best-qualified person for the job.

Still, it's frustrating. With every accomplishment I find others that still need to be finished before the next career step may be taken. And I suppose that's just a lesson on life: Never stop learning, because the expectations will always increase.

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