Ill Thought Out Ranting.

In theory, with education your life should follow this progression:

School – GCSEs – A levels – University – a reasonable job.

Or

School – GCSEs – An arguably less, but still reasonable job, but without the wasted 3 years and mountains of debt.

As it happens it actually seems to go like this.

School – GCSEs – A levels – University – Nothing, absolutely nothing you’re going to have to fight for a job in a pub which will work you 47 hours a week for very little money until you wish you were dead.

Universities are no longer educational establishments. They are graduate factories, built on an unsustainable economic model. They use fancy marketing, with huge open days and lovely catalogues that show beautiful nineteen year olds smiling giddy smiles as they joyfully expand their knowledge.

There’ll be a page of numbers that tries to bamboozle you into thinking that those with degrees are 120% more likely to get a great job when they leave with their degree. They’ll be so likely to have a great job that many will have a job without even realising it, some will have two, a few will have so many they won’t know what to do with them.

The government are in on this too. It was not so long ago that David Cameron, then Prime Minister, said he thought 50% of people should go to university. Primarily because it keeps the ‘unemployment’ figures down and lands people in debt and Western economies are reliant on people being in debt, but we’re not here to talk about that.

They then go on to drop random statistics saying n% of graduates are in employment, so the system works. The survey is often flawed at best, however taken at face value, the statistic is usually impressive. However, may statistics fail to take into account the capacity in which these people are employed.

We live in a world, where more people than ever are degree educated… and yet, we are not in a golden age of efficiency. With so many university graduates, surely the business world would be booming, the world of science should have discovered flying cars by now and there shouldn’t be a place on television for ‘Love Island’.

Instead we have history experts waiting on tables, English Literature nuts pulling pints, astrophysicists working in milkshake shops.

Why is this?

I do not know.

Perhaps it is just the very fact that so many people have degrees, devaluing the whole system. Unfortunately, we live in a time where unless you have the best degree, from the most prestigious of all universities, you will find yourself in employment limbo. Retail and hospitality won’t want you, they’ll see your degree as a sign that you’ll flee at the earliest chance. Companies looking for graduates won’t want you, because they want the best of the best.

With a 2:2 you’ll find yourself cast aside and left to flounder in mounting debt and lack of fulfilment. People’ll say ‘why not try teaching’, which in the current climate you’d be better off blowing your own legs off, you’ll earn more from your disability allowance.

Then there’s the issue of experience. Graduates will routinely get turned down for jobs based on their lack of experience. In order to get experience, you will need to get a job in your preferred sector, but in order to get a job in your preferred sector, you will need experience, and to get that experience…. Well shit.

One day, all the people with experience will die. Then where will we be?

Well, no worse off than we currently are.

Whilst there are jobs (much like the truth) ‘out there’ the number of people looking for them are much higher. Supply and demand comes into play and unfortunately, whilst you may show some of the desired attributes, employers will decide to go with candidates that better suit their criteria… though they will helpfully wish you luck with your job search.

You’ll need it.

 

Make me feel less like a failure and download my kindle book. It’s reverent, silly, playful, self aware and incredibly cheap.

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We Lowly Millennials.

First let me tell you, my computer broke, so I wrote this hastily on a computer in a library (they have computers now!) and I only had 30 mins to do so. Then I copied it to my phone and from my phone am pasting it here. No proof reading was done, it’s not very good and it was more venting on my part than anything else.

Also, I still don’t know what millennial really means, or quite why it requires 2 Ns.

 

In the space of a month or so, I’ve gone from being a copy editor to working in a pub. I had to work hard to obtain this job in said pub. Who’d have thought that we’d one day live in a world where even bar work was a competitive industry. I saw a line outside the Job Centre the other day, there were eight people fighting over an application form for Clarks. Some one pulled a knife – he had a degree in astrophysics.

I have been applying for many jobs. It is a soul destroying exercise in futility for anyone in their 20s. No matter how you approach it, you’ll always get the lazy responses ‘thanks, but no.’ Or, worse than that, you’ll get ‘you have not got enough experience.’ If you ask how you go about getting the necessary experience when every company turns you down for your lack of experience they mutter something unintelligible before pointing behind you and saying ‘what the fuck is that?’ Like a fool you turn, and when you turn back they are gone.

If you ask what happens when all the people with experience eventually die, their faces adopt a far away quality, as though they are staring into some murky abyss, before whispered words escape their puckered lips ‘…then God help us.’

The problem is, most of us were conned into going to university, and for most of us it was a con. A massive fat CON. We were lured into it by talk of walking out the other end being more employable than those who didn’t go. We were told not to worry about the massive debt, because our degrees would propel us into roles so well paid that it’ll be gone within the week. All of this turned out to be a lie. Everyone has a degree, and when everyone has a degree than we may as well not have bothered, especially if your degree is in performing arts.

I suppose it doesn’t help that I went to the University of Hertfordshire, which is less a university and more a community centre catering for unemployed millennials. Which brings me on to the crux of my point.

What the fuck is a millennial? I think I am one, but I don’t know what it means. Everywhere I read or hear it, it sounds patronising, dismissive and dripping in ridicule. Often when we lament the lack of jobs, those in positions of authority say “there’s plenty out there, you just have to look hard for it.” or the problem with millennials is we “have a huge sense of entitlement,” and “want success handed to us on a plate” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4232696/Millenials-generation-huge-sense-entitlement.html)

Others say the problem lies within our work ethic and maybe we should all work in bars and restaurants and do so happily without complaint. Stefanie Williams writing for the Huffington Post writes about her success in The Problem With Millennials and Work Ethic: All of this was afforded to me not in the first month I was working at a restaurant, but after I put in the hours, made the sacrifices and sucked up my pride in order to make ends meet and figure out what I wanted to do and how to do it.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stefanie-williams/the-problem-millennials-work-ethic-talia-yelp_b_9282244.html)

Well done Stefanie, though as well as hours and hard work you missed out huge dollops of luck. However, with astronomical rent prices climbing ever hire and even those restaurant jobs being harder to come by as well as the cost of living forever climbing, we millennials will be aged and haggard by the time we start earning enough to make a proper go at life. We’re the first generation that on the whole, will be worse off when compared to our parents. Most of us will never own our own home and as to having a career progression to boast about, the vast majority can forget about that, what with our chaotic Cvs. Worked in one bar, worked in another bar, had a brief stint in IT support, was made redundant as it was outsourced, worked in another bar.

As for being self-entitled, we have lived and are currently living in one of the worst economic crisis in recent history. An economic crisis that was not our doing. In fact, we had nothing to do with it. Yet we must be the ones to fix it, we have to be the ones to suffer the low wages, the lack of jobs, the crushing financial burdens. I say again, most of us will never be able to afford our own home. Either because they’re too expensive, or because we’ll just end up having that nuclear war we’ve been talking about for so many decades.

Of course we expect a good job, we were promised a good job, coaxed into spending a lot of money on higher education due to the that promise. Of course we want more than bar work, as we approach our mid-twenties. These are the years we should be starting on our path to a career we can be proud of. Soon we’ll be in our thirties, maybe wanting to squeeze some of our own children into an already over-populated world, how can we afford to do that when we’re barely getting by on our shifts at The Wobbly Cow or The Fat Crustacean or The Whorish Whore or Wetherspoons?

Just give me a fucking job!