Principal Consultant, Career OverDrive!
The New York Times ran a recent article entitled Young and Educated in Europe, but Desperate for Jobs.
There are so many myths and memes in this article, that sadly is preventing good and talented people from getting jobs. As you read through this article, you'll notice that many of the people in trouble are talking about how they took a college education, how they graduated and how they did what they were told but still couldn't land a suitable job. In some cases, they did land a job but there were greatly underemployed.
You can read the article below, but first allow me to put a few things in perspective:
1. Education: People seem to believe that an "education" is key to landing a job, especially a college education. This is not necessarily a key for landing a job. An education, some particular skills sets or a college degree may be a baseline requirement to be hired but it's NO LONGER a point of differentiation for you as a candidate.
2. Companies don't just create jobs to hire people: No. Companies hire people, when in the course of doing business and serving their markets and customers they find they need more people (volume) or new skills sets (ability). What you need to do, is to map and align your skills, abilities and potential to the company's needs and show how you provide value.
3. Having the skills is not enough: You still need to find the opportunities and then package and present yourself.
(Fire Your Recruiter!, Crush Any Interview!, High-Impact Resumes)
Europe's fiscal crisis has forced young people like Melissa Abadía to make painful adjustments and migrate to find jobs.
By LIZ ALDERMAN
Published: November 15, 2013
MADRID — Alba Méndez, a 24-year-old with a master’s degree in sociology, sprang out of bed nervously one recent morning, carefully put on makeup and styled her hair. Her thin hands trembled as she clutched her résumé on her way out of the tiny room where a friend allows her to stay rent free.
She had an interview that day for a job at a supermarket. It was nothing like the kind of professional career she thought she would have after finishing her education. But it was a rare flicker of opportunity after a series of temporary positions, applications that went nowhere and employers who increasingly demanded that young people work long, unpaid stretches just to be considered for something permanent.
Her parents were imploring her to return home to the Canary Islands to help run her father’s fruit business. It was a sign of the times, though, that even her own father probably would not be able to afford to pay her.
“We’re in a situation that is beyond our control,” Ms. Méndez said. “But that doesn’t stop the feelings of guilt. On the bad days, it’s really hard to get out of bed. I ask myself, ‘What did I do wrong?'
The question is being asked by millions of young Europeans. Five years after
the economic crisis struck the Continent, youth unemployment has climbed to staggering levels in many countries: in September, 56 percent in Spain for those 24 and younger, 57 percent in Greece, 40 percent in Italy, 37 percent in Portugal and 28 percent in Ireland. For people 25 to 30, the rates are half to two-thirds as high and rising.
Those are Great Depression-like rates of unemployment, and there is no sign that European economies, still barely emerging from recession, are about to generate the jobs necessary to bring those Europeans into the work force soon, perhaps in their lifetimes.
Dozens of interviews with young people around the Continent reveal a creeping realization that the European dream their parents enjoyed is out of reach. It is not that Europe will never recover, but that the era of recession and austerity has persisted for so long that new growth, when it comes, will be enjoyed by the next generation, leaving this one out.