The great news is that I’ve found a job. The bad news is that it is a one-year term position at 6 hours a day. Thankfully it pays halfway decent so I’ll be able to manage. I’ll actually have more cash in the bank than when I was living on my scholarship but working will also incur expenses that I didn’t have when I was a student, like purchasing a more professional wardrobe.
But I’ll be back in the same position a year from now: looking for work, any work. Would be nice if it were meaningful and related in some way to my education and experience but I’m sure I won’t be too picky. Listened to a really depressing documentary today called The Double Grind, all about the difficulties university graduates are having finding work. I could totally relate. I was applying to anything and everything, including coffee shops, when my current position came along.
The documentary mentions going to college as an option to university but that’s no guarantee either. I was at a meeting recently for the Library and Information Technology program at Red River College. The people who run the program were pleased that they had a waiting list to get in but they wondered if graduating 30 students every second year was flooding the market. They asked if graduating 15 students every year might be a better approach. The general answer from around the table was that either way, there wasn’t enough work in the field. Many graduates from the 2011 class are employed in other fields, working part-time or contracts, or underemployed in the library field. Media and the government constantly bring up unemployment stats, but I think underemployment is a huge problem that isn’t being talked about enough.
I’ve been in the labour market since I was 15 and I can’t remember a time when finding a job was so difficult. While I’m completely relieved to have work (and good work, at that) thinking about going through this whole process next winter just about sinks me. My plan for this year is to replace our dying fridge and pay off as much of my small student loan as possible so if I end up as a barista working for minimum wage next year I’ll be able to live lean and not have a pile of debt hanging over my head.