So I read an article this morning that truly hit home for me. I have an interview tomorrow for a job that I do not want, that I am WAY overqualified for , and that is only a contract position (6 months) because the government isn’t hiring permanent employees right now and I can’t get any private sector jobs to respond to my resume. Basically, I will be taking the exact same job that I had when I left to complete my degree with the same exact pay, and without the security of having a full time permanent position. Basically, accruing student loan debt, and finishing my degree was completely useless – in fact, it has hurt me more than it helped me.
The article: Why College graduates are increasingly working minimum wage jobs points out that as our economy struggles to come back to life, the jobs that are being added each month are low wage positions. The problem is that for those of us who complete a college education; the age old problem of not being able to find work is exacerbated by a struggling economy.
Now I am an older college graduate and I had no grand notions of a six figure salary once I completed my education. I am deeply rooted in reality, and am quite capable of taking an entry level position even though I now hold a master’s degree. All I want is a position somewhere that will allow me to move up from entry level to mid-career or professional in a reasonable amount of time. That shouldn’t be an unrealistic goal, but in today’s economy expecting anything other than a job at McDonald’s seems unrealistic and getting them to call you back once you have a degree is pointless because they can pay the HS kid less. So when college graduates are competing for the same jobs as non-educated people – we have a serious problem.
I honestly don’t know what the solution could be. I can’t force a company to hire me, or pay me a decent wage. I have to do the work to find a place to work that will meet my personal needs. I am just having no luck with that at the moment; so when a staffing agency called and basically handed me a secretary job (equivalent to a GS-5 government position) I am going to just go ahead and take it. I have no other options. I have bills to pay. I have to start paying my student loans in two months or default. I no longer have the option to be picky, or even find a position that matches my skills. I am going to go and be miserable and bored to death, just like I was before I spent 50k on my bachelors and masters degrees. More debt, more education, and no work available to meet the needs or expectations of either.
I was a GS-5 secretary with the IRS in 2011 (permanent). I will now be a GS-5 secretary with the Medicaid and Medicare Office as a contract position (6 months). Same job, same pay, same agency (government) – only now I am smarter (lol) and have more bills to pay. Bottom line – it sucks. I am not only greatly disappointed, but I am quite honestly pissed off. What can I do though? It is what it is, and I have to make a living even if it means that I wasted a lot of time, energy and money to obtain my higher education that employers kept telling me they wanted in order for me to succeed.
I honestly don’t need much to survive. Technically if each of the followers of this blog were to give me one dollar a week for being able to entertain themselves with my writing ($4 a month). I could easily pay my bills and even take a vacation someday. Of course I can’t force anyone, and I honestly do it because I love doing it, but the fact remains that there is something I do that could provide the income I need without subjecting myself to the humiliation of resorting to the exact same job I left 2 years ago.
It is just frustrating for me that I can’t find anything to do that will pay my bills and not sap all of the energy and happiness from me at the same time. Hell, I would be happy for even another low wage position that isn’t a secretary – I hate being a secretary, the problem is that I am really good at it and every manager or corporate leader wants their own personal slave to answer the phones, take care of travel arrangements and to ensure the office has enough pens. It’s insulting to go back to that; but it is a job that will pay me money regardless of my personal satisfaction in doing it and as it stands right now, I am left with no other choice. My education did not in fact expand my opportunities like it was supposed to. In reality, it limited them – and that makes me a little angry.