There is something about this world, our world, that has begun to drive me nuts. It’s about unemployment, minimum wage and those who like to call my generation ‘lazy.’ I’m going to keep this brief, I promise, but I consider all of this a serious injustice to those who are working hard to survive with little support from our government and without the promise of a career – even with an advanced education.
Now, I do get where the term lazy comes from. I imagine our grandparents called our parents lazy, and our great-grandparents called our grandparents lazy. With each generation, there are old battles put aside with the ease of advancing technology and new battles that arise from that. I understand that there are young adults who are actually lazy. It’s their choice. It’s their America.
However, there is an even larger percentage of our country’s young adults that are being put into this ‘lazy’ category that do not deserve the title. Many of these people are people I know.
Fact: I earned a Master’s Degree in Publishing and Creative Writing in London.
Fact: My way into employment as a Gallery Manager was timing, luck and the right connection.
Yes, I have fantastic skills and experience and they are what put me on the table for this position, but I’m not the only one with a great resume. A majority of young adults in America are educated. My M.A. was aimed to put me a step above the competition. (Aka: those with a B.A., which is still a fantastic achievement).
But here is the rub, even the government has decided I cannot afford a typical payment on the repayment of my loans with my full-time position as a manager. I am on an income based repayment plan. With the massive debt I’ve incurred with this investment to advance my career, with the hope of an equivalent salary, I do not have the means to financially make up for my degree (and interest grows daily). With a M.A. degree, I live with my parents and with a salary so low that I cannot begin to chip at my debt.
This is not a complaint, this is a fact of my generation.
I actually love my job!
Also, I’m not lazy. I am not unemployed. I have a M.A. and a full-time job in a manager position. Still not convinced? Why not factor in that I have started a publishing company (River Ram Press) to keep my future career goals tangible while I live this current life in small town USA. I should also mention that I am working as a ghost writer, meaning I have been hired as a writer. At this very moment, I work three full-time jobs, all of which are in my field(s).
Still think we are a lazy generation? You can be certain I am not alone in this attempt to be something more, and I have evidence. I’m not the only person I know who came back with M.A. to their home countries and are still searching for employment. They did what I did, they pushed and invested and came home to very little. For one darling friend it took a whole summer to find career-level employment while she worked in retail to build savings. Another friend couldn’t even get a job in retail and has now given up on the concept of a career in his future.
Master’s students. Smart young adults.
Experience and educated.
My friends – they work in hotels, bars, restaurants and construction. They work jobs to pay the bills, to survive and if they are lucky, to earn savings. They are all smart, educated and capable! They are my peers. We move from state to state, from country to country, to find a path and there seems to be either nothing or very little out there for us. If you have something (anything), then you are one of the lucky.
I am lucky.
This is our job market. This is a fact.
The only one who has a right to complain about the current minimum wage, or this market, is the one who understands it as their life. It is how they survive and it is what their future relies upon.
And guess what, they are not lazy.
And you know what else, not one of those young adults should be made to feel bad for their current employment. We work in the world we’ve been provided by from older generations and by a government with personal agendas. You have college educated adults who work in retail and yet, there is an argument against raising the minimum wage. Why? Why punish people who have found work. These jobs have to be done by someone and if our world is one that offers little to graduates, then why not make retail (ect.) a survivable position?
One to build a life with.
There is nothing wrong with that type of work – stop trying to tell us we’ve failed. That we are lazy and that we could be doing a lot more with our lives. There is a lot more to life than what you can deem by our employment or salary.
Our world is different than even we planned…
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