I graduated in December 2019 with my master’s degree in social work. I’ve applied to over 50 jobs, endured 9 interviews, completed 3 writing exercises, and received 0 offers. I made networking a priority, I had multiple internships in my field of interest, and I have held positions that offer numerous transferable skills. I don’t say all of this to self-praise, because honestly I constantly ask myself what more I could be doing. I only say this to show my effort these past months to no avail.
We grow up being told if you work hard and get an education, you’ll obtain the American Dream: a job you love and a white picket fence containing your family that barbecues on the weekend. Unfortunately, what I have come to realize is, I’m part of the generation that owns little if anything. We have no credit or bad credit, we rent our home, everyone is in debt, our degrees do not reflect our desired career trajectory, and we are all aimlessly searching for meaning and purpose. We are called entitled and snowflakes, we are told our ideas regarding our own future and policy are radical and unrealistic. We are the lost generation.
Since COVID-19 hit, we’ve seen massive layoffs, hours shrunk to near none, and the stock market hit rock bottom. Although my stats are disheartening, my future seems even more bleak when the economy is blown to bits. In my mind, if I wasn’t getting hired before, there is no way I’m getting hired anytime soon.
I want to let the classes of 2020 know that I get it. It is hard. It’s getting even harder. It does not always seem as though there is a light at the end of the tunnel so to speak, but there has to be.