This week Huffington Post will highlight the personal stories of young people in different countries trying to find work during the worst unemployment crisis in generations. In Europe, according to recent figures from the OECD, by January "more than one active youth in three were unemployed in Italy, Portugal and Slovak Republic, and more than one in two in Greece and Spain." The outlook is grim for U.S. youth as well, where youth unemployment hovers at 7.7 percent; and even in Canada, which has weathered through the global economic crisis better than others, many young people are finding their degrees aren't worth much when up against hundreds of other applicants for a single position. Today's focus is on the U.S. To read the other stories in the series, go here for the U.S., here for Canada, here for Spain and here for the UK.
False. If you're happy finding a job as a street sweeper or laborer, of course, it's possible to find work. Try telling that to an unemployed engineer.
To be sure, I'm no engineer, I've "only" got an undergraduate degree in communications under my belt and just a handful of work experiences that are actually in line with my career goals. Recently I learned from a communications assistant working for a large firm that she started off at the welcome desk and worked her way up from the inside.
Well, isn't that interesting.
So without wasting another moment, I'm trading my peaceful family life in a small country town and packing my bags for a pied-a-terre in Strasbourg in the (small) hope of finding work. Because, even if the Revenue of Active Solidarity gives me free train tickets, these are conditional, dispensed only if I am taking concrete steps. Once in town, the buses and trams are legion and passes are calculated according to the family budget (4.60 for me, instead of 45.00 Euros).
It still feels like a big sacrifice, I think constantly of my husband and two children who are back in the country, and I call them every day. Thankfully the prospects here don't give me much time to ruminate....
So 10 days have gone by since I arrived, and I still haven't seen a single friend from school, and only my sister knows that I haven't been to one party; 10 days spent writing and distributing my cover letters and CV, the former focused on communications and greatly improved, the latter detailing the reception work I already do on a volunteer basis.
However, during the last 10 days I've learned a lot of things:
- A little fearlessness doesn't hurt, and actually strengthens your application:
- Don't be satisfied with Unemployment Office advice concerning CVs:
- Stay humble:
So whether you have five or 25 years of experience, be proud of them without showing off!
Now, after 10 intensive days of searching, here I am, armed with a lot of good advice, an even better CV, but still no job.
Yes, I want to work. But no, finding a job isn't as simple as that. So, as the saying goes... never give up!
Annick didn't give up and we are happy to report that she has since found a job in her field.