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Examine the expectations and inferences underlying selected job positions. Consider timely topics in career preparation and the struggle for fulfilling employment. Analyze what could be improved in either situation. If this blog reminds you too much of work, then peruse my namesake blog for lighter fare.

Fuck UWM and all universities! UW-Milwaukee and their brethren are mediocre. Click banner ads on ClixSense instead; it's a better use of time than a college education in the UW System.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Waithood: Not only for the Middle East and North Africa

Lexicographers at The Middle East Youth Initiative have coined the term “waithood,” or waiting for adulthood, to refer to the period of unemployment and living with one’s parents encountered by many young adults, especially male university graduates. This situation starkly reminds me of my own lot: multi-skilled in writing, statistical calculations, graphical editing software, and several web markup languages, yet severely underemployed.

Context is the primary difference between their situation and mine: whereas most of their peers are underemployed, many of mine have somehow secured employment in their field, although there are a few in my network who have resigned to working two part-time dead-end jobs which might reward them with an assistant manager position if they don’t burn out after five years. Because I cannot vouch for my peers (especially when they are shy about disclosing their secrets to success and out-presenting their peers at job interviews), I’ll speak for myself.

At first unemployed for a year after graduation, I then ran half the operations of a pizza place on tipping wage and now work occasionally as a technical assistant when I find statistics-related opportunities. Such white-collar deals are always short-term gigs, of course -- and as people who’ve applied to full-time staff web developer positions will tell you, freelancing and brief stints of internship-style work do not constitute “corporate” experience no matter how long you’ve been doing it.

There seems to be no end to this experience abyss due to employers requiring experience in a comparable firm (“corporate experience”) before they’ll hire; and yet, those other firms require the same before they’ll hire. It’s freelancing for life! Maybe add a few more internships if you drop another load of money to enroll in yet another ultimately futile degree program. (Do you think the employers’ attitudes towards the job applicant will change just because of another degree? No way!)

This begs the question as to how anyone gets a corporate web developer position in the first place: freelancing and internships don’t count towards experience, but somewhere in the incumbent’s past, he or she accrued years of “corporate” web development experience before being hired to such a position. If anyone has insight on this, then please comment below.

Dec. 7, 2013 Update: I've since procured formal recognition for my prior three years as Market Research Analyst. I'm still one to hawk my own properties, however -- the opportunity cost is minimal.

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