The job opportunities of a few years ago are gone and never returning.
Gone are the days where a degree and nice résumé are able to consistently result in job offers. Advanced degrees, experience, and a nice haircut won’t even save you.
You know this already, though.
I graduated from college at a time when a smile and the ability to tie a tie reasonably well could land you an interview.
Some of my friends opted to stay in school for two more years to get their Master’s degree. Many of them missed the market and have had a hard time finding the type of work they deserve.
One of the things that bothered me most when I worked for Accenture is the inherent unfairness that I perceived: much of the work I did could have been done by my sister who was in high school at the time. Simple Excel trudging…but I had the shiny IT degree.
I have friends who chose to get degrees in English Literature and African-American Studies (yes, law school was a part of the plan for them…), and they would have been much better consultants than I was.
They literally could have shadowed me for two weeks, learned the job (in many cases), and replaced me without issue.
But we all know that Corporate America doesn’t work like that. Let me digress.
The tools of today (and tomorrow) are storytelling, drive, initiative, and giving a damn.
Employers (big corporations, small businesses, startups, etc.) want you to have an opinion as well. A point of view on something, in your field, instead of being a blank slate on which to absorb a bland “corporate culture.”
It’s time to usher in the new way of thinking, and I’d love to see more job seekers teaching employers what they need, rather than the other way around.