What This Means To You

Let’s say that some time in the near future, you graduate from college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. If trends continue, according to the US Department of Labor, that would make you one of more than 400,000 individuals graduating from college the very same year with the very same degree.  There are nowhere near that many jobs available in that field.

Therefore, each of these individuals will be your competition in the job market, as will any of the graduates from prior years who are still seeking employment. Similarly competitive numbers impact individuals with English, Communications, and other non-science/non-math majors.

But you worked hard in college, did well in your studies, and are an excellent writer, so although you were unable to find a full-time job at a large company, which was your goal, you found part-time employment along the way with a variety of businesses.

Three years after graduation, you are working for three companies in the Gig Economy. One company is paying you to write a monthly shareholders newsletter, a non-profit organization has given you a contract to write four grant applications a year for the next three years, and you are working with a team from a large corporation to revise its website content. Together those three positions provide you with a comfortable income in the field in which you wanted to work.

As a self-employed business person, you are your own boss, but being the boss is not easy. You have to sell yourself and your skills every day. You have had to do your own marketing, constantly update your résumé and work profiles, contract review, and bookkeeping. You have to pay for your own healthcare and start your own retirement account, but you seem to be doing better than many young adults your age.

Thanks to your professional network, you finally have a lead on a full-time position (with benefits), and you have already scheduled your first telephone interview and pre-employment tests with that business. You hope to make this position your permanent job.

But permanent jobs are not really permanent. In fact, job market experts tell us that the job you want will provide you with employment for an average of three years. After that, you will need to start the self-employment/job search cycle over again.

BUT, you have used your main hard skill (proficiency in English) to keep yourself employed in a changing world. You have also used your soft skills to:

  • sell yourself and promote your ability to help various businesses in a variety of contexts,
  • do your own bookkeeping; track payments and expenses, pay taxes, and defer income for retirement,
  • work as a part of a team with all kinds of people working in different businesses that have different corporate cultures,
  • listen carefully to what your customer wants and figure out how to deliver to specification, error-free and on-time,
  • keep your performance-based résumé up-to-date and enhance it monthly with your growing experience base, and
  • and build a professional network that helps you gain enough traction to get that full-time job you have always wanted.

Your success may look a lot different than the kinds of success that defined your parents and grandparents, but you have outpaced many of your closest friends.




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