Exactly two weeks ago after a year of unemployment, free labor, and underemployment there was finally a glimmer of hope for my career. I received an e-mail from a reputable e-marketing product company here in New York City. The e-mail sent to my g-mail account; created specifically for my resume, had expressed the HR department’s interest in interviewing me over the phone for a CRM (Consumer Relationship Management) position. They asked for my availability to discuss my background and asked if I had any questions about the opening. I responded cordially and rather promptly (30 minutes after receiving the message) and gave my open availability. Surprisingly I received an auto-response stating the rep was out of office and would not be back in until E.O.W. I contacted out to the other HR reps through a general contact address and finally received a response from my original contact at E.O.D., to which I responded thanking her.
A week passed from the initial contact, then I found myself at the end of the work week without a contact apologizing for the wait. So I did what any potential candidate would do after waiting, I e-mailed the representative and provided references, wishing on hope that it would make all the difference between another week living in purgatory or getting to wake up to start a new routine.
Now we’re at the end of week two and while I did not put all my eggs in one basket and applied to a few job openings, it really led me to a series of deep thoughts and questions. This economy is an employers dream come true and they have all the power. My generation, Generation Y or Millennials; as the trade papers are beginning to re-brand us as, are at a 25% unemployment or underemployment rate. We carry massive debt, with fluctuating interest rates, and the degrees we have attained are no more valuable than the .com stocks of the last century. In fact they could possibly become a substitute for toilet tissue. After coming to what we would all agree is a broadly accepted conclusion about the utility of “higher learning” in this “recession”, some questions arose from my experiences over the past year which are relevant to everyone effected by this economy.
- When this economic melt down is over will there be entry level jobs for the next generation of graduates or will they be competing for unpaid internships?
- Since every person in this country is a consumer, will the sour taste of rejection and poor business manners of Human Resource departments convert to poor business to business relationships, and micro boycotts of products and companies?
- Can social media act as a catalyst for the above actions as companies begin to expose themselves to the critique of the digital world?
- Will the actions of Human Resource departments become the new standard and how does this reflect upon the future of things like customer satisfaction and retention?