In the mid-1980’s mobile phones were introduced by Motorola, Microsoft released the first version of Windows, Michael Jordan was named the NBA’s Rookie of the year, CD players were introduced and “The Simpsons” made their debut. In 1980, 100,413 people graduated from 65 Canadian universities.
By 2015 1 billion iPhones have been sold, Michael Jordan has retired and entered the FIBA Hall of Fame, Spotify has 20 million subscribers, Bart has not grown any older and there were 290,268 graduates from 195 Canadian universities.
In the 25 or so years since 1980 the number of universities grew by 200%, the number of graduates by 189% and the Canadian economy by 81% (in real terms). The growth in universities and graduates outstripped the growth in the economy by 133% to say nothing of the loss of jobs created by technological developments and retirement postponement by the “Baby Boom” generation.
University graduates in the 1980’s entered a robust economy, with some exceptions, with large companies aggressively hiring. Their strategy was “Let’s hire 12 and see who is still here in 5 years”. A mediocre resume and indifferent interviewing skills often resulted in multiple job offers.
The world has changed. Research by the Parliament Budget office in 2015 indicates that 56% of university grads below the age of 24 are underemployed (working in jobs that do not require and university degree) and that the underemployment rate falls to 40% for the 25 to 34-year-old cohort. Both trends have been increasing since the mid-1990’s.
The competition for entry-level jobs is intense. Companies report hundreds of on-line applications for even the lowest level roles. Job seekers submit dozens, if not hundreds, of on-line applications that disappear into a black hole. It is demoralizing to these talented young people.
Underemployment impacts every individual’s life and that of their family, in several ways. Financial hardship is the most obvious. Student debt becomes a difficult struggle to manage. According to a recent CIBC study, 66% of parents said they felt the financial impact of supporting their adult children.
Underemployment also creates emotional distress for youth and their parents. It contributes to an erosion of self-esteem which can become a downward spiral – failure to secure appropriate employment leads to depression, which leads to continued failure and so on.
Underemployment may also cause an erosion of skills (or the loss of opportunity to develop new ones) and hence reduce future employment opportunities. It is an extension of the “can’t get experience because you don’t have experience” conundrum.
Todays grads need to out perform their peers to secure a great career opportunity. There will be winners and there will be losers – some will get great jobs and others will be baristas but isn’t that the way life is? You outperformed your peers to become a C-level executive, partner or successful entrepreneur – to the victor go the spoils.
Finding a great job today requires a solid strategy executed at the highest level. Developing strategy is relatively easy – executing it is extremely difficult. Developing that strategy requires self- and market-knowledge, and excellent execution skills including a compelling resume and social media presence, strong interviewing sills and the ability to network effectively and capture the maximum value from “informational meetings”.
Unfortunately, most millennials have not had the opportunity to acquire those skills – the great jobs will go to those who have.
For help with creating a solid strategy to help you find a job, contact us at Launched today.