It is now 2012 and the job market still has not recovered from 2008/2009, which continues to hurt the Class of 2012 as well as about the 6 previous classes. You need experience but, you can’t get a job without it. It’s a broken record and employers continue to play this a-track over and over. Sorry but, you don’t have this and that. So if you do manage to reach out, close your eyes, and magically scoop up employment? You’re lucky.
I cannot tell you how many times within the last year and a half I have been called “lucky.” Prior to graduation when I asked if I had plans after college, I said “Yes, I have a job and I start in June.” The most certain reply? “Oh, that’s great Nicole… You’re so lucky the job market is tough out there.” Not one time was I ever told, “I’m sure you worked hard for that Nicole, great job. You’re a winner.” Employment isn’t just a handout like some other things in our society. It’s earned.
My dad is a testament to this, growing up in a small town of about 1000 people and never really having the thought that one day he could leave and be somebody. A few years ago we were eating dinner at my grandmother’s house and she said to him, “Hal, you know what? Look where you are now, you’re a very lucky man.” The worst thing in the dictionary my father could be called… is lucky. He corrected my grandma and said, “No Mom, I just found a way out with work ethic.” No one in my dad’s family had gone to college, in fact, he didn’t go to college right after high school. Until little me came along 10 years later. There I am a new born, waving my hand and saying, “Hey dad, look over here!” My dad went to night school for 5 years, earning his Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in that time frame. He applied for a job in close proximity to graduating and was the only individual with a college degree, guess who got the job? My dad. Now do you call that luck? I surely hope not.
Anytime I hear, “Nicole, you’re lucky.” I smile and nod but, cringe on the inside. There are jobs out there. There might not be as many as there once was, but they’re there. Employers might need more sound skill sets, but the jobs are there. The question is, are you going to be hungry enough to be the 1 out of 10 candidates chosen now, rather than the 8 out of 10 a decade ago? Employers are doing more with less.
Don’t be lucky, be a winner.