Jack Simpson: There's gold at the end of the rainbow -- if you work for it



There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow -- if you work for it

How many young people do you know who have college degrees and have no jobs? I expect each of us knows someone facing a bleak future because of no permanent employment and no benefits.

Only about one in six members of this generation is working full time. Three out of five have moved back in with their parents. Many went to college and have degrees they cannot sell in the marketplace. They need more training to achieve success in the business world.

Some got these degrees by borrowing money and now must pay off debt. Without a good job, this is a real burden. No doubt about it. Today's young people are struggling and their children will be called upon tomorrow to pay off today's deficit.

Recent graduates are sending in resume after resume awaiting a call from a prospective employer. The call never comes. Perhaps while waiting, they should volunteer or serve an internship.

Many of these young people expect to start at the top and are reluctant to flip burgers just for some kind of paycheck. Even this work provides experience and social contacts. Any work keeps boredom, vice and need at bay. Any job in this economy can be a plus, but some do not see it this way. In work, one may find dignity.

These individuals want a job immediately that leads to a comfortable life, gives them an ability to buy a home and raise a family. They haven't time to start at the bottom and work up.

Studies show the best jobs that provide faster advancement are found in education, engineering, computer science, health care and business. High school graduates may have a harder time finding employment than a person with a bachelor's or advanced degree. A degree in itself still might not be marketable in today's economy. What kind of degree is it? Some skill and experience will help the job-seeker regardless of where obtained. Instead of sitting around awaiting a call, job seekers would be wise to look for work of some kind even if beneath them. Gain skills, get experience, work up to something better. Staying busy and meeting people is a plus.

One unemployed fellow we know got tired of waiting for the world to recognize his abilities. He started his own lawn care business and now has more yards to cut than he can handle alone. He has hired others to help him. He trims trees and bushes, cleans up yards and gutters, sells and puts out pine straw in gardens. This man hustles and earns a good living for his family. He has learned to run his own business and is preparing for the future in his career field. One day his abilities will gain wider recognition. He is the kind of individual employers like to hire. He is energetic, strong and forcible. He has vim and vigor. Actually, he believes there may be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if you go looking for it.

Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author, and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday.