23 July 2010

Recessing: Try India

And we learn from the young. Travels and Investigations has several topics but the central piece is the author's reason for living in India. With no job prospects in the U.S., the new college grad returned to the site of his semester abroad and found room and board provided for work as a translator and copyeditor. He lives on about $10 cash per week, less than his family would spend on him if he were still in the states, job-seeking.

Within my circle, I regularly point to The Sociologist's offspring, who made similar travels on next-to-zero dollars when jobs were not plentiful when they graduated college. A relative went to Americorps after a lay-off. And another relative is taking a leap of faith in leaving a frustrating job even if it means taking a so-called "lesser" position in the same field. These are the decisions of young people who look around, wonder if there's a better way to spend their day, and then strike out on a new adventure.

I wouldn't call the process opting-out (exactly) but it does require an understanding that the individual cannot control societal circumstances. We humans have a tendency to take responsibility for tough times. The lay-off is experienced as personal failure. The lack of job offers represents not being good enough. It doesn't take much observation to realize that the job market is more than just difficult, and that the individual job-seeker is not responsible for the mess. But when you're the unemployed one, it can be hard to get to that realization.

As the economic downturn has played out, more of the unemployed are getting the message. Trying harder won't produce a job. Every other job applicant is trying harder, too. That leads to other realizations and lots of depression, of course. But we can appreciate the young (and probably some old, too) taking advantage of their mobile opportunities. Not a bad way to spend the Great Recession.

© 2010 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (http://www.marybold.com/, http://www.boldproductions.com/, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

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