Unemployment: A Reminder of My Past, A Risk for My Future

by Mark Wong on July 29, 2010 · 1 comment

in Career

I read an article this week on MSNBC called “Gen Y: No jobs, lots of loans, grim future” and it two effects on me:  First, it gave me chills by reminding me how depressing it was to be unemployed.  And secondly, it made me thankful for the job I currently have.

It was only a little more than a year ago that I was collecting checks from the government because I had no income of my own.  Now, I know my unemployment story is a bit brighter than others – I was only technically unemployed for about a month because I eventually started doing my own consulting work.  I was, however, dropped from my group plan and had to work really hard to make my COBRA payments.  I was also fairly ill at the time, and this only put more pressure on me to get on a group health insurance plan.

The MSNBC article highlighted the story of one man in Denver, who spent over $100,000 on his undergraduate degree and his MBA.  He’s now currently still looking for a job.  In one of his attempts to find a job just to get by, he was told that he was overqualified and should take both of his degrees off his resume.  He responded by saying,

“It’s a personal thing for a couple of us and a bit prideful, but the idea we just spent five years – and a hundred thousand dollars for some of us – obtaining two degrees, to go ahead and wipe that right back off our resume in hopes of getting a $12-an-hour job at Starbucks would really be depressing.”

This was somewhat profound for me since I will be taking the same risk when I go to business school.  Given, I’ll probably only go if I get into a top tier school and I probably have stronger than average work experience, I still worry about being put in that situation:

Having tons of student loan debt and no job to show for it.

The potential negative outcomes of getting an MBA are definitely scary and very real.  Despite all this worry, my resolve to apply this fall is still unwaivering.  I know I have to take this risk if I ever want to be happy with my career.  As JFK once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

Photo Credit: jeremy.wilburn

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

FranklinNo Gravatar July 30, 2010 at 2:12 am

Yeah the economy is still not doing so well and I know a lot of people that have been in and out of work for several years now. I think that an MBA is great though as it gives you a competitive edge that you’ll definitely need against a lot of other applicants for specific job openings. Sure, it’ll cost a lot of money but there’s a good ROI regardless of how bad the economy is.

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