Random Scribbles: Unemployment is the new cancer

[Random Scribbles are my occasional posts of half-formed thoughts, half-baked ideas, and off-the-cuff observations.]

Unemployment is the new cancer: nobody wants to talk about it.

I’ve posted several discussions to the LinkedIn group of my alma mater about the dire circumstances in which recent graduates find themselves in this post-Recession economy. Some of these posts have been essentially ignored, while others have elicited motivational-speaker type comments such as “it’s all at up you and your big beautiful brain” and “my degree has provided more dividends than I can ever imagine.” (actual quotes)

Few people want to have a serious discussion of the issue. Those who express any concerns are quickly shushed and shown the door. It’s impolite and we don’t want to talk about it, folks seem to say.

One of the hottest news items this week was Angelina Jolie’s New York Times piece on her double mastectomy. Cancer has definitely gone mainstream.

But there are still millions of people unemployed, and millions more doing work that they find unrewarding and not providing any room to grow. We have an entire generation who will be questioning their college degrees and wondering when career satisfaction will arrive. Why isn’t that topping the news?

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