DENNIS SEID: Graduates, welcome to the rest of your life

My son graduated first grade on Thursday and I’m already worried about what his job prospects are.
He’s among hundreds of thousands of grads across the country moving to a new phase in their lives, anxious to see what’s next.
As parents, we, too, are anxious. Now we know what our parents went through.
Armed with degrees, certificates and other awards in hand, the Class of 2009 is about to get a cold dose of reality, if it hasn’t already.
If they’re headed to community college or a four-year college, they’ve got a little more time to absorb what others are discovering – jobs are a little tough to get these days.
Unemployment could be at 10 percent by the end of the year, experts say. The job market is filled with laid-off, highly qualified workers who have experience that new grads don’t.
Little wonder why parents across the country are a little worried. Their kids might be coming back home to roost.
And while there are signs of recovery, the economy still is in the middle of a recession, and businesses remain reluctant to part with their cash.
Thursday’s news that the number of continuing jobless claims moved closer to 7 million suggests that we still have a few more lumps to endure in the labor market.
Many economists think layoffs are declining, but the pace isn’t going as fast as they hoped. And with auto company shutdowns and auto dealer closings upcoming, the job market still is taking a beating.
If you’re headed to college still unsure what career to pursue, that’s OK. But don’t take too long.
The global economy has put more pressures on the job market. And technology has increased productivity, which means fewer people are needed.
Today’s graduates are going head-to-head against competitors from Baltimore, Birmingham, Beijing and Bangalore. These grads need a broad and deep education and they must be willing to think outside the box – and outside our borders.
The world that I grew up in has changed dramatically. The “hot jobs” 20 years ago aren’t so hot now.
The message to today’s graduates is this: Never stop trying to better yourself, through knowledge or experience. You can never learn enough.
Sounds simple enough, but many of us are guilty of settling for the ordinary. We should expect more of ourselves.
Whether in business or ordinary life, we shouldn’t expect to get a bailout.
All this is probably over the head of my graduate, the first-grader.
But for his future – and the future of our country – we need to push them to push themselves.

Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or dennis.seid@djournal.com.

 

NEMS Daily Journal