Underemployment is a real thing. It can be frustrating and isolating, and the longer it continues, the more discouraging and frightening it can be. Are you working part-time when you want and need a full-time job, or are you working at a job that doesn’t allow you to use your skills, education and experience? Are you worried that you’ll never find a place in the career you prepared for? Does this sound like you?
Unfortunately, underemployment is fairly common. Even though Central Indiana and the rest of the nation have been emerging from the depths of the Great Recession, there are people who have unique hurdles in re-entering the workforce or securing a career that matches their skill level. There are still too many people forced to settle for a job – not a career.
Here are some of the top reasons so many people are finding themselves in a job below their skill and education level. Maybe one of these reasons is true for you:
- The Great Recession that began in 2008 led to a long list of companies that downsized, filed for bankruptcy or otherwise floundered, resulting in an exponentially long list of unemployed workers flooding the job market. In many cases, those workers who lost their job in the recession were forced to take jobs for which they were overqualified.
- Some jobs have disappeared or changed dramatically because of advances in technology or a change in market demand. You might have loved the job you once had, but technology doesn’t move backward. Getting back to your previous level of success may mean looking at and preparing for a new career track.
- New college graduates are competing with experienced workers for open positions, creating a buyer’s market for employers. Some recent college graduates also may have the more relevant and updated skills needed by today’s employers.
- While the job market for 2016 college graduates may be much improved over what graduates faced last year, landing a career in their chosen fields won’t necessarily be a breeze. Today’s graduates are competing against 2015 graduates and those who graduated a few years ago who couldn’t find careers right out of school and who are counted as the underemployed. A great article on CNBC outlines some of those challenges.
- Some people wound up underemployed for personal reasons. They may have left the workforce to care for an aged or ill family member, or to recover from an acute illness of their own. Others may have taken time off to rear a family and found a very different job market, seeking very different skills when they returned.
Fortunately for the underemployed in Indianapolis and the surrounding communities, Employ Up is a free resource that will work with the underemployed to help eliminate the barriers to their return to a challenging, rewarding, and enjoyable job by providing career coaching, skills updating and training, and more.
Get more details about Employ Up and our weekly Employ Up Introduction Events at 3-4 p.m. each Monday here.
By Wayne Williams, CPRW