Struggles of a young Black Man & the Great Recession

Today’s post is actually an email that my brother who is a tad younger than me sent. Unemployment rates are high as hell and if you are Black its even worse. I thought what he wrote reflected the struggles that many are facing and in some ways captures the angst of many who were sold a bill of goods that their education would move them up the socio -economic ladder. Instead we have a growing group of indentured servants who are enslaved to student loans that won’t be paid off till they retire or worse yet are canceled upon their death. The Great Recession is restructuring America in ways that we won’t fully understand for years to come, as the middle class shrinks and we have a growing number of poor folks in this country.

Anyway here are my brother’s words:

What do you do when you do everything you were told to do
and get no result?
What happens when you have a back up of a back up and yet still struggle?

No one can plan for the likes of the recession, especially the one we have had
but as a person that is a hair under 30, I have been working since 16, I expected more.
Much more!

Education? Check! I have been blessed to have a Bachelors in Architecture, and a Masters
in Real Estate. How ironic I have education in two areas that are severely affected by this
nasty recession.

Networking? Check! I have been working in trade association and organizations for over 10 years
to better enhance myself, knowing that just a degree is not enough to be armed with in this
war for success and financial security

Job hunting? Check! I have sent out hundreds of resumes! I have followed up. I have worked with
these fly-by-night companies that say they can enhance your resume, and no call backs.
Knowing ones self worth, its quite depressing to ask for a calculated living wage from potential employers, and have people and employers
say that’s too much? At what point does it become common sense that people need to live amongst HR managers, upper
management, and C-suite executives?
What is also sad is having a masters, and incurring all this debt for the sake of the financial prosperity
has gotten me nothing but harassing calls from Sallie Mae, and the frustrating of not being able to pay
but only defer, defer defer.

What is one to do? Everyday I dedicate hours to calling firms back, sending resumes, tapping my network but
to no avail. Nothing is more frustrating then to find out that your education has made you “overqualified” which
a lot of times now translates to, “Yeah you are probably good, but you cost too much and the C-level execs dont want
you cutting into their 6-7 figure bonuses for you”
Lack of faith in corporate America makes one quite hesitant in believing in any form of job security these days.  However
try explaining that to people who don’t have degrees or family members who assume that since you have multiple degrees
you must be not applying yourself.

Tried entrepreneurship? Check.. By necessity of survival, and trying to keep a roof over my head, I have been pushing to get
my company off the ground. Spending countless hours doing research on business related matters, as well as pumping out
product for the clients I scramble to get, but its not enough! To be in the arts right now is to be a stranded in the middle of the
ocean, during a hurricane with no raft! Any and everything one can do to improve themselves, i have tried and retried again and again.
Left feeling like Peter in the boat with Jesus, proverbially speaking, I have been fishing all night! Praying without cease, I am
wondering, when and where will I find my other side of the boat, to find my abundance?

Even now, I could go on and further elaborate, but I wont.. because I want this story to be heard, as well as continue to job hunt as my rent
is already past due, so I have to get back to fishing!

5 Comments
  1. March 16, 2010
  2. March 17, 2010
  3. March 17, 2010
    • March 17, 2010
  4. March 18, 2010

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