Economy / Ian Werrett

Talent in Waiting: The Phoenix Generation

The genius cleaner from ‘Good Will Hunting’ – Economics not psychology made this a reality.

The double dip recession has left a generation of young adults who know that they are lucky if they manage to find minimum wage work after graduating from some of the most prestigious Universities in the world. Some of the most innovative minds have been silenced and some of the most skilled workers robbed of their tools. Personally I left the country after I graduated and worked my way up to a management position in my chosen profession, now I am back in the UK and after months of searching have finally got a trial shift for a part-time minimum wage job.

It does feel as though my career, as well as those of countless numbers of my peers, has been flushed down the drain. I know that if I want to get my career back on track my best bet would be to buy a plane ticket, but I want a career in my home country! And I deserve one! I know people with Masters Degrees who cannot find even entry-level work. Some of the most intelligent, gifted, qualified and hard working people I have ever met are now pouring coffee, cleaning toilets or simply using all their effort to fill in job application after job application.

But from this temporal career block comes new opportunities. If we wait for the economy to recover, or for an employer to give us a chance, we may have to face years more of career suicide. Sadly we need to swallow our pride and take any job we can get, if you have a Masters Degree and can only get work pouring coffee, it’s probably best you take it now. Then use all of that time outside of work to volunteer in new areas or start your own venture; surely there has never been a better time to look for voluntary help. Send off speculative emails for opportunities you would never dream of. You have been spending hours filling out countless rejected job applications, you may as well throw one or two dream laden enquiries out. You never know.

When the economy does recover, those who kept pushing away and trying new things throughout the downturn will reap the rewards and finally get the jobs they deserve. We will be the ones who will fear being in the same situation again so much we will out pace the older generation and we will have the perseverance to keep going, outlasting the next generation. We will contribute some of the most innovative ideas and truest work ethics the world has seen. We will be the phoenix generation who will rise from the ashes and saw the heights of human innovation, application and perseverance.

Some of the greatest professional and artistic potential the planet has ever held is being kept under wraps by the downturn. When the economy recovers and the lid is lifted we will see a floury is excellence provided by the generation who refuse to be forgotten or denied their equal chance to perform.

Ian Werrett

DO-IT – Volunteering Made Easy

BBC NEWS – Start-up loans scheme to help young people launched

THE GUARDIAN – Starting your own business: The new young entrepreneurs

TALK BUSINESS MAGAZINE – More young people starting a business instead of going to university

Interact UK –


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