My older son has a degree from OU, but it is in fine art. He was underemployed for over a year and now unemployed almost all of this year. He has many skills including effective computer skills, communicates well in person and in writing, can solve problems and so on and so on. However, he is receiving no call backs on applications. Of course, as his mother, I see his potential. Today, I am trying to be objective. Here in OK, we are losing college graduates to other states which value them whereas OK does not.
OK employers need to look at the candidates they have applying for jobs and see how those candidates could fit into the organization. As a community college professor, I tell my students that employers are seeking employees who can communicate, think, problem-solve, and work with others. I think I am telling them untruths according to what my son is encountering in his seeking work.
Apparently, OU cares little for its graduates too; once they are gone and no longer a source of income, OU washes its hands of the graduate. Surely, such a large and prestigious organization could do more to help its graduates in the job market, and particularly, OU could influence employers to keep graduates in the state. The brain drain is real.
My husband and I have no contacts in the business world, so we cannot ask for favors or even ask just that our son receive an interview. The rest would be up to him, of course, to make a good impression and show that he would be the right employee for a job. He can do that! But he needs the first opportunity. How does he get that?
Where are the jobs? OK’s economy is on the upturn with fewer requests for unemployment according to recent news casts. However, I wonder if the fewer applications for unemployment simply reflect those who have given up. My son was denied unemployment in an over-the-phone interview with his former boss, the unemployment counselor, and him. The former boss was untruthful in her description of my son’s work ethic, but the unemployment counselor heard only what the former boss said. Of course, the former boss was protecting the employer’s bottom line; therefore, my son gets nothing. First, a telephone interview for such an important benefit is ridiculous because the counselor cannot see body language or see the people’s faces. Second, everything is in the employer’s favor. The employer saves money by not having to pay the unemployment. Therefore, the former boss did her best to make my son look like a poor employee when that is far from the truth.
I know I am his mother and would be expected to take his side. However, he was a good employee. The former boss is the one who hired him, but perhaps she resented the fact that he has a college degree and she does not. Perhaps she is the example of the Peter Principle: risen to the level above her competence. At any rate, I hope she sleeps well at night after firing a useful, good employee and then lying about his work ethic to deny him benefits while she searches for another job.
I only hope the tide turns soon and that a job opens up for him.