This originally appeared in the 2009 edition of The Idler.
If you believe everything that has been written about me in the last few months, I should be easy to spot. The horrific scars of recession cover my body. I stumble from job centre to pub, weeping over my catastrophic debts and futile attempts to secure that coveted shelf-stacking job. I am a “victim”, a “casualty” and will be “a constant in the dole queue”.
Less hysterically, I am simply graduating from University in June. Born in 1988, I am a child of the insatiable greed of the 30 year capitalist party that Thatcher started, but now that I’m old enough to join in, the lights have been switched off and everyone has gone home. It’s all the worse because I did everything right, getting proper qualifications and doing internships. I have even been subjected to ghastly “transferable skills” seminars in order to shape my CV into the perfect package of employability. So do I feel downcast and wretched, cursing society for its faceless betrayal of what I was assured would be a bright future? Not especially. It doesn’t surprise me that my friends and peers in the class of 2009 got chewed up and spat out by our economy, but now that the inevitable has happened, I want to explain what the world of the imminent graduate looks like, and to explore what will it mean to have so many overqualified and unemployed young people hanging around.