Brain Drain

The first time I got a job I was 16 years old and very nervous. I worked at a fast food restaurant and had no idea what to expect. I remember being anxious about everything and in hindsight, fast-food was the worst jog I had ever had but at the time I was so anxious about working I took the first thing I could get.

To me, working was one of the first “cool”things you do as an adult. As a teenager, it felt like my first big step towards being an independent, young adult. A lot of the people I knew got jobs as soon as they can and even became responsible for their own phone bills and car insurance.  Just like how driving a car is a big milestone as a teenager. In the U.S., there’s a big emphasis on working and making something out of yourself as soon as you can. Almost everything you do as a teenager in high school is linked to being able to get a good career after college. Your grades, your extracurriculars, job and volunteer experience, resume, what college you went to and  even your major are all scrutinised as to how useful it is in getting job. STEM as a field is one of the most popular fields to go in because of its demand in the job market, so as a result kids who are good at math seem to be more admired. The biggest stereotype for failure in the U.S. is the 25 year old who still lives with his parents and doesn’t have a job.  The U.S.  is often described as a land of opportunity where you can go from rags to riches if you work for it. We also have more of an emphasis in doing what you are passionate about and following your dreams.

Italy is different in that most of the employment comes from the friends and family you have. It looks as if that the majority of businesses here are small local, family chains. This may be why Italy as a whole is more traditional and streamlined in terms of what jobs you can do. It makes sense that if your family owned a shop, you are most likely going to have took on that shop s your future job. There’s not as big of a push to get into a prestigious university or be the most accomplished. This is interesting because at Koine we work with a lot of migrants who come to Italy to seek better economic opportunities and work. It’s interesting because to someone like me, Italy may seem limited in terms of opportunity but to these people they risk everything to get there. It’s similar to how immigrants came to America to look for a better life.

The ironic thing about this is that America seems to have the same problem as Italy in its unemployment rate.  Both countries are in a state of economic crisis. Just like what was mentioned in class, America also has a huge problem with a great number of college graduates not being able to find employment. We have an influx of people with university educations that end up working in blue collar jobs that they are overqualified for. Even with all of our resources, Americans struggle to find work and make salaries enough to support a family unless you’re a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. In a society where almost everyone can get an education, it’s becoming harder and harder to make yourself stand out to employers. This goes to show that even though our cultures are worlds apart, the problems we face globally are shared.

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