Free Labor

With unemployment at an all time high, students leap on an job opportunity, regardless of payment.
The image above is a cartoon. The title reads “John’s First Job”. On the left is a boy in his blue cap and gown, holding a diploma. It is evident that he has just graduated from high school because of the building in the background. The full title of the school is not given, but recognizing it as a high school graduation rather than a college graduation was likely the author’s intent. On the far right another student is walking by. A sharply dressed man has his hand on the boy’s shoulder and he is offering him an unpaid job. His exact position is unclear. You cannot tell if he is a professor or from an outside business. A nicely dressed woman stands behind them. Her clothes are outdated by today’s standards but they show wealth.
The economy is struggling today and many young adults have discovered that they have very few options. Even those who have high school degrees or even ones from universities are not necessarily better off than those who lack either. They may still be forced to do manual labor or perform menial tasks for minimum wage or even for free. Even internships can be hard to come by. The image above is mocking how absurd it is that many are willingly and joyfully accepting jobs, knowing they will not be paid. No one is genuinely happy that they are unpaid but many see it as the best way of getting their foot in the door. The part of the image I find most intriguing is the apparent wealth the family seems to have. It is unclear but it could be saying how a spoiled generation is unprepared for what they will face once they leave their parents and start living on their own.
Jobs are fiercely competitive so students try and build the best resume and make as many connections as possible. However, the lack of an employment guarantee can leave one wondering if taking on an unpaid internship is the best use of their time. Occasionally, the plans do come to fruition but there are an equal amount of disappointments. It is up to the individual to decide where to use the skills they have acquired.

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