You don’t have to tell the average person that the job market out there is hellish. One TikTok creator got vulnerable about her experience in a new viral video, and viewers felt her pain.
Creator Sarah (@sarsh._) captioned the video, “My quarter life crisis,” and it has almost 548,000 views and 63,000 likes.
@sarsh._ My quarter life crisis #jobsearch #jobhunting #jobmarket #recruiter #worktiktok #postgrad #postgradlife #breakdown #quarterlifecrises ♬ original sound – Sarsh 🛸
In the video, Sarah speaks directly to the camera, and she’s in tears.
“The job market is so brutal, and these recruiters, man, they’re not making it any less hard,” she says.
The creator continues, “I just had a recruiter ask me about my experience and I said, ‘I don’t have any.’ She was like, ‘And you’ve been graduated from college for how long?’”
Sarah said in the video that she’s been out of college for two years and can’t get a job in her desired field. She’s stuck in a horrible catch-22, she said: She can’t get experience in the industry because no one will hire her … because she doesn’t have enough experience. This, despite job postings being labeled entry level and also not paying a livable wage.
“I just want someone to give me a chance,” she said, choking up.
Sarah summed it up: “Come on man, what am I supposed to do?”
In an interview via TikTok direct message, Sarsh clarified to the Daily Dot that she does indeed have eight years of job experience, and she’s currently employed in the tech sector as an administrative assistant. (She also shared more context about her situation in a subsequent TikTok.)
“I was so upset in this video because none of (my experience) is industry specific to marketing, that’s why I can’t make the jump,” she told the Daily Dot.
Sarah said that she shared the video because the job hunt in this market is so demoralizing, and “part of me wondered if maybe there actually was just something wrong with me.”
The creator told the Daily Dot, “The response has been overwhelmingly sympathetic and helpful. Obviously some people are rude and assume because I’m a ‘lazy person from a soft generation’ who has never worked a day in her life, which is so not true, and they think they can bully me for it. Other than that, I’ve gained a lot of resources, support, ideas, and ultimately a community from it.”
Viewers were definitely supportive in the video’s comments, and they understood the creator’s struggle.
“I just saw a job on indeed offering $19/hr and required a MASTERS DEGREE. The job market is so unstable rn,” one person commented.
“Also the pandemic???? It’s like these recruiters forgot about that,” another commented.
“Everyone is hiring but they don’t hire anyone,” one comment read.
“Girl I’m with you. Every entry level job I apply for turns me down because I ‘don’t have enough experience,’” another comment read.
“We’re all 22-30 and just now learning that the plan our parents gave us was meant for their time — not ours,” a commenter offered.
“Girl I’ve been out of school since December 2020 and I can’t get an interview. It’s not you, it’s generation wide,” one commenter wrote.
“After all my degrees I can’t get an entry level job.. I’ve applied for retail and even they ghosted me. I’m embarrassed and discouraged,” another person commented.
Some commenters offered advice, as Sarah said.
“If possible, try to use things you’ve worked on in college as experience. Rework them into individual responsibilities with duties,” one person commented.
“Sign up for 1 class at your local community college. Now you’re a ‘student’ and can apply for student internships in your field!” another person commented.
“Network and use your school resources- they have career counselors for their alumni. It’s manageable, keep the faith!” one viewer chimed in.
“You don’t have direct but you always have INDIRECT experience to share so use that. Like school projects you accomplished. Works for me all the time,” another wrote.
There are plenty of career advice resources online for situations like this, including from Indeed, which recommends things like networking and emphasizing “soft skills.”
And this isn’t just in people’s heads. According to a 2021 LinkedIn analysis, there’s an entry-level mirage, and employers and job-seekers have different definitions of “entry level” these days.
Across a 45-month span, “employers asked for at least three years of relevant work experience on 35% of their postings. That rate dipped briefly to 30% in June 2020, when labor markets were in freefall. It’s higher now, though, at 38.4%,” according to LinkedIn.