If you are about to embark on the journey of graduating from a four year academic program and finding a job thereafter, you are probably wondering what will come next and how you will get there.
First off, you know that torturous feeling of fear? Fear that something might not go by plan, more specifically fear that you may not be able to score a fantastic job offer upon graduation? “All this hard work, and for what….” your mind starts to wonder. It’s truly fear of the unknown.
I experienced it first hand…along with the feeling of being left behind. Behind on my career path. I began to question my life choices and everything I’ve done up to that moment. I started to imagine different past scenarios and how they might have played out for me in the future. Saying “would” and “should” have, causing myself a great deal of anxiety that later turns out was completely unnecessary!!
It didn’t help that I had just gotten married and was moving to a different state (*without any jobs lined up*), that is much more expensive than where I was residing at the time! One thing I will say is that it was surprisingly easy to get regular jobs and for reputable companies too. The difficult part was getting a job that is beyond my work experience up to this point. I went out into the world, with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management and over 4 years of working customer service in restaurants. I applied for over 100 clerical positions, and received nearly 0 responses (aside from the occassional rejection email letter).
Ok, there was one unsuccessful interview (which was shocking because the interview went great, but whatever, their loss.) Then there was a job offer as a Human Resources Administrator which I accepted but then the whole thing fell through the cracks when the company wasn’t able to place me in that department at the time. I felt stranded in a competitve job market.
This emotional hardship continued on for nearly two months. I almost gave up….No, I did actually give up on myself mentally. But ONLY FOR A DAY!!! I have to say, the time spent not believing in myself was the worst 24 hours, EVER! Once I realized how miserable I was making myself through my own thoughts, I decided that I couldn’t have been more wrong….So I analyzed my situation, and reached the conclusion that I WILL NOT GIVE UP ON MYSELF EVER AGAIN! I will keep looking for a job that will make me feel worthy. Worthy of my degree and my abilities. A “feel good” job.
And it worked…believing in myself made all the difference. I found a great entry-level job with an amazing company that offers many opportunities for growth! What more can a college graduate ask for? I get to work Mon.- Fri., 9-5, in an office environment where customer service is conducted but NOT to the point where it exhausts your soul to its very core! And dare I mention that I accrue paid vacation time, along with paid holidays, and an amazing starting rate of pay?! A company that is willing to invest in my own development through valuable training is a company that has earned my loyalty forever! I won’t reveal the specifics about my employer, but I will say that this is far better than what I was imagining for myself in the first place!
But what did I really do before starting this exciting new chapter of my professional career? I needed income to survive after all….
So I picked up two retail jobs! One was as a Sales Associate at Pier 1 Imports, the other a Guest Services Attendant at Target. As pictured on my featured image, I wasn’t too happy at either one. This doesn’t mean that they weren’t good places to work, far from it! I would’ve been happy to complete my seasonal employment had I not been offered far better benefits! In fact, coming from a background in restaurants, retail was like a vacation to me! (But a dangerous one because it reinforced me to shop more than I do normally.) What was wrong then with these perfectly nice and easy-going jobs? Nothing really, BUT to me personally it was the fact that they hired me for my experience as a waitress over that as a graduate from a university. My new job definately picked me out for my customer service experience but my degree also played a role in the selection process and potential promotions! I don’t perceive myself as overly qualified or above working the other two sales jobs. I learned new things from both and any knowledge gained is invaluable! And although I didn’t stay long enough at either of the two jobs to call myself an expert, I acquired new skills that can help me in my personal as well as professional life.
To sum up, NEVER STOP BELIEVING IN YOURSELF! If you put out the effort and positivity into the universe, the universe will reward you in ways you never imagined! Be open and be willing, and trust that fate has a place for you in this strange chaos we call life….