What I learned When Entering The Real World
The job market is awful, from every angle imaginable. Unless you have connections coming out of wazoo or a trust fund to fall back on, it’s terrifying.
The first time I graduated I was excited to get out into the world, I was tired of school and I was over being broke. I quickly realized that the working world wasn’t easy to navigate through, and I had many broke years ahead of me.
The second time I graduated, was in 2020. So, I was off to a rough start, to begin with. I was applying to everything that I saw and heard back from nothing. I couldn’t even get volunteer positions. I became really resentful of everything, I would defeatedly yell “ I’m not even qualified to volunteer?? Are you kidding me!!”, at least once a week.
It made me really open my eyes to the fact that we are guaranteed nothing, even with a degree and I needed to change my mindset.
The first little pep talk I had to have with myself is that, even though I was sending my resume out to everyone and getting nothing back, doesn’t mean I didn’t have value.
You Are More Than What Is On Your Resume.
Your whole identity can’t fit on a couple of pages or be squeezed into a cover letter.
It can be overwhelming when you see all the people, you’re competing with for jobs having a more impressive resume. They have connections and internships under their belt, that give them an edge over their competition. Or they just were more focused on what they wanted and it’s paying off for them. It's easy to be bitter but everyone is going to use every resource they have and so should you.
Sometimes this resource isn’t resume-friendly. Like having an ex-boyfriend who was a drug dealer could show you how to master the art of discreet marketing, it’s all about those transferrable skills. Even if you’re the only one who can know where they came from.
Don’t get me wrong have a solid resume is important, it’s what gets into the door. But your experiences, mistakes, unique qualities also matter and will benefit you in the long run. In a world where your success equates with your value, you need to be self-aware enough to know that's not true.
The takeaway here is: Not every strength of yours is going to be on your resume, and someone else having a better resume than you doesn’t mean they are superior.
Sometimes You Need To Just Work For Money.
I had to come to terms with the fact that not everything goes as planned, and that I had more time to figure it out than I thought. Taking a job that isn’t what you wanted or what you went to school for is okay. It’s okay to do it if you have your reasons behind it, a big reason being the money.
Sometimes you need to take a job just to pay bills and afford to eat. Unfortunately, we don’t all come from money. If you need to take a job for money or take time off of school to make money that’s your call.
I picked a field of work where even the people at the top are still making pennies, compared to other industries. I understood this going into it, but sometimes money has to become the bigger priority.
It may be a controversial reason, as most would say it will kill your soul. I probably have said this in the past. But we live in a society where money is necessary for survival, when you are more established and have less debt, for sure go for your passion. Until then, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Explore Your Other Passions
There are going to be people who have tunnel vision for what they want, and not want anything else. This clarity works for them, but if you’re someone who has multiple passions it’s good to explore them. You never know what inspiration you’ll find.
Contradicting my last point, sometimes you need to take risks that won't make you any money. Like starting a side hustle that may or may not pan out for you in the future. Sometimes it looks like you are drowning when you are just trying new things.
For me, it was hard to look at the time and money I put into building a certain career trajectory only to find out it wasn’t making me happy. I was fighting to work in a field that didn’t even want me, so it made me change my direction. I realized there were so many other ways that I could use my skills, in a more creative way.
Technology and social media have opened so many doors, sometimes you just need to be clever. You have the opportunity to essentially create your own job.
Knowledge Is Knowledge
Sometimes you need to let go of the pressure to find work in the field you went to school for because it might be holding you back. I know so many people who have found semi-related work to their degree and some who completely went rogue.
The knowledge and experience you got from getting your degree will not go to waste if you don’t follow the career path you intended to. The best part is that you can switch it up later — you are not super glued to a job or industry. Even if you are not using your degree now, doesn’t mean you won’t get a chance to dust it off later and put it to use.
In the end, you can do whatever you want. You don’t have to box yourself into only working in your given field. I use my degree every day in way that have nothing to do with my job performance. Your success and more importantly your happiness could be waiting for you somewhere else.