No one said post-grad life would be easy, but it took some time for reality to hit me after graduating. I’m stuck tightly between a rock and a hard place with no means to escape. No one can save or help me other than myself, and the chances of that? Zero to none. Unless someone, perhaps, has some sort of powerful potion that can magically release me.
Never did I imagine that I’d be still looking for a position in my field so long after graduating college. Of course, I didn’t expect one to just fall into my lap; because, well, life just doesn’t work that way. Clearly. But it’s been a year. One long, overbearing, intolerable and difficult year of contacting companies, sending out résumés and networking. According to my mentor(s), conventional just doesn’t work these days. If it has for you? Well, more power to you then.
Others tell me in due time. But when exactly is it going to be my time? Am I selfish to want it nowmore than ever? Their words have meaning, but at some point, they gravitate from one ear and out the other. I’m listening, I understand, but all I hear are non-stop clichés. It just seems way too easy, you know? It’s way easier said than done. Post grad life? Welcome to the real world–a bitch that plays no games or offers no pity, especially in New York City.
Constant rejection doesn’t help at all either.
Hear me out: Speed dating is all about putting your best foot forward in hopes of meeting a man (or a woman depending on your preference) who you could potentially have some sort of future (or quickie depending on your intentions) with, right? You put your best out there and feel the other person out in the few minutes allowed and either communication ends there or it begins and lays the slate for new opportunities. Well, that’s a lot like the real world in my opinion and landing a job fresh out college. You send out résumés and/or go on interviews to put your best foot forth and either they like you or they don’t. It’s simple, really.
Here I am. A young 20-something with drive, ambition, experience and a degree who hasn’t landed a job in her field just yet. Let me guess, you’re thinking either: “You’re not trying hard enough” or “No one’s hiring in this economy,” right?
Well, for one, I am trying. Beyond my limits which as a result is testing my ability to remain sane. At this point my sanity is holding on for dear life on a short leash. As for the economy? That’s the easy way out. It’s way too easy to blame not being able to land an opportunity due to the shit hole a certain predecessor of the 44th President got us into.
I’ve come to find that many companies are more willing to hire an intern than an employee. Sure, experience is worth it. Whether you have or had a good (or bad) internship, it’s always a learning experience, so cherish it. But what about an actual position? I’ve seen many companies bring in a boat load of interns season after season, yet even those select few who shine and add value to the company aren’t hired due to a lack of positions. The only way in is if someone on the inside quits, retires or is fired. Seems as though the only way in is to see someone out. Then again, there is that rare chance that the company expands or creates new positions.
I’ve had critics who tell me maybe I’ve chosen the wrong field(s) suggesting that I should have gone or should go into the medical field or law. That just isn’t me.
For the record, my fields are public relations and marketing with experience in journalism. Needless to say, the competition is very real. I’m competing with thousands, and with every graduating class, that number grows higher. Yet, giving up and high tailing to medicine or law with my tail between my legs is not something my heart desires.
The deeper I get into it and the harder I try, the more I feel that the industries I’m attempting to land an opportunity (including health benefits, dental benefits and a sick 401K, if I’m lucky) in, the more I feel it’s all some big secret society. And if you let my mentors and a select number of industry vets I’ve interview tell it, to an extent, it is. Many positions aren’t publicly announced. You’re either already an insider or have insider connections who will recommend you for said position.
Sucks doesn’t it? Well deal with it, because that’s life.
With all that said, I have no intention of giving up. My mother didn’t raise a quitter, and contrary to much of what I said, I’m still optimistic. Still, that doesn’t make it any easier. Then again, who said life and the post grad world was suppose to be easy?–Kayla Johnson