Last week I started a new chapter of my professional life. As excited (and terrified) as I was to officially start my life as a “real” adult, I couldn’t help but reminisce on my journey of getting to this point. It’s truly been a long time coming! I mean, one of the main reasons we go off to college is to make it easier to get a job after we graduate, right? So it’s more than just-a-little-frustrating when it takes longer than Sallie Mae’s grace period to find a position that complies with you desired career path. When I finally got the call that I’d been waiting for what felt like forever, I have to admit I wanted to respond with a “it’s about damn time!” But I had to be modest and accept the offer graciously.
While I felt that the road to my first big-girl job was excessive, I’ve come to realize how necessary it was for me to experience such disappointment. Truth-be-told, I needed to be humbled. Up until I graduated college and was released into the “real world”, I was granted with everything I had ever worked for — life almost came at me too easy. I was accepted into each school I applied to, I maintained a high GPA while being somewhat of a social butterfly, and I was accepted to the various internships I applied to. Rejection was a foreign concept in my world.
So when my first wave of resume submissions were ignored, I didn’t know how to feel. Then after the second, third, and fourth wave of submissions went with months of no call-backs I couldn’t help but feel discouraged and set for a life of waiting tables for the rich people I aspired to be. I mean, there is nothing wrong with being a waitress, especially when you are good at it; however, that lifestyle does not equate with my student loans.
At some point, I had to experience first-hand what it felt like to miss out on something that I really wanted. It took a full-year for me to actually land my first real job – I’m sure that’s nothing compared to others who are trying to burst into even more competitive industries than mine. While I was extremely frustrated by the fact that I had this expensive degree but I wasn’t actually doing anything with it, my “year off” was surprisingly rewarding. Sometimes you just have to take a break and collect yourself before diving into life’s next adventure. No, it wasn’t the easiest thing to do, as there were many days that I would feel more than antsy for my adult life to officially start. But the time I’ve been home and getting ready for the next chapter has allowed me to learn more about myself than ever before. I’ve also had the opportunity to build strong social connections with people I never made time for in the past.
Rather than going from the hustle-bustle of school, I was able to (involuntarily) take a break to hang out and enjoy my young-adult life. Fortunately, I was able to delay my Sallie Mae payments — she can wait. So all I had to do was worry about me and my immediate needs.
My advice to anyone experiencing the same struggles to land that “grown-up” job is to continue to apply anywhere you can in order to get your foot in the door, but don’t forget that this is prime time for you to enjoy your life without the stresses of that 9-5pm position. Don’t worry about your friends who have the “big-girl” jobs with the nice offices — they envy the fact that you have more than two days over the weekend to sleep-in. If you have to work a few part-time jobs to pay your bills, do it and do them well. You never know who is watching you, or who will be your next customer – it might be the CEO of your next company!
Never get discouraged if life isn’t turning out exactly how you planned. If you stay driven and focused on your goals, everything should play out just as it should. Enjoy your youth and love life because before you know it – it will all be over and nothing will ever be the same.
“Lo qué será, será [What will be, will be].”