You get a job. At a good company. With decent pay. And a definite path for growth. What more can a recent grad want?
Since our freshman orientations, the goal has been to get a job. Get a job that will prove to our parents that their massive investment in us over the past 22 years was worth it. So you do all the right things: meet with your school’s career counselors, attend networking events, reach out to alumni, and get countless coffees with professionals hoping that some of their success will be contagious. For your first internship the emphasis is getting those feet in the door, but after that everything changes. You no longer want an internship, suddenly you want the internship. You crave the best because you know life will only get more competitive from here on out.
You graduate with a pretty impressive resume, one you’re sure will land you a job. Only problem is you’re stuck between two conflicting mindsets. Are you looking for a job, or the job, the job that everyone wants? And if you are looking for the job, how do you get it? It’s no shocker that the job market isn’t a stellar place for a recent post grad. And yet, you’re not used to this feeling.
It’s similar to when you start college. True you’re a freshman, but you still feel like an on top of the world High School senior. But like…you’re not…you’re a lowly freshman.
And suddenly once the cap and gown comes off, you find yourself “freshman-ized,” once again. At the bottom, with overtime and caffeine alone to push you back up. You just need that job, and then you’ll have some order back in your life. Getting that job becomes the key to your future.
Next, you unpack your life back in mom and dad’s house, send out resume after resume hoping for an email back with the magical words of interview, and then the even more elusive, job offer. Inevitably, you reach the point of utter hopelessness and resign that a return to old summer jobs may be in your horoscope.
And just when it seems as if you have exhausted every option…some how, you get a job. No, not the job. But hey it is a bona fide job and a step in the right direction. At this point, you are not even sure what the job looks like.
You’ve completed another milestone. You did it. So why do you still feel so anxious? You knew that at some point the job search had to end so you could start your career. Yet it’s not easy to get off that hamster wheel of cover letters and CVs to sit down and work at a desk.
And then it hits you, are you in the real world? Remember all that planning and interning you did for that real world far far away? Far far away is here. And it’s left an unfamiliar void.
Here’s where my narrative ends. I’m with you. I’m scared of the real world with real responsibility. When a goal years, sometimes decades in the making is secured, it’s normal to feel off balance. But like all good millennials raised on Disney Channel Original Movies, you have to believe in that happy ending. You have to believe in fate. You have to believe, we’ve gotten ourselves to this point, who knows what’s next?