When we are in school, professors tell us be prepared to work as a waitress or sales associate after graduation because there will be limited job opportunities. Unfortunately, those professors are correct; finding a job is tough.
However, it’s not impossible to come across available jobs shortly after we leave school.
I never thought I would see the day when I walked across the stage to receive my diploma and then a week or two later earn a job offer in my field of study. The world is full of surprises, and this surely caught me by surprise.
When people hear my story about finding a job, I always tell them they shouldn’t be discouraged. It is okay to take the job in the restaurant or retail store. It is a step further than most people are taking, and you are showing the willpower to work.
However, just because you are working at a part-time job and think you are doing well, doesn’t mean you should stop applying to bigger and better jobs. Of course part-time jobs are good placeholders, but they are not what you want to do for the rest of your life. Believe me, you are going to want health insurance and benefits like vacation days.
It is important to keep job searching while working part-time. When a prospective employer has two resumes in front of him or her and sees that one person has worked part-time since graduation, and the other person has done nothing, chances are that employer is going to go forth and interview the part-time worker.
I was very fortunate for the job offer I was given, and I can tell you that I have shocked many people when I tell them that I am employed in my field. In college, I studied journalism and English, and I am currently a proposal writer. When I began to look for jobs, I didn’t think I would be going down this path. I have learned a lot about office life and working for a larger company, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.
An office job isn’t always how it is portrayed on TV and in movies. I feel like many times on the television, office jobs look like fun with a lot of action and fast-paced work. In reality, it’s quite the opposite.
Every day I walk up those steps to the third floor, walk down the long hall to my cubical and have eight hours to sit by myself with little communication. It is not that I feel stranded, but I can’t see anyone else, and it does get a little lonely. On the bright side though, I enjoy the job and what I do, especially because the other employees are some of the friendliest people I have ever met.
I want students in his or her final years of college and recent graduates to know that finding a job is not easy. Students should begin to apply for jobs in their second semester of senior year, and they should never have his or her dreams set on one job. If you have a job interview that goes extremely well, dwell on the happiness of that thought, but continue to apply for more jobs. It doesn’t hurt to tell companies no; waiting on one job is a big risk.
Having a job isn’t all that bad either, because with most of them, you are still able to have a social life. It might be a little more limited because we can’t always stay out as late as we once did, but there is still room for fun.
The most important aspect is planning ahead, applying early and once you land that job, make the most of it. Even if it is a little boring, and you have extra time on your hands, do something constructive.
Most importantly, make time for friends and family, because although you will be more tired than you were in college after pulling an all-nighter, you still have to socialize.
I encourage people not to be afraid of the workforce and becoming a “real person.” I overcame my fears and I am probably the youngest employee at my job, but I am alright with that.
I know I will learn many life lessons here, as many others will when they land their first “adult” job.