Picture this: it’s the night before your University graduation. You worked your way through your undergrad. You partied – but not too much. You studied – sometimes. You made it, and now it’s time to reap the benefits of graduating from a double major (with honours, might I add) from a highly recognized institution… or so you thought.
You attend graduation, celebrate with your friends and family, and prepare for the biggest trip of your life. No, I’m not talking about job hunting – yet. You planned a summer abroad. 4 countries, 3 months. You leave the job hunting for when you come back.
Now, fast-forward back to your return. You’ve been back from Europe for 2 weeks. Still jet-lagged, somehow, still hungover. You’ve unpacked, seen your friends, rested. It’s time for the hunt. You’ve perfected your résumé to it’s uttermost impressive state.
If you’ve been picturing along with me, you can somewhat relate to how I feel: on top of the world. You have experiences under your belt that your friends who worked 9-5 at Starbucks can’t even dream about. But, will that get you far? Or anywhere?
Let me tell you: it won’t. Few companies you are applying to will care that you’ve seen some of the world, that you can adapt to situations, that you’re stronger, more independent now. Others? Not in the slightest. They want to see your internships, your labour, your hours spent rehearsing for this very position you’re applying for. But, sadly, you don’t have that. You decided long ago that seeing the world was more important to you than any boring desk job could ever be.
Still with me? This is my story. I’ve spent the last 6 months looking for a job post-graduation. It hasn’t been easy. I’m going to be honest, I have had some offers. But when the job ad says “look sharp” and you show up to a temporary office location that didn’t even have time to put a sign up in order to at least look semi-legit, and they tell you the “marketing” position is door-by-door sales, well, it’s not that hard to not call them back.
I started my search by spamming my résumé and cover letters to more companies than I thought existed. Some called, some didn’t, none worked. I narrowed down my options, I got passionate about where I was applying. That still didn’t help. I sought out connections, interviewed amazingly, got callbacks. Yet, they were all still looking for specific experience. I went from feeling like nothing could go wrong, to being constantly let down.
This whole experience has been so disheartening. I thought finding a viable job would be a breeze. C’mon people, I graduated with honours! From a double major! What a let down. Luckily, I have really supportive people surrounding me. My parents let me move back in, regardless, they still hound me and question me everyday about what I’m doing with my life. My friends help when they can, and understand my manic depressive moments. Even during the bad days, I’m constantly searching for meaningful, practictical work. I’ve decided with apply to a Masters program, and possibly take on an unpaid internship.
There are many, many forks in the long road of adult life. There are so many choices to be made. I don’t regret taking a summer off. Or even what’s starting to look like a year off. I’m hopeful for tomorrow. In the hard-to-envision future I want to remember this moment. This fear, this anticipation, this waiting. Waiting for the next big thing.