I graduated in May with an arguably “unsafe” major, well two, actually — Journalism and Psychology. I had internships and jobs all throughout college, but was pretty nonchalant about getting a ‘real job’. In fact, I didn’t even look for one before graduation because I honestly just wanted to enjoy my summer as a new graduate. I got a five week summer job and spent most of my time at the beach or out with my friends — no regrets.
September rolled around and most of my friends got their first jobs, including my sister, and I had already started to look too because, A) I needed money B) I was tired of having nothing to do and C) I was ready and excited to start growing professionally. So I spent my days browsing any job board I could find (with Netflix on in the background, obvi).
By October I was losing momentum but I landed a paid internship — not a full time gig but it was a start. During my internship I still checked for jobs, researched companies I’d like to work for, and sent out more emails than I could keep track of. Still Nothing.
Now, for the record, I have solid credentials. Good internship experience, various skills, and I’m smart, likeable, etc. The fact that there’s next to NO “entry-level” jobs accounts for most of my problems. I mean, how am I supposed to even get an interview if I don’t have 3-6 years of relevant experience? I don’t know, man. I just don’t know.
The holidays were awful…. My internship ended in late December and I was back to being a stay at home bum (for lack of a better word). During Christmas I spent many a nights dodging the usual family questions, like why I don’t have a boyfriend (gag). But now I was also being hounded about jobs and my future, which I’ll argue is way worse than inquiries about my relationship status. Oh and don’t forget, my sister has had a job for a while at this point, so my family was extremely interested in hearing about what she was doing and how it was going….. Needless to say the conversations came to a screeching halt when it was my turn. They all gave me the same sympathetic pout, with an encouraging “You’ll find something, don’t worry” and an awkward attempt to change the subject. As if I didn’t already feel shitty about my situation, this was the final nail in the coffin.
It’s February now and even with some promising interviews, I’m still unemployed. That’s about 8 months with no job. It’s hard. No, it’s more than hard, it’s excruciating. I hate having nothing to do during the day. I hate not having to set my alarm (I recently started setting it just so I could have some sort of routine). I absolutely loathe spending three hours a day checking job boards and linkedin profiles. At first it was exciting, now it’s daunting. I hate going to family dinners and admitting that, yet again, I didn’t get the position. I’m happy for my friends who are getting promotions and making money, but I hate saying no to trips because I can’t afford them.
I’m tired of feeling pathetic. I’m over feeling unintelligent and unworthy. I refuse to let my unemployment make me some sort of victim. I’m smart, I’m capable, I’m the whole damn package. It’s time for me (and all of us on the job hunt) to use this time to explore our passions. When else are we going to have this much room for trial and error? I got a Ukulele for Christmas, so I’ve been (unsuccessfully) teaching myself how to play. I’m catching up on my reading list, writing in my journal more, and painting. Despite my staggering confidence, I truly believe I’m where I’m supposed to be in my life. I know that the universe has a path for me and it’s different than anyone else’s. So while I’m still discouraged and impatient, I’m also trying to appreciate the free time I have. The brutal truth is that being unemployed sucks, but life has crappy moments and that’s just the way it goes. All we can do is keep moving forward (and keep trying to play the ukulele no matter how horrible you are).