Life After College

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It seems like graduation was years ago but in reality it’s been less than a year. It’s been a really rough for me since then as well. I’ve always been average in my grades from the moment I was enrolled in the school system. Mostly As and Bs with the occasional C or D. I don’t remember a time where I didn’t work hard. In my four years of school, I had 10+ internships and ambassadorships with the hopes that it would make it simple for me to enter the fashion world. I was wrong.

Once I graduated in May, I decided that I would take my summer off and spend it with family in Florida. I did not stop applying for jobs since I had been since March. Once I returned home, I continued to apply. Indeed. Monster. LinkedIn. It was enough to make me rip my hair out.

Then it hit me all at once one night. An anxiety attack. Here I was. Unemployed (other than my part-time) while all my friends were getting their dream jobs. Classmates who did not even intern like I had, hired.  I knew better than to compare myself but I could not stop the feeling of dread within me. Was it me? Was it my resume?

My mind then turned and I started doubting if I even knew anything at all.  Did I really learn anything at those internships? Would I be able to do the tasks at hand as a full-time employee? Would I ever be good enough?

I was my own worst critic.

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In October, while I was surfing LinkedIn, I received a message from someone in a company asking if I was interested in a position that would incorporate sales and social media. I looked over the website but it did not wow me. The clothing was not for my own demographic, honestly, it was not even something I think I would wear if I were older, and sales was not something that I wanted to do but despite that I told myself that an opportunity was an opportunity and that I should at least interview.
The location was amazing, the building was brand new, and the HR woman was the sweetest. We talked for an hour and then in came the sales manager. He was super sweet but a bit intimidating at the time. He made his opinions and suggestions known and I was given a project.

I went back and presented my project and then was introduced to the president of the company.  It was nerve-wracking but we ended up talking and I learned quite a bit. 2 days later, I was emailed and offered the position.  I was ecstatic. My first job offer! But even still, I was hesitant. I took the job despite it and I started a week later.

After a week of working. I quit. I am not a quitter. I know a first job was never going to be perfect or what I thought. It was not going to be easy and it was going to be stressful. The reason I left was because I ended up doing much more sales than social media.  Any experience is good experience but my fear was that I would be forever stuck in sales if I stayed there for a year and then looked elsewhere.  I wanted to land my job in public relations, marketing, or social media and that was that.

Looking back at it, I don’t regret it.  I should’ve followed my gut from the beginning instead of letting my friends and family sway me into taking it out of desperation.  If I didn’t have my part time on the side, I would probably still be there honestly.  I should have stuck it out more but I could not deal with the sense of unhappiness, anxiety, and fear that had welled up in me. I would go home sore, not because of all the hard work I was doing but because of how tense and burdened I felt to myself.
I’ve always been an indecisive person but the gut feeling that I had in the beginning should have been enough to let me make up my mind.

So here I am, nearly 9 months after graduation and still searching for my full-time job.  I spend my days at home, where my part-time is, luckily, remote. I work from home and I watch over my cousins all day,everyday. It’s not where I thought I would end up now but I realize that the right job will come for me when it does.  Life is funny in that way and I am not about to let it deter me.

Instead, I am focusing on myself now.  I’ve lost 27 pounds, I’ve begun to do breathing exercises and coloring to ease my anxiety, and I am taking it a day at a time.  I will not give up. I will continue to tweak my resume, work my contacts, and hope that the fruits of my labor will finally result in a job that is in the field I want to be in.

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Here’s to all those unemployed students having anxiety attacks and wishing they could go back to the good old days of college. You aren’t alone.

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