It’s graduation season. I’m starting to see all the happy graduates with their caps and gowns—eager for the next step in their lives.
Sitting in class all day for four years isn’t very fun, unless you were like an art major and got to lose yourself in being creative every class. I digress.
Here’s my message. You’re happy now, but it might not last for very long. I want you to know that I went on so many interviews and never heard back from basically all of them. It sucked. I got better at interviewing each time (I think), but I still couldn’t land the job.
I started to feel really worthless. Would I ever get a job? Were these last four years basically all for nothing?
After a string of disappointments, I lowered my standards and picked up a job as a server. I realized after a week that that job sucked more than getting denied, so I got tougher, quit, and applied to more jobs.
More denial. After this second round of failure I started working at Panera Bread. Two weeks later I quit.
Guess what though guys? I’m now a year removed from graduating and I’m incredibly happy with my job. I get to work wherever I want, I actually like my work, and I’m somewhat financially stable.
You know what changed? I made a decision that I was worth more than what my interviewers thought. I decided to have confidence in myself despite the fact that I could only actually get hired in fast food while having a college degree.
First off, here’s some advice (take it or leave it) from me for what you should do for the next few months.
It’s time to celebrate your achievement. Go on a road trip. Go on a cruise. Get your mind off of everything and get some perspective. Many of my friends did this after graduation and I wish I did too.
Stay At Home For Three Months
I was so quick to leave home that I moved in with a friend in Florida right after graduation. My advice would be to stay at home, where the rent is free, and sort out what it is that you want to pursue. If When you’re going to run into failure, it’s best to have the support of your friends and family there. What if you want to move like me? Make sure you have a good place where you’re not expected to pay anything until you get on your feet. This helps with stress immensely.
Discover Your Dream
The truth is I wasn’t exactly applying for jobs that excited me. I wanted to be able to work wherever and be creative. Freelance writing/contracting was something I just kind of discovered out of the blue one day. When I learned about this I was hooked, and I dedicated all of my time to pursuing it. This is when I started to become successful.
Don’t Wait For Experience
Want to know how I got experience? I worked for very little pay at first. I learned the ropes. I believe that in many jobs there’s SOME way to get experience to build off of. I started making $10 an hour, then I made $15, then I made $20. What’s funny is that I was getting paid $8.25 at Panera Bread weeks earlier.
This gets back to my point about basing your worth off of whether you get a job. Most of the jobs I applied for were paying $12-14 an hour. They didn’t think I was worth that. After I got my first gig paying $20 an hour I realized that worth is decided by us, and us alone. The reason why we get paid what we do is because we think that’s all that we’re worth. I urge you to value yourself, and don’t become to discouraged when you don’t get the job after graduation.