Life

Disillusionment After Uni: Moving Forward

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Well, what can I say after a title like that, huh? Well first let me start by saying that this is in no way a negative sort of post, it is a self-recording of what I have been through since graduating college.

I have taught myself a lot since my education has fallen into my own hands. When attending college, I didn’t seek out much guidance because I was often told to take pricier classes, or more classes than what I needed. One time I was placed in a math far above my level, I’m not so good in the mathematic area, but ever since then I never sought out any guidance and took only what I needed. This meant I only worked in a library job for 2 years for fun, with no real intention on being a librarian.

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What have I learned?

Well, I guess I have learned that not planning what my next move might have made the transition from student to working adult a little more tedious. Now I only have vague credentials that are “all over the place” like most hiring jobs tell me. I come from a very small town in Ohio (in the United States for anyone reading who is unfamiliar with the states), this is a place where I see poverty every day. People struggle to make ends meet and are “stuck” in place by the questionable economy.

When I graduated, I started applying to every place I could. I sent my resume to blogging sites, magazines, and even libraries. But no one was hiring a fresh and possibly inexperienced grad.

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When I got my hundredth (or quite close to my hundredth) rejection letter, I wanted to give up. I would throw myself onto my bed and stare at the ceiling- I knew I’ve hit a roadblock.

What now? What now? What now?

I would repeat those words as I paced, unemployed for two months and running out of savings. I then caved and applied to any opening I saw online, jobs high schoolers usually had. That was when I got a job at a movie theater.

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Now I don’t want to be a pessimist and say that the world was awful for reducing me, a college grad, into such a position as a part-time cashier at a small theater in a dying mall. It was the opposite. I went into myself for the time, watching the world as an observer. I didn’t want to think about the direction my life would take next.

So now here’s the hard part- I got an idea. What if I teach myself what they would teach me in school for a lot less and find a job that would give me a chance? Well, I started to pay for courses online (making sure they were accredited) while I started to reapply for jobs like a mad woman.

That was when I got a phone call. One private business called up my house and was asking to see me for an interview. My heart nearly flew out when I heard her say “for the photography assistant position”. Holy crap!

I had taken two years of Photoshop, film, and media training in a career center during my high school years. Nothing to do with my college degree. I jumped on the opportunity and went to my interview with high hopes.

What I came to was blessing in disguise.

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I didn’t want to get out of my car. It was a very warm May morning, but I wanted to just sit in my car and stare at the building before me. I couldn’t believe my one big breakthrough was in a dilapidated old house right beside a run-down bar. I set out an alert on my phone, knowing I’ve seen movies that ended badly after these situations before going in.

“No one really walks in the door when the see the place,” said one manager as we sat down for the interview. I told them my experience with photography and editing, and how I liked to create beautiful videos and pictures in my free time. Next thing I knew, I got a phone in the morning. I was hired!

Now I’m not saying it was the best gig, but it was an amazing experience to travel on the road and see new things and places. The girl I was assistant to was the sweetest person I could have been matched with. This job gave me confidence in myself and made me think ‘if I could find this job, I could find any job if I give it a chance’.

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That job didn’t last more than two months, the business went belly up and I was once again only working part-time at the theater. I knew I had to put my degree to good use one way or another and what better way than being a substitute teacher? I applied and got the job as fast as I could, traveling from school to school to teach new kids every day… I hated it.

I was desperate for money and I had two jobs that were not what I wanted to do. That was when my friend told me about the full-time position I am currently at now. It’s not what I had wanted, but seeing how far I’ve come and all the adventures I’ve already had, I know I won’t be lost for too long. After everything I went through this last year I found that my degree isn’t everything and it won’t give me the world. My determination and open mindedness got me every job I’ve had so far. They aren’t in my field of study, but they are helping me get to where I want to be.

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I am here to encourage anyone, degree or not, to keep your mind open and enjoy where you are because just one year out of college I found a huge group of friends, traveled for miles around as a photographer, met many different people, seen many strange places as a substitute teacher (while getting tips on a possible way to go if I wanted to pursue education), and found a job that gave me my own office (which oddly has been a dream of mine).

I can’t wait to see where this new year will take me! But I know I don’t have to stay in one place for too long if I don’t want to.

Life

You Are Never Too Old to Start a New Adventure!

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The Hobbit was an inspirational book to me in school for many reasons. Later in college it was nice to recall that Bilbo, a hobbit in his fifties, started his exciting adventure at a later age than what is typical in the popular opinion that only the young can under go journeys that allow us to grow as people. Inspired, I felt the world was open to many possibilities to all of us at any age and all walks of life. The older you get, the more people expect you to have “figured it out”, but life is not at all that simple and never goes entirely as planned. I am here to tell you that it is okay!

 

College acceptance of students of any age should be enough of an example of teaching people willing to learn at any age, and that new beginnings is not exclusive to those younger than thirty. You don’t have to figure out what life style or career will bring your true fulfillment by twenty-six. You can get your toes wet in fields you are interested in and try new things all you want. If you find it doesn’t meld with you- I implore you to keep looking for that sense of happiness and fulfillment. I have heard from so many sources that you must learn to just grin and bear the life of employment and it is typical to hate your job. But why must that be?

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It is possible to look forward to go to work every day and be happy. We hear about those who found the jobs that make them very excited. If you find that your interest and happiness is not in your current field, I would suggest starting at the bottom rung of the ladder of a new career you have interest in. Learn the trade and see if it is a right fit.

Life is full of new experiences. Try new things, dive in, and enjoy the journey we are endlessly trying to figure out.

Life

Unemployed And At A Loss

Unemployment can be a difficult for many. The guilt in relying on others and the uncertainty of where you might end up brings most people through the worst depression. This depression says a lot about you.

 

Being upset that you don’t have a job means that you are someone who is motivated to work and better themselves and that unemployment is not for you. You know you aren’t meant to be where you are. My advice is to keep looking and building skills to become even more appealing to hire during this downtime. And first and foremost, do not solely focus on getting that job.

 

My story of unemployment is not as lengthy as most, but I still faced that wall of immobility. Sitting at home day in and day out, hunting for jobs and told “no” more times than I can remember took a hit on my self-confidence. The key to getting a job is to, not only keep looking, but not to dwell on it all the time. If you aren’t enjoying life you will wear away your resolve into nothing. There are lots of ways to entertain yourself if you need to budget: go for walks, take part in activities that don’t require a lot of money like volunteering, and you don’t need to use money to rent a book or a movie from your local library.

 

A period of unemployment may also be a time you can use to discover your own strengths, likes, and passions. There is nothing wrong in pursuing what sets your hair on fire. Your passion keeps your going, it’s what gives you steam to keep running, painting, and learning. Never let go of that fire or you risk losing yourself with it.

 

Once you find that job, and you will if you are persistent, then don’t let that stop you. Keep heading onto your own personal path. You may reach the retirement age with this employment, or you may not. Another calling can reach out to you in twenty years, a few years, or even a few months. Follow it. Don’t remain in one spot if it doesn’t build you up. Do not settle for a job that doesn’t satisfy you.

 

After saying all these cautionary words, I implore you to explore. Try something you would never try before. Life is an adventure, treat it like one. You only get one ride, so make it count. Never remain still but continue to flow with the tides and wherever the wind will take you.