It’s the beginning of March. You see graduation on the horizon, but it is not quite in your grasp. You log into the LinkedIn account you made as a freshman in college but have not touched since. You find the perfect headshot, line up your experience from the past four years, and add any visual elements that will set you apart from the thousands of other circle heads on the site.
You send in your first job application. You don’t have a lot of expectations, you just feel a sense of accomplishment having gotten the ball rolling. You continue to apply to 10 more, 20 more, 30 more, soon stretching over 100 come May.
You’ve had several interviews. Some jobs are just not the right amount of hours or compensation required for your services, so you have to politely decline. And then there’s the worst of all, when you get to almost the last step of the interview process in a dream job with the right pay and benefits and they went with someone else instead.
Graduation comes and you are excited and nervous for what the future holds. A lot of your friends already have jobs lined up. You want so badly to hold onto your college town and to move where everyone seems to be moving, but instead you’re sitting in a hometown coffee joint scrambling so you’re not stuck jobless. FOMO is more real than ever.
It is exhausting applying to 10 different jobs a day just to get that “thank you for your interest in…” email. It is hard seeing the hundreds of writing samples just be shut down without chance to speak on them. It is hard to see all the time, money, and effort come to a halt. It is hard going to family gatherings only to tell them you are still unemployed.
In a time where information is more accessible it is difficult to hide where we are and what we are doing. We want to be able to post on Instagram that we are happy and pursuing our passion. We want to make Tik Toks about a “day in the life” at our amazing job.
We set the bar so high and the reality is our first job may have to be taking freelance pieces from companies when needed just to start making some money and gaining this “5+ years of experience…” that most companies want so bad.
I’m a huge believer in everything happens for a reason. I don’t love that I am living at home right now. I don’t like that I am not in an office or working from home writing pieces on Database Marketing, profiles on my fellow coworkers for the company website, or a feature on how my client has changed the lives of many.
We set the bar so high and feel like if we don’t check off all the boxes in a certain amount of time we failed. We wonder what we could have done differently and what is wrong with us. Maybe you’ll find a job you end up loving in a place you would not have expected. Maybe you’ll make friends you become close with, maybe even closer with than your college buddies.
We want to cling on to what is familiar. Think about your freshman year-you probably did not know anyone. It was a blank slate. You missed your high school friends and wondered how could you completely start over become comfortable being your goofiest most authentic self with a new group of people. I made lifelong friends through my college experience and became involved in organizations and positions I could not have imagined myself in. As much as I wanted to haver these lifelong friends and add more lines to my resume my first semester, I would not have changed a thing.
Freshman Abby would be proud of who I am today and all that I have accomplished. I am more outgoing and comfortable speaking in front of people. I look at my writing pieces from my freshman year and they are almost unrecognizable from my most recent pieces.
There is always going to be someone who is more qualified. Getting turned down from somewhere could be a blessing in disguise. Focus on your journey and your success-companies get hundreds of applications for one position and read through so much content. You likely are qualified, you have all that is required, it truly is connections and time and place.
Forbes posted a quote on Instagram today by Miyoko Schninner, Founder of Miyoko’s Creamery. “Once you stop to listen and look within, you will realize how absolutely powerful, wise and resilient you have actually become.”
You did not come this far to turn in the towel. You are that much closer to success.