First and Foremost
I may sound like I'm either the biggest scaredy cat in the world OR that I'm just a lazy college student who doesn't want to grow up. Either way, I'm kinda both... And I don't think I'm alone. So bear with me as my vulnerability shines through my words.
The transition from arbitrary jobs to career ones is terrifying.
I've worked in the food industry as a cashier/cook at a small restaurant in my hometown. After that, I began working as a lifeguard and swim instructor during summers. Then, I moved on to working as a sales rep at trade shows for a construction company (boring, but paid well).
None of those jobs relate to my career aspirations or what I'm studying in school. I'm now at a point where I need to find a job or internship that suits my goals and skillsets for working in a production industry setting. Although I'm excited about these opportunities and where they may lead me, I'm also extremely scared and nervous about even starting the process to apply.
I feel as if I'm too underqualified and young to be at this stage.
Since I've never worked in an upper-level position before, how will the transition be for me? It's just like starting my first job all over again, but this time, the stress level is maximized. It's new and it's terrifying, to be honest. I'll be uncomfortable and vulnerable, and have to interact with people much older and maybe wiser than me. Yes, it's easy working a 9-5 job somewhere that only requires common sense duties and tedious, repetitive tasks. But...that sounds so much more secure to me.
No, I'm not saying I want to find a job like that and stick with it forever. I'm saying that I'm scared to leave the jobs in that type of environment. I'm insecure about how well I'm going to succeed in upper-level jobs that will require more talent, expertise, and expectations.
What if the boss or company realize I'm not the candidate they thought I was? What if I can't tailor to their needs because I'm not experienced enough? What if I embarrass myself in front of adults because of my social anxiety? There are so many roadblocks that I see in the way of this transition into the "real world."
Applying to jobs and internships is tiring.
I am probably one of the biggest procrastinators when it comes to this task. It's the worst position to be in because 90 percent of the time, applications have deadlines and due dates for when everything needs to be done. It's also the prime time of applying to these things.
On top of the added time pressure, I feel as if my resume, cover letter, and transcript aren't really the best tools to show what I can do or why I'm the best fit. While that sounds bad, it's how I feel. I feel as if my application will most likely be the one overlooked in every pool of applicants for every job I apply too. There's definitely something wrong with my mindset here, which is why I've taken steps to gain confidence and feel better in this aspect of my life. But we'll get to that later.
All in all, I feel like a puppy amongst adult dogs with their own pups and responsibilities. I feel like a kid among people with families and struggles harder than mine. In essence, I feel like I will never qualify for these jobs because of how I feel about myself. And that's wrong.
Breaking out of a "not good enough" attitude is really difficult.
For me, it's a personal issue. For others, it may be something else that's holding them back. But the mindset of never being good enough for anything, whether it comes down to jobs, relationships, or hobbies, is never helpful.
I want this to shed light on the fact that when it comes to career searching and taking that next big step into the real world, confidence is a key factor. I'm overcoming my lack of confidence by starting my weekly meetings in the career center at my school. I strayed away from it for a while, because I even went so far as to worry if the people there would judge me for how poorly prepared I might be or the bad shape of my resume. But that's exactly what they're there for, to help you with those insecurities.
Although I've only been once so far, it's been a huge step in the right direction. We're in the process of touching up my resume so I can send it out to internships and practicing for when an interview comes up.
The real world is waiting for you and me, no matter how much we may dread it. It comes with uncertainty, but also so many awesome benefits
I can't wait until I'm in my mid-20s (or 30s, who knows?), lounging in my own apartment, fully paid for by my stable income, reminiscing on the time I was a timid college student afraid of what life would hold for me.