As any one of us who has attended college can attest, pursuing higher education can prove an extremely challenging yet rewarding experience. I learned a great deal during my time at university, and I was confident that upon graduation I'd have snagged the career of my dreams. However, life doesn't always go according to plan. I learned early on that simply having a college degree, along with a couple of internships under my belt, wasn't necessarily enough. The job market is competitive, and with so many of us graduating with degrees simultaneously, and applying to jobs in a relatively small geographic area, what exactly sets one girl apart from the rest?
It didn't exactly help that my job search was happening during a pandemic. It took me nearly two years upon graduating college to find a steady job that aligned with my passions and my career interests. It was two years of feeling discouraged and questioning my self-worth. I began to settle. Would I be working in retail forever? Did I waste my degree? I allowed the disparaging thoughts to consume me for some time. After a while, I even began to give up, allowing rejection to defeat me rather than strengthen me and my purpose. I'd conditioned myself to be prepared for disappointment because then maybe the rejection wouldn't sting as much as it did to harbor hope.
Looking back at the girl I was last year, I want to yell at her to "Wake up! Snap out of it! Know your self-worth." Everyone faces rejection. Everyone is told "no" at some point. When it comes to job searching, we're often going to hear "no" more times than we will "yes." But that's okay. Just because someone doesn't know you as a person and doesn't see your worth doesn't mean you're not worthy. That job wasn't the right fit for you, or perhaps the timing was off. Don't stop fighting until you get to where you want to be. Every experience you have, both the good and the bad, will better prepare you later down the road.
I currently oversee the marketing efforts for a logistics company. I didn't think that working as an assistant manager at a retail clothing store would help me land my present job, but it did. The company I work for took a chance on me because they appreciated the values and lessons I took away from my combined work and life experiences. Yes, some skills were important to have, but ultimately they were looking at who I was as a person. Was I ambitious? Was I a hard worker? Was I teachable?
Even though you may not be the oldest person in the room or the most seasoned...Though you may not have the most commanding presence or the most varied portfolio...That won't matter to the right employer. Finding the right fit will take time. Though it may feel like everyone around you is landing their dream jobs, we are not all the same. Their timing worked out differently than yours, but just because they stumbled upon their opportunity sooner doesn't mean your opportunity isn't coming or that it will be any less special when it does.
Sometimes we need the right person to talk sense into us and remind us who we are and what we are capable of. For me, it was my boyfriend. Don't feel you have someone like that? Then allow me and my experience to be your wake-up call. I've been where you are and I came out of it and couldn't be happier that I persevered in the respite of my fears. Hope is one of the strongest motivators...Life is far too fleeting to compromise yours.