My first after college was not my dream job, but at the time I was in transition and working as a waitress. I eventually transferred to a school to finish my degree while working the whole time. Picking up jobs with low barriers to entry while Studying full time and commuting 40-50 miles a day for years.
It sucked, I was so busy trying to put out fires that I didn't think about future job prospects until junior year. I studied in media productions for got an internship in the fields. It was low visibility job but a paid one that I luckily got through school. I was elated at the thought of getting my bills paid and experience in my field, great I thought. I figured that experience would be useful while I started the job search my final year, and everything seemed great.
However the reality was that I was behind, way behind. I after talking to those in my field I found that the ones working in their fields had completed 2-3 internships. Some at large companies, others at established local stations and ALL within their fields. I sat with egg in my face realizing that burning the candle at both ends to get the degree didn't increase my job prospects.
The degree is really only half the work. The work I was doing should have coincided with my end goal. After rushing to graduate I realized that rushing to degree was a mistake. My prospects would have been better taking time off to pursue internships, seek better job opportunities and work for free part time while maintaining a job for my bills.
Because now as a graduate I'm facing a different problem. My first job offer outside of college is completely different from my career field. But which is the right choice. Stay unemployed or get a job that doesn't match your career goals. Settle and hope you can still develop your skills until you find the right opportunity. This may do more harm than good. Sure you're getting bills paid but, you might get caught in the career trap. Staying underemployed far after graduation, it happens and the rates are staggering.
It's a scary reality to face, especially when you're fresh from Uni. Having lost all sense of structure, your reward system and the fast pace that's synonymous with breaking your life into semesters. It's difficult to embrace the fact that needing a job can greatly affect the direction of your career and whether or not you're able to break into your chosen career.
I'm not one to tell another which path to take. If history has taught me anything it's that I don't have all the answers but I won't be discouraged by mistakes and will keep pushing towards my goal. I try to learn as much as I can while working towards progress. I'm learning to appreciate the journey and where it takes me. Without guides and assignments to keep me in line, the accountability is all mine. One of the harder lessons to learn but I'm open, and onboard.