Or so it seems...
I graduated with a Master's degree in Media Production in 2016 and today the only job I've managed to get is the same part-time position I had while in high school earning $10 an hour. Now, there is nothing wrong with my job. But to have this job at 27 years old isn't why I worked my brains off for the last ten years. From completing college, to earning a Master's, interning for agencies, designers, PR firms, magazines etc., I've been working for FREE with the high hopes that I will land a fulfilling job after. Not to mention while working for free all these years, I also started my own personal blog and handbag business. The sole reason I did so was because I want to take the initiative to learn and explore my potential, as well as enhance my skills in branding and business. I didn't do all these things to come off as distracted or uncommitted. My sole purpose is to better myself so that I can give more of myself to others - to other people, to other companies - not just myself and my personal ambitions.
This is a pretty vulnerable subject for me, but who knows... this may benefit some of you, too, who are going through the same thing. Am I alone here? I'm totally frustrated/ embarrassed/ confused (among other feelings) that at 27 years old I'm still struggling to score a full-time job with benefits. I'm back home in the house that I was born and raised in because I can't even afford a place to live. I can't afford to pay all my bills. I can't afford health insurance. I can't afford to care for my pets alone. I can't afford to be an average 27 year old. I even sold my one and only car that I had for nine years just so I wouldn't have to worry/ stress about paying car insurance. It's so ridiculous.
This situation isn't ideal, but I accept it because I believe it's temporary. Maybe just maybe I will get that e-mail one day that says, "We like you. You're hired." But it's been two years already since graduation... and I keep getting the same messages that read, "Thank you for your interest in position XYZ with ABC. We're impressed with your application but we decided to pursue other candidates and have filled the position at this time." To me this is a terribly impersonal response that quite often is sent via an automated e-mail address. Half the time, it's not even a person! After getting messages such as this over and over again, I can't help but feel invisible.
No matter how many sleepless nights I spend applying for entry-level and associate level jobs via LinkedIn and through the career pages of the many companies I admire, the waiting game (more like the wondering game) continues. It makes me feel really inadequate and insecure about my work, my likability, and my image. Right now, as much as I try to remain optimistic and productive during my free time, I feel as though I've fallen terribly below the expectations my family and I have for this chapter in my life.
Honestly, what company wouldn't want to hire a candidate who is a self-starter, an independent thinker, a hybrid designer (print + digital), a team worker who is creatively fresh and forward thinking?? Apparently nobody. Ok, that may not be true. But why is it so difficult for someone to acquire a meaningful job that is equally deserving as it is fulfilling? After all the money my family invested in my education, I shouldn't have to feel that my only solution is to go back to the same job I had in high school. If that's the case, I just wasted a decade of my youth! Seriously, that blows my mind.
With the experiences that I accumulated over the years, I think it's wrong to be considered overqualified. I think it's wrong that I may come across as a threat just because I like to work hard and be the best that I can be. I shouldn't have to feel that my experiences are useless, or that I wasted all these years trying to learn as much as possible, when I should have remained in one place. In college, my advisors told me to experience as much as possible before deciding on what to be. So I ventured out. Was that a mistake?
I am a professional. I am a go-getter. I am strong. I am knowledgeable. I taught a class as a Professor, I led group discussions, I presented ideas, I collaborated with other independent thinkers, I brought new ideas to life, I earned a design patent for my first handbag that I ever created (with no fashion background at all). I make things happen. I go with the flow. The list goes on.
This goes to show you where my mind is at. I have no limitations. I am proud of what I have achieved thus far, but I'm equally disappointed that hardly any prospective employers can recognize that. I never think that I can't do something. If there is an opportunity that appeals to me, I grab it by the horns. I argue that any company would benefit from someone who knows how to make the most of any chance they get. I know how to put a company's best interests first. I never discriminate against an opportunity. All my life, I viewed challenges as blessings, and opportunities as a chance to grow bigger and better. But look where it got me. Back to square one. Or so it seems...
I don't mean for you to pity me. I just needed to vent. I had wanted to do a post talking about this topic for a while just because I'm not pleased with the climate of today's workforce, especially for young, motivated, and college educated individuals such as myself. If any of you are struggling too, I'd love for us to connect so we can support each other and possibly build more awareness behind this issue. Please connect with me and find me on Instagram here!