I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced anything quite like these last few months or, as I like to call it, my end-of-college-senior-year-job-search-extravaganza. It’s been filled with many thing; well meaning, but exhausting questions, interview after interview and more job applications that I can count.
People keep saying; ‘It will all work out.’ For anyone who has ever been consumed by a situation, they know how irritating this phrase can be. Yes, at some point, it will all be all right. I will have a job and look back on these stress filled days with amusement. But right now, the idea that it will work out doesn’t replace the reality that it hasn’t yet.
I’ve also received lots of well meaning advice about what exactly I’m doing wrong. The funny thing to me is that these critiques are rarely the same, or even similar.
One such critique was that I had too many interests. Apparently my resume, and college career, has been characterized by too many activities that are too diverse in focus. I’m also looking for jobs in too wide of area. What I need to do, apparently, is figure out my ideal career path and begin to focus all future work around that.
The thing is, I don’t agree. And I think saying that to a student is a huge disservice. I am who I am as a result of my college career. I have grown as a person, not because of a singular focus but because I have gotten to explore so many areas of interest throughout college. And I believe that sets my college experience apart at ISU from others students at other universities.
It occurs to me that I am writing this as a naive, currently job-less, not quite college graduate. Maybe I’m completely off base. But when did having knowledge about a bunch of different things become a downfall? How is my willingness to learn something new not an asset? Isn’t what that demonstrates to my future employer is my ability to adapt?
I have made the absolute most of my time in college. I’ve done public relations and marketing in a variety of different forms- non-for-profit, higher ed, and small business. I’ve had my weekly column, each week, right here. I’ve interned in development for a not-for-profit with a multi-million dollar a year budget, so I am familiar with the research, networking, and writing necessary. I’ve developed a social network strategy and managed multiple social media profiles. Further, thanks to my experiences at ISU, I’ve won numerous awards for my achievements.
Yet, I’m still unemployed. And I find myself struggling to decide what path to take forward. I’m getting interviews. I’ve even been offered a position. But so far it hasn’t been right. I haven’t gotten anything I really wanted, and haven’t wanted anything I’ve gotten. Some say beggars can’t be choosers, but another gift from my college experience is the maturity I’ve gained. I’ve learned when something just isn’t a good fit.
In the next week, I have an interview for a position that I would cut off a body part for. (I could go without a toe for this position. Maybe even a couple.) And I hope they see in me all I’ve gained as a result of my college experience. I hope they realize that it’s the lessons I’ve learned that, not just the experiences I’ve had that makes me the best candidate for this position. And if not-Perhaps the exciting fast food industry?