Everyone expects to graduate from college after years of focus and dedication and land their dream job right away. And although it seems like the idea of it is, nothing short of deserved, it usually isn’t the case for most people. It definitely wasn’t like that for me. I chose a major that was interesting to me and and fun to learn, but when I got into the workplace I found that maybe it really wasn’t my thing. I tried it. I tried management, I tried sales, I tried Human Resources, I tried customer service, I tried restaurant, I tried recruiting. I tried writing.
Since college, I feel like I’ve been bouncing around everywhere. From town to town, job to job. And now I’m stuck in rut because I feel like I know what I want to pursue, but just not how to pursue it fully.
Until now, I was kind of embarrassed that I’m in a new role like every few months, or going back to serving every time I quit a place. It was starting to become a joke where my managers were betting how long it would be until I’d be back again. But aside from that, every job has potential to teach you skills that you’ll be able to take with you to any job.
When I look back, every one of those jobs taught me something vital to my success in anything. I learned how to be administrative, I learned how to interact with people, be prompt, I learned how to manage, how to pitch myself, there’s literally a million things. If pursuing writing means I need to have these things in order to be able to start a free lancing business, I already have those skills so why not. Skills are instilled. You bring whatever skills you have, or acquire, to the table in anything you go after.
I got to talk to an old professor recently, Dr. Mier. He checks in on us from time to time. I was telling him about how I’m going through this post- collegiate blues. What stood out to me, aside from his new consulting firm, was how he just told me that it sounds like I’m doing great, and that it sounds like I’m figuring it out. It’s true though, I figured out that I really do like writing so why shouldn’t I pursue it? I just need to keep telling myself that I have what it takes to be successful in running my own business. And him starting a consulting firm makes me realize that you should just go after whatever makes you happy. Where do you derive happiness?
I realized I shouldn’t be all that embarrassed. I don’t see the point in spending time in any career that you find early on that you just cannot see yourself doing for 30, 40 years. Like no, that’s just not how I am. I’m absolutely not knocking anyone who does that, I’m just saying that I personally just cannot imagine hating my job until I retire. I derive happiness from staying intrigued and busy and challenged, but unbothered and autonomous and entertained, all at the same time. And I think that many of these things could come with working for myself, it could be very rewarding and fun!
The post collegiate blues can be hard to go through and get over. Shifting your main focus from studying and going to class, to bills and chasing your dreams kind of seems like night and day. Just remember to chase the things in life that you’re drawn to do, and things that make you happy doing it. And even if you absolutely hate a job or have hated a job and never want to look back at it, it’s never a total loss. You’d be surprised how much more prepared you will feel in life if you just look back on jobs or on any negative experience in life with a positive mindset and realize the gains.
Well, I’m back in RVA now and this is the first time in the three times that I’ve been back that I actually feel like I know what I’m doing, thank God for that. There’s art everywhere, the view is good, the city lights are bright and there’s a mural outside my window that makes me feel like I’m getting a new chance. The energy is inspiring, it feels like the perfect place to start over, and this time with a purpose.