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They Lied About Finding a Job After College

Friday, October 20, 2017

I graduated from college just a little over seven years ago, and I must say my post grad experience didn't pan out the way I thought it would. I struggled with finding steady employment and I ended up competing with those that did not have a college degree.

I was told that a college degree was like a golden ticket to my future. It was the only way I'd be successful. I've had this idea hammered into my head for years. Now that I'm finding my way through this work world, I feel as though I've been lied to. I've been told that I was over-qualified or I wasn't compensated fairly for my qualifications.

When I made the decision to attend college my senior year in high school, I remember the school's counselor strongly advising us seniors that it's the only way to guarantee a career. So naturally, I expected that if I invested four years into defining my career that my life would be set. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications. I graduated with Honors. I had a 3.7 GPA. I was actively engaged with on campus activities. I provided service in the community through my sorority, and I had internships. I thought these were great credits added to my resume. But somehow, I found myself in the struggle.

I spent years taking positions outside of my field so that I can have an income. I was difficult finding the right fit, and I settled for whatever I could get because it felt as though it was all I was being offered. I applied for multiple positions, had several interviews, but it seemed each door that I opened was shutting right in my face. It was beyond frustrating investing so much time to get a job when I was I told that it would be much simpler for me because I attended college. I felt like screaming to recruiters, "Hire me! Hire Me! I have a college degree!"

But I didn't learn until later down the line that so many other students were told the exact thing. Everyone has a college degree. Recruiters are basically asking, "What makes you any different?" I felt so discouraged holding my golden ticket and feeling as though I could have accomplished what I have currently without attending college.

I remember I got to a point where I just needed to say that I was working somewhere. I was now applying for any position that would hire me. So when I was 23, I got a part-time Sales Lead position at Aeropostale, INC. I couldn't stand being there. Maybe it was my pride that really got the best of me while I worked there. Nothing against those that are currently employees with this establishment. I just felt I worked way too hard towards my career to result in asking what size jeans do you need to annoying ass customers. I hated running into my peers that would see me ringing out orders.

They would ask what have I been up to lately. I thought because I was technically a part-time supervisor that it sounded as if I was doing OK, but it was written all over my face that I wasn't where I wanted to be. I felt they judged me and would say, "Damn! Is this what graduating from college looks like?"

My life after college has consisted of job hopping, working through multiple staffing agencies, and sticking with a job out of fear that I won't find anything better. It took me two years before I found something stable. But look at how long it took me before I got my foot in the door. I didn't anticipate it taking the amount of time it did to find a decent job.

So what's the lesson here…

When you graduate from college you are entering a completely new world. You are among several other graduates hoping to get a foot in the door just as you are. A college degree may be required to apply for a position, but in all honesty it's more of an indication that you decided to put forth some extra effort to have a future. It's a great accomplishment, but the hard work begins after you graduate.

The truth about finding a job after college is that you may spend months to years finding a job in your field. You may even decide that the career field you studied is no longer what you're passionate about. You may take a boring ass position until you can find better. Or like me, you may job hop your ass off until you can find something just to get by. It's disappointing and it sucks. You invest so much money into your education only to look over and see that Billy Johnson from down the street is doing much better than you are, and he didn't even go to college.

Don't expect so much so soon. Give yourself time to really understand the work world. If you're blessed enough to find a job in your field after graduating from college, kudos to you. That's great! But for those that are still just trying to get a foot in the door, I've been there. I understand how frustrated you may be. Keep your head up.

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