To achieve greatness, sometimes you need a little kick in the butt.
- Steve Jobs was fired from the company he started before returning to create the iPod, iPhone, etc…
- Vera Wang didn’t make the U.S. Olympic figure skating team before she became queen of wedding dresses.
- J.K. Rowling was a single unemployed mother before she introduced us to a certain scarred wizard.
But, what happens when life doesn’t cripple you with hardship? What happens when everything seems to be accelerating forward… but in a direction somewhat askew of your dreams?
Upon graduation, I had a steady part-time job at a rapidly expanding call center. I knew that if I stayed, there would be many opportunities for full-time and possible management positions. I also knew that if I decided to stay, I would be deferring (or possibly eliminating) a career in public relations.
To help me decide, I had to think about what option was going to provide me long-term happiness/success. At the call center, I would probably be able to achieve success rather quickly and I’d probably be able to move out of my parents house which is what I really wanted. However, I don’t think I would be as happy in the long run and the skills learned there might limit future opportunities. If I chose to pursue the public relations route, I would have to leave the call center all together to take the PR internship at Western Digital. This would put the plans to move out on hold until I could land a full-time job sometime after the summer. With the long term goals in mind, I decided to take the risker path and, so far, have had no regrets. It was a difficult decision, but the greater the risk, the greater the reward, right?
Some advice to those in similar situations: follow your dreams and while it’s ok to modify your goals, be sure you’re thinking of the big picture. When life doesn’t give you lemons, sometimes you have to plant your own dang lemon tree to make some sweet lemonade later on.
1) “How’s the job hunt going?”
If the job hunt was going well, I would have a job and I wouldn’t still be hunting for a job. 😦
2) Are you paying back your student loans yet? Don’t you have to start paying them back soon?
What!? I have to pay them back? I had NO idea. Look, I get that your trying to be helpful, but in order for me to start paying back anything, I need some type of income. Also, since I am the one with the student loan, I think I have a slightly better idea as to when I need to start paying things back. I still love you, though! (especially if you’re giving me graduation gift$).
3) What are your plans now?
This is probably the most common questions asked of graduates and, although somewhat of a valid question, one of the most annoying. It’s annoying because the answers are usually obvious. Either I am going to look for a job or I am going back to school. In other words, in this moment, I don’t want to think about the looming real world problems. I want to enjoy what I have accomplished and bask in the congratulatory pomp. I want to let it sink in that I am the first Chacon to graduate college. I want to thank my family and friends who had to endure my 5 years of whining. I want to savor these feelings because I know there will be hurdles and heartbreak, but I’ll always have this diploma and these memories to keep my spirits high.
As I fester on my parent’s couch, eating their pita chips and abusing their air conditioning, it’s finally sinking in that I am a college graduate and it’s time to learn how to tie a tie and score that big boy job. Of course, I have been proactive and rather than just bum it for the month that’s past between graduation and now, I have been interning at WD, a tech company in Irvine. So far, it’s been a great experience and I’ve been learning a lot of things that will help me be a successful PR professional. However, this opportunity is quickly coming to and end (it’s officially over August 10). As my friends struggle to score fulltime positions, I am becoming increasingly worried that I won’t find a job and will be forced to go back to the call center job I am on leave from. While I am fortunate to have any job, I still don’t want to be forced back into a position where opportunities for growth are limited. On the bright side, there’s still about a month for me to land a job. Vacation is officially over and I’m ready to hit the ground running. 😀