Degreed Up & Stuck or... Maybe Not.
Ok, you graduate. Not with one, but two degrees and you’re still unemployed or under-employed. “Go to college,” they said. “A great job will be there waiting for you post graduation,” they said. Albeit, there are a few out there who this has happened to, and congratulations to you guys, but this post isn’t for you. This is for those who have the qualifications and credentials and feel that they still can’t make waves. Here’s my story:
I was the kid who went through grade school following all the rules, apart of any and every extracurricular activity known to man (not really, but kinda), and making good grades with little to no effort. Yep, I was the one whose homework you wanted to copy. Anyway, I graduated at the top of my high school class, and received various scholarships that amounted to a full ride. I thought I was set.
I got to college, and made a 360 degree change, and not for the better. No guys I am not perfect, and I won’t tell a BS story. This portion of my story is very much my fault. I wasn’t involved in many organizations. When I say not many, I mean one. I was going home almost every weekend, not socializing much, and I didn’t attend class like I should have. I had summer jobs in Retail and Business Development, but I did not complete ANY internships in undergrad. Although I was turning in my assignments, my university had an attendance policy, and professors could drop your grade after missing a certain number of days. "Careless freshman Chelsei" said to herself, “They’re not going to really go by that policy. I’m good.” Boy, was I wrong! Needless to say, I ended up losing a good portion of my scholarship my freshman year of college.
Losing that portion had to be one of the biggest lessons that I learned, and from then on I buckled down, and did what I needed to do, and graduated in fours years (like I’m “supposed to”). After graduation, I applied to jobs and to school as well. A job didn’t come through in those 3 months before August, but I was accepted into graduate school. I learned so much in grad school. I was an active member of different organizations, and I reclaimed my spot as someone who “graduated with a high GPA.”
So, now that I had redeemed myself, I was in complete shock when I didn’t land the job I thought I should have with my newly acquired credentials. I have spent the years following obtaining my Masters degree on numerous temporary and independent contractor assignments, at a full-time corporate position that I was overqualified for, and, sometimes, long stints of not being able to find employment at all. I have had breakdowns, moments of frustration, and even questioned whether or not I should've attended college at all.
One day while I was on break, I began to cry. I said to myself, “This isn’t life, and I have to do something different." I wiped my tears, and decided to go in a completely different direction, and promised myself that I would take more risks and try new things until I began to head to where it is that I wanted to go.
I’m sharing this to let someone out there know that you’re not alone, and to not give up. If you’re not happy with where you are, you aren’t a tree, move! I don’t have it all together, but I feel that I am now on the right track. I just want to encourage you to keep trying things, growing, and don’t be afraid to switch directions and take risks.