My emotions are all over the place. One minute, I am feeling confident and determined, the next annoyed and discouraged and the next very helpless.
Why can’t I get a job?
I guess that’s the wrong question. I can get a job. I have actually been offered six jobs in the past two years. Three I accepted, three I turned down. Zero have been utilizing my degree. One was in the bordering country of what I want to do. Two almost killed me for the boredom.
What do people do when they haven’t found the job of their dreams? Do they resign to just work as a greeter at Walmart? Do they go a different way?
Or do they just wait….and wait…and wait….
In 2004, I applied too late to get into Ohio University’s journalism school. So, instead of taking the consolation prize of an “undecided” degree choice for now and trying my luck on transferring into the school the following year, I dismissed the idea of traditional school altogether and attended an un-accredited Bible College for a year. I chose to immerse myself in something totally random (career-wise), but spiritually fulfilling rather than enviously glare at the journalism school and the students entering day in and day out while I walked to my “undecided” classes as though I would ever be “undecided”. The next year, I re-applied to OU and was admitted into the journalism school.
Then came the “What do you want to minor in” question.
My answer? Nothing.
If not a necessary educational supplement to my career goals, then a minor seemed to be something of a Plan B. For me there was no Plan B. When my academic advisor asked me what else I was interested in besides journalism, I answered: Nothing. I’m not a “minor” person. When I do things, I’m all in. I “major” in everything. So, when they told me a minor was not necessary to graduate, I declined to declare one. There was nothing I wanted to do besides journalism.
This is why, two years after my graduation and despite the fact that my degree hasn’t opened a single door for me as of yet, I refuse to give up on trying. Getting a job in something else feels like settling. I don’t want to do anything else.
There are some people who are fine doing anything. They can be happy as a prosecuting attorney, a UPS truck driver, or a nanny. I cannot fathom this. There are other people who can work just to work. Not me. I want to work for the enjoyment. Sure you can survive at a job, but who wants to just survive? I want to be happy at work – at least most days. I think happiness is a state of mind to an extent. No one is happy picking up trash on the side of the highway in an orange jumpsuit. And I would not be happy working in any job not journalism-related.
The only way I could be satisfied doing something other than journalism/writing is if the journalism business shut down completely. However, I cannot watch the news, read magazines, flip through newspapers, look around bookstores, peruse websites, or see a written word anywhere and know that I have the talent, skill and degree yet earn my living doing something that has nothing to do with what I like to do. Not when there are other people living their dreams every day.
I can’t do it. I won’t do it.
I may have to revamp my job hunt methods, get past my inability to network, go to grad school, or quit doing work for free, but I’m not giving up on my dreams. There is no alternative. No Minor. No Plan B. No consideration of working a job I hate.
Maybe this is what they call perseverance. Or idealism. Or stupidity. The good thing, the blessed-by-God thing, is that I don’t have to do anything else. I don’t have debt, a husband or children. All I have is time to try and try and try some more.
Eventually, it will pay off.
Of course for all of my talk about only wanting a job in journalism, there are lots of different types of jobs that fall under that stadium-sized umbrella so I’m not being narrow-minded here. If I do end up having to wait a little longer for a TV reporter position, then I may have to pay the bills with a different job. I just want to think outside of the box within the larger box of journalism and writing instead of resigning to the high school fallbacks. For instance:
McDonald’s cashier – NO. Menu liner copy editor for McDonald’s – OK.
Personal Banker at Chase – NO. Writer for Chase.com – OK.
Salesfloor at Target – NO. Talent in a Target Employee Training Video – OK.
A cashier at Meijer – NO. Freelance writer for magazines they sell at Meijer – OK
Answering phones for an Investment Banker – NO. Creating a website for him to market his services – OK
So yeah, I’ll get something. Just not anything. And when I do finally get something (what I’ve been waiting on for what feels like forever) I will be SO happy.