The “J” Word

As a second semester senior in college, there is truly only one thing on my mind- a job. In the mind of my family, I need to find a “real job.” To them, that means a job in which I can A. survive, and B. will give me health benefits because you KNOW I’m clumsy as all hell. I began my job search at the end of my senior fall semester, and since then I have racked up applications in thirty-three states and two countries- but I’m sure those numbers will grow. I have reformatted my resume no less than three times and written close to a hundred cover letters. It’s not easy out there, but it will be worthwhile to have that first paycheck in my hands, or better yet my bank account.

A “real” job is scary. It’s an everyday test of everything you may, or likely may not have learned throughout the course of life or education. If you boasted a little too hard on your resume (who hasn’t- you’re not guaranteed tomorrow, lie on your resume today) and then they ask you to demonstrate something- what do you do? What if a reference who you trusted doesn’t say the right buzzwords, or doesn’t hype you up ENOUGH to get that position you’re pining for. And what really stops them from picking you?

The hardest barrier I have run into throughout my application process is time of experience. Many jobs, especially in the science world where I am looking, ask for 3+ years on an entry-level position. Entry level means ENTERING THE WORKFORCE. My rule of thumb is if I am more than 45% qualified, I’ll shoot a resume their way. Saying that I get rejected within hours some days due to lack of reaching the qualifications. Then there are jobs you’re SO qualified for; you read the description and it just SOUNDS like you. You write the best damn cover letter of your life, send it over, and wait. And you wait and wait and wait and wait. They never reply. I’ve faced this applying for internships as well. I got a rejection letter for an internship for summer 2018 in November 2018. These entry-level jobs, internships, opportunities greater than education don’t care about your time, so why do we let them have so much of it from the beginning?

In 2019 I’m trying to focus on myself more than I ever had before- and it’s tough. It’s even tougher getting letters saying that you’re a great applicant, just not THE applicant for the job. But there will be a job that comes along. It may not be perfect on the first go, but it will be there. The first job you take doesn’t have to be, and likely won’t be, the only “real” job of your adult career. That’s ok. You’ll be ok. I’ll be ok.