You’re fresh out of college, ready to conquer the world, get your own place, and find a kickass job. This is the American dream that we all worked our butts off for, right?! WRONG.
Remember when adults would tell us to stop wanting to grow up so fast, and enjoy being a kid? Yeah, me too. WHY didn’t we take their advice?! Being an adult seemed so fun and the freedom seemed so exciting. Well, NEWSFLASH, being an adult is not fun, or exciting.
I felt so accomplished and ready for adult life after graduating from Penn State, but I was under the assumption that I would get a good, decent paying job that I really enjoyed! I mean, that is why I went to college in the first place, right? Not so much.
I am currently working a full time job, while in graduate school, and I am living pay check to pay check. You would think that the full time job that I need a college degree for would suffice, but it doesn’t. As I am getting older, and trying to not fail at this adult thing, I am realizing that you have to start at the very bottom of the career ladder before making any kind of decent money. Turns out, you need a degree AND experience in order to advance in my career. I am currently working on the experience part.
My job isn’t the worst. My job is not the best. I work as a child case manager and the job can be very rewarding at times. However, my job is slowly crushing my soul. It is very disheartening and deflating to work your butt off in college for 4+ years, just to work at a job that is extremely underpaid and under appreciated.
To be honest, back in October I quit the job that I am currently in, because I let the feelings of disappointment and anger get in the way of focusing on my career goals. I disliked my job so much, that I began to explore other career options that I didn’t even go to school for. However, I do not regret quitting and taking the time I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. It helped me realize that I am on the career path that I want to be on, and that I need to work hard and climb the career ladder, step by step, to become the therapist that I want to be.
Do I hate waking up every morning to go to a job that I do not love? Absolutely. Will I love waking up every morning to go counsel active military/military families/veterans? ABSOLUTELY. We have to make it happen for ourselves. I have found out that no one is going to apply to their dream job and get it before working very hard for it.
Some words of wisdom for college students and soon-to-be grads:
- Do not get discouraged by a job, like I did.
- Do not give up on a job because it sucks, like I did. (There seems to be a trend here.)
- Remember that your education is only the beginning.
- You don’t deserve anything. You need to work hard for what you want.
- Nothing worth having comes easy.
- Keep your eye on the prize.
For those of you who are like me and are not happy with your current job situation, just remember these three words: This is temporary. By keeping our heads up and focusing on where we want to end up in our lives, rather than letting our current situations deflate us, we can only be successful. Eventually, I will get where I want to be, and so will you!
Sincerely, Olivia 🙂