Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Adventures in Post Grad
What I've Learned So Far
I definitely do not enjoy on the spot job offers. Last week I got an offer for a position with a company I do enjoy. I posted about it here, but I pulled the post. It's still up on google reader, so some of you might have seen it. Things went swimmingly and I was feeling rather great about the prospect. Until, in the hours and day that followed, the hiring manager dropped some unsavory bombshells. The pay was only .75 more than minimum wage, and the hours were 20 per week instead of 30. The amount of travel, the days per week, and the wages made it nearly impossible for me not to walk away from the offer. The money would barely put a dent in my bills. The only downside is that you can't stop the sense of dread that comes with turning down a job offer when you're told jobs are so hard to come by right now. That's the unfortunate part.
Apply for jobs you know you're going to want. One of the reasons I didn't accept a cashiering position was the fear of getting stuck doing something I hated and that wasn't fulfilling just because it was a paycheck. I've become a lot more picky when it comes to submitting my resume since a month and a half ago. Money is important, but so is my sanity.
Be open to new experiences. I've long considered various graduate school programs but how will I ever know if going that route is right for me unless I get some experience in the fields that interest me? That's why this week I signed up to substitute teach. The idea frightens me, only because I don't know what to expect and kids can be slightly terrifying. But I can't think of a better way to figure out if I enjoy the classroom setting than to sub a few days a week for extra money while I apply for full time jobs and figure things out. My training is tomorrow. Wish me luck!
Don't be afraid to expect certain things, or to set boundaries for searching. I've made a wish list. The job I want: must be full time, must be within a certain salary range (i.e. the amount I need at minimum to survive) and it must be within specific driving distance. I feel like this is an acceptable list of needs.
Realize that these things take time and stop beating yourself up about it. This is the hardest lesson to learn. I didn't pick a degree like nursing in which I have one option for employment and there are a million jobs open. I'm slowly defining my own career. This takes time. I can play what ifs about my past choices all day long. But that doesn't help me or anyone else. Accept my path and work hard daily. For me, it's making sure I submit a resume at least once a day. Or that I work on a cover letter. Or make follow up calls. And most of all it means to check myself, every few days, to make sure I'm not spending too much time wallowing in self pity.