I haven’t written in more than a year, and I’m back! In my final year as a student at the University of Oregon, I wrapped up the two degrees I was working on, took on way too many internships trying to beef up that resume, and worked two jobs, all while raising my daughter as a single parent! Whew, no wonder I was burnt out! I had been working on my higher education the past 7 years (I’m one of those students), and frankly, I was tired when I graduated. I had big plans of moving to Portland, knowing all my dreams would fall into place just perfectly with little effort, well that didn’t “exactly” happen.
For several months I looked for work. In all those resumes and cover letters I sent out, I landed only two phone interviews, not making it to the next round with either one.
My hopeful, positive spirit, slowly got crushed as the weeks and months passed, with my dream job (or any job), simply not coming to fruition. I was in a tough place, 2011 was the middle of the recession and most people experienced some rough economic times. Jobs simply weren’t easy to come by (still aren’t). With every rejection letter, the employer would let me know I was a strong candidate for the position, but they received more than 200 applications. Being a recent graduate, I just couldn’t compete with years of experience other candidates had. I did FIVE internships in my senior year alone, I thought my resume would look great.
Alas, after five months of continual despair, and becoming incredibly discouraged, (it was supposed to be so easy), I bit the bullet and did the one thing I promised myself I would never do again, I blanketed the service industry with my resume. Yes, I would get a serving position. I was going broke following my career dreams, and I had to be realistic and pay the bills. Waiting tables is quick money, so it’s easy to fall back on, and I had years of experience.
I was grateful to get a waitressing job fairly quickly at the Nite Hawk Diner in North Portland, just in time for Christmas! I worked this job for all of 2012. The plan was to work part time, and continue finding a career on the side. This happened some, but to be honest, I was burnt out on finding work. Waitressing for a year was kind of a nice break, so I took it.
As the months passed however, I found myself becoming more and more apathetic, and lacking motivation. I recognized I was in a rut, so I made a rash decision to take a leave of absence from my job, and travel to Hawaii over the recent winter break.
This was the best thing for me! I returned refreshed, rejuvenated, motivated, encouraged, and passionate once again! I’ve been taking note of all the things I should have done in my job search before, and I will simply have to try harder this time around!
I loved my customers at the diner, and it was great to work for a small family business, they treated me well. What that sort of job will never provide me however, is a sense of purpose. There are far too many issues in this world that I care strongly about, and I have far too much passion in my heart to sit idly by, I want to be proud of what I’m doing! When I die, I want to be able to look back and think, yes I did all I could to make this world a little better.
I want my time, and energy put forth helping to solve the problems that I’m concerned about, and frankly, I don’t think my huge heart and multitude of talents should be wasted on performing work that I don’t fully enjoy, I want more!
So, I’m entering 2013 with a fresh outlook, positive attitude, and a fighting spirit. I’m taking measures to meet new people in the fields I’m interested in, researching more, getting my name out there; so eventually, businesses and organizations will be coming to me offering me positions! (Well, I may as well dream big).
I’m starting with my online presence. It’s essential these days, and I vow to be involved more. I will be adding blog posts regularly, entering the twitter world daily, and cleaning up my profile in LinkedIn.
Wish me luck on this very exciting journey. I hope to get feedback from many of you as I travel through 2013. If nothing else, this post will keep me accountable.