Earlier today I spent a tenth of what I have left in my bank account to print out 15 copies of an 8 page creative resume that I designed into a magazine. My thought process: If they can hold and flip through my potential, maybe they’ll finally take notice.
The normal resumes approved by career centers and HR managers haven’t worked. The hundreds of tailored cover letters haven’t worked. The awards, the GPA, the internships. They didn’t work.
Maybe it’s because what I’m passionate about and want to work in has nothing to do with my degree. Maybe it’s because I have no related connections having not gone to USC (poetic feel intended).
All I know is that I’ve applied to >200 jobs over the course of the year. Entry level, fellowships, assistant positions, random positions. The endless search for a step in the door has brought me to unusually low spirits on different occasions. But I’m going to make it happen. I’m going to make a career in creative media.
I guess I just thought that this big adventure would launch as soon as college ended. That starting to search for a job early on would have paid off. I didn’t picture the adventure taking place in the middle of L.A. traffic, lost because my Sprint phone seems to never have service, unable to deliver the creative resumes I just printed from some desperate vision of a final attempt.
I don’t know what I’m doing, I spent $120 printing out colorful magazine resumes that look like an art student’s final project. Is that what creative agencies like?
I didn’t expect finding a job to be this hard.
But it’s these moments where we have the time to mess up, not get what we want, and try other things -the times where we think to ourselves “what am I doing, why is it like this, what should I do now”- that often lead us to where we want to be (or where we eventually realize we want to be).
Ever since I was little I wanted to live in New York. Work in New York. Succeed in New York. The creative big apple.
Well, I’ve never been.
I’ve applied to job after job in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other areas in California because it seemed rational. We all need a job. And you can’t really get one in a place you aren’t in.
But sitting in my car today with a blank Google Maps location dot ironically representing how lost I felt, printed resumes in the passenger seat and desire to give up at an all time high, I subconsciously began making different plans. Ones that didn’t take place in California.
By the time I found my way back to the Home Depot where this story began (to use their wi-fi to figure out my next steps), I decided to move to New York.
To find work in New York, lay down roots, try to break my way into the industry.
California for me had been a safety net, in case New York never came true. But the safety net wasn’t even there, so why stay?
I’ll walk dogs. I’ll eat a can of beans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ll at least try. Try my hardest.
I guess the point of all of this is to tell all of my fellow college graduates in the same position to never give up. To not mistake being lost as being worthless. To not limit ourselves to safety nets.
Maybe these rejections, driving 12 miles the wrong direction because Sprint is dead, being dropped from the company you thought you were the perfect fit for, are the detours that our future selves will be grateful for. The opening sentences to the most exciting chapters.
I don’t know. I’m still just a college graduate without a job. I haven’t found my success yet. I don’t know anything, really. I don’t know what those 4 years were supposed to do (except teach you how to have fun and still look good on paper).
The point is, don’t give up on yourself. Keep going. And with optimism. Just like rotten grapes turn into wine, these sour situations might turn into big opportunities.