Today’s guest-post is written by Laura, author of Not So Skinny Genes. Laura is my most favorite (and only) Canadian friend. We share a love for Disney, Glee and remain optimistic that chivalry will make a comeback and hats on women will one day become a fashion statement outside of the UK. Laura is the Marilyn to my Audrey.
You can plan and plan. You can write contingency plans up the wazoo.
You’ve worked your butt off, you’ve studied, you’ve put yourself through yet another degree.
You’re all set to graduate and… BAM!
People around the globe lost their jobs.
Graduates around the globe saw their chances of landing one slip through their fingers.
Timing is everything.
Or maybe I should have chosen a different field.
A Public Administration degree during a recession is as close to useless as you can get. Public outcry over government spending, deficits, and kick-backs for industry equals government cut backs, job cuts, and another generation of recent grads who dreamt of making a difference, serving the public, job stability, and a decent pension would be turned away at the gate.
No room at the inn.
I haven’t had an easy go career-wise.
It took me a while (and a few detours along the way) to figure out what I wanted to “be when I grew up”. And by that point, I was already a grown up. The prospect of only starting your career when you are pushing 30 is daunting to say the least.
Because I was never presented with a silver platter in life, I learned to work really hard for the things I wanted. I learned to be creative and that patience is a virtue.
I learned to cook and how to get the most out of every dollar at the grocery store.
I learned that when you do have the means, you should save for a rainy day.
And I learned above all else, you should always be grateful for the people around you and for the fact that every morning you wake up and get to live another day.
It wasn’t always so easy to remain positive. I had my low days. I shed countless tears. I ate my way through a lot of my frustration.
I have felt like giving up.
I finished my Masters in December and instantly had several government departments and agencies inviting me for interviews, to write exams, and to start the general ‘process’. These would have been dream jobs with starting salaries that would have been life altering right out of the gate. I actually started having anxiety about which one I would choose if they each offered me positions.
But one after one, I got the rejection letters and emails.
I was crushed.
I had planned on temping for a couple of months, just to pay the bills. I remained at my parents’ house and commuted the 1 hour into the city because I refused to sign a lease on an apartment. I was willing to do this because I ‘knew’ that at anytime I could get that call that would tell me to back my bags and head to the Nation’s Capital (Ottawa, Canada) to start my career. I refused to even apply for local jobs because I didn’t want anything permanent.
A couple of months soon became half a year. Jobs that I thought I was a shoe in for, passed me over. I wrote a 30 page paper for one departmental exam… put my heart and soul into it… and I didn’t even get an interview.
I realized I needed a game change. I needed to find my Plan B. I needed to accept that things weren’t going to be easy this time around either.
I’d done it before… I’d do it again.
I was going to have to campaign for a permanent job in Halifax. I set about applying for every job under the sun. I created a job application binder. Sticky tabs and everything. I applied for jobs I was over-qualified for, and jobs I was under-experienced for. Even during this process I had more than my fair share of radio silence.
All the while I knew that eventually something had to give. I knew that I was a heck of a candidate. I was persistent, accomplished, intelligent, and a damn cute to boot.
Who wouldn’t want to hire me?
I started chronicling my trials and tribulations for all to see when I started my blog in March 2012. I needed a way to express my frustration and my struggles without bottling it all up, or worse… letting it take over my life.
I didn’t want to let bitterness in.
Blogging (and reading the blogs of others in similar situations) inspired me and motivated me to take ownership of my life and my situation.
Complaining and whining about your circumstances will not make things better. In fact it will make others avoid your company and usually only makes you feel worse.
I’ve blogged about surrounding yourself with positive influences in the past; this is one piece of advice I will continue to promote until everyone I know embraces the philosophy. My circumstances may have prevented me at times from physically removing myself from toxic environments, or mentally exhausting relationships, but entering the blogosphere allowed me to express positive thoughts, to reach out to like-minded individuals, and to read about the struggles (and successes) of others.
When it comes down to it.
When the music stops.
When you’re alone with yourself at the end of the day.
You need to be happy.
You need to be ok with you.
Circumstances be what they may, you must strive to stay positive. Allow yourself time to reflect, to wallow in self-pity, and then promptly snap out of it.
Maybe there are people out there that find themselves eternally fortunate… lucky in love and successful in all that they do.
But we are not these people.
We work for what we accomplish.
We shed blood, sweat, and tears for all that we achieve… and sometimes for the things that prove to be just out of reach and leave us disappointed.
What inspires me most is the belief that things happen for a reason. Yet sometimes, the reason seems unclear and the result unfair.
Trust that if you work hard enough, if you care deeply enough…
You will eventually get there.
Hold onto that thought and remind yourself when the dream seems impossible…
When the foe is unbeatable…
When the sorrow is unbearable…
This is your quest.
*Stephanie Notes: Laura is a self-proclaimed theatre geek, hence the finishing touch to her post. Thank you Laura for a beautiful guest post and a message a lot of us can relate to and learn from!