Getting That First Job

21 Jun

I sat down to write an advice post.  I wanted to share the story of me being laid off in 2008.  This was inspired by a USA Today headline, “Grim prospects could scar today’s college graduates.”

However, I’m having a hard time accepting myself as someone whose expert enough to dole out any advice.  When I watch the one YouTube video of me sitting on a panel, talking about my professional expertise, I want to burst out laughing.  Who is that person, holding the mike, pontificating about the future of publishing as if I really believe I can predict the future of anything.

Still, that headline (as well as others) inspire me to share, though I can only speak from my own experience.

I know I’ve gotten hired because I’m a good talker and a fast learner.   That I wanted whatever I was after with a laser-point tenacity; that I’ve been willing to take a lot of small steps and sacrificed salary for experience; that I’ve been willing to take risks, walk blindly into new cities and industries; that I haven’t let my own failures completely shatter my confidence, only ruin it for a while.

I would like to pass that along to those who might believe they have “grim prospects.”  I did too, so did those who graduated in 9/11, so did those who graduated during the economic crash that occurred in the 80s, so did those who graduated during the oil crisis, and yes.  I know it’s worse out there than before, but it’s been just as bad.

I think it all comes down to grasping onto the air; about being willing to take that air and know that even if you can’t see, it can turn into ice; that it can even be water.

It is so very hard to begin.  People say, “you need experience,” and are unwillingly to give it, and the available jobs seem miles away from any dream, but all things can change shape; that is inevitable in a shifting environment and atmosphere.

Under constant heat, under pressure and the cold, after (maybe) years of waiting, there will be that one opportunity; that job you thought would never come your way, and you’ll get it then soon ask, “what’s next?”

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