If there’s one thing I feel that doesn’t get talked about too much online, it’s the topic of what life looks like within the first 6 months to a year after graduating college. This is such a crazy, transitional, and totally unglamorous period of time, and I am here today to share my story. Sometimes it’s nice to stumble upon an article or blog post about something super relatable to something you’re going through in life or a period of time in your life, and I hope this post finds you when you need it and offers a little bit of hope and inspiration!
For those reading who have already graduated college, can we all agree that one of the biggest adjustments when entering the real-world is not having summer breaks anymore (unless you’re a teacher where you have summers off)!? I may be a little over-dramatic about this here, but not having a summer break for the first time in forever and going to work every day instead actually kind of gave me the blues last summer! I have to say it truly made me feel like an adult, that’s for sure.
I graduated from Washington State University last May 2019 with my Bachelor’s Degree in Strategic Communication and a minor in Business Administration. While I knew this was the field I wanted to be in and was meant to be in, I really had no idea what kind of job I wanted still. This kind of freaked me out a little because since I had just graduated college in my field of interest, I thought I should have my life together and truly know what I wanted to do for work, but I still hadn’t yet (and to this day still don’t totally know for sure either)!
At the time, I was doing freelance work for a marketing/advertising agency through an internship I had done for the company in the summer of 2018. While this was a great experience for me and helped me learn more about the marketing/advertising world, it just wasn’t the job I knew I should have at this early point in my career. I won’t go into too much detail here, but working freelance isn’t totally a glamorous thing (or at least it wasn’t in my case) and definitely had its hardpoints and complications.
Fortunately enough, a recruiter had actually reached out to me through LinkedIn in early June about a job opportunity that I thought would be great professional experience for me and a great transition into the real world. Side Note: I really wanted to stress the importance of having a LinkedIn profile here because LinkedIn has given me so many opportunities that I never would’ve had if it weren’t for the network. As a recent college graduate too, LinkedIn is a must!
But back to the job opportunity from the recruiter. The job was contract employment for an Account Coordinator position for a tech company. After I was offered the job and as I was thinking things over, I thought to myself, Do I have an interest in the tech industry? No. Is an Account Coordinator a job I want? Not exactly. Did I take the job? Yes!
You may ask, why did she take this job if she had no interest in it? And there are so many answers to this question that I think will provide a lot of insight for those of you fresh out of college and on the job hunt.
Reason #1 Why I Took This Job: It Paid Decently Well
Keep in mind that I was fresh out of college, aka a “broke college student,” and really just needed a decently paying full-time job to save up some money and truly enter the real world. And I am so thankful for that because it really did help with building my savings and becoming a bit more financially independent. And I’m not saying you should take a job you absolutely hate just because it pays well, actually having an interest in your job really does make a difference too!
Reason #2 Why I Took This Job: Professional Experience/Resume-Builder
While this job was not something I was truly interested in, I knew I needed and could benefit from the professional experience. And I did! It was a good job to add to my resume as entry-level experience out of college, and I really did learn a lot about working in an office environment, transitioning to working 40 hours per week, connecting with my co-workers, working in a team, and more.
Reason #3 Why I Took This Job: Company Culture/Environment
Working at a tech company was really so much fun, and I have to say I enjoyed the company more than the job itself. The people there were so nice and laid-back and I made some friends from my team, our company provided us with free breakfasts and lunches twice a week, they always had the biggest selection of snacks out every day, it had a casual and chill dress code, and was all-around a fun place to work.
However, after about 4-5 months into it, the job just started to get old and I definitely felt burn-out easily since I was not at all interested in the industry or job. I knew I needed to actively pursue finding a job in my field of interest and start immediately as I feel that getting work experience in your field of interest as early as you can out of college is SO important and can really set you up for success throughout the entirety of your career.
I actively looked and applied for jobs in marketing, advertising, and social media for over a month (almost 2 months) through LinkedIn, faced a ton of no call-backs or rejection (part of the process, unfortunately), and then finally interviewed and applied for a job in marketing, a job I was then offered and accepted that I currently work today!
If I’m being 100% honest, the first 6 months to a year after college is not the most glamorous time. There are so many feelings during this time like thinking the real world sucks, but also this is a ton of fun not doing homework anymore and having a life after work, I was still living at home as I was saving up money from my job while I saw so many people on Instagram living their best lives moving into their own apartments. It’s really just so weird to be honest haha. I remember the first week after I started my first full-time job last summer, I came home at the end of the week and had a breakdown in front of my boyfriend that I didn’t feel ready for a full-time job, thought I’d do a bad job at it and being an adult, feared I wouldn’t have time to work on my blog, etc.
The truth is that it is ok to have a breakdown, we’re only human! This is such a weird transitional time in our lives and all of it really just got to me.
While I still may not know for sure what job I want to have in the future, I really am just enjoying my 20s, enjoying working in my field of interest, seeing where life takes me, working on my blog and having fun with it, and more! Always try to stay on the positive side and know that things will work out the way they’re supposed to, even if it’s not what you had planned. It’s so important during this stage of life!
Thanks for reading!