NOTE: A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling exceptionally bad about myself, so naturally I took all of my frustrations out on my poor keyboard and concocted this. I submitted it to Thought Catalog, but fortunately, they didn’t choose it to be featured, and I say that because I have a sort of love/hate relationship with the site. I guess it wasn’t cynical enough. I’d hate to see it go to waste and I’m sure a lot of you can relate so I decided to post it here in all it’s whiny glory. Enjoy.
I’d like to say I was absent on Career Day, but my high school didn’t have one. I very easily could have not been there – I skipped enough school for teachers to stereotypically call me a delinquent, without even knowing me or my reasons, but that’s a whole other story. (Honestly though: I was going through a lot. I wasn’t as bad as that sounded.) Unfortunately, like most people my age, I “cannot seem to get my life together.” I’m not doing drugs or mixing with the wrong crowd nor am I engaging in promiscuous sex or binge drinking at parties. I do not fit the conventional title of one who can’t seem to get their life together but as far as my career, I guess you can call me ill-fated. This is what we are judged on in our twenties and I wish it weren’t so.
I’m a writer. I live to write and I strongly believe that to write is to bleed- hence why I’m even writing this article. Writing is my therapy and I can’t imagine my life without it. I get so many amazing feel-good compliments on my writing all of the time and not only does it fuel my confidence, it also confirms my belief that this is what I should be doing with my life. However, breaking into the field of journalism and writing is a difficult task, and while I try to take it all in stride, I have to admit that it’s blowing my self-confidence to bits. I get passed over for the supposed college-educated shit that seems to think that writing a piece on four reasons why a certain band is better when you’re high is good journalism. I’ve never fit in or understood my generation’s mentality and I was hoping the stigma of that would fade away after high school but it’s only gotten worse.
My parents never made work look like fun. I never want to become that. They both hated their jobs and came home in miserable moods. I think maybe it was because they felt like their dreams were unattainable when they were younger. Sadly, I can relate – I’ve even considered other options, but while doing so, I feel like I’m giving up. What if I get stuck in retail for the rest of my life because my writing style isn’t like everyone else’s? That’s terrifying to think about, and I’d be lying if I said most of this nonsense doesn’t keep me up at night. I’ve been rejected from a lot of places, but oddly enough, I’m at peace with most of their decisions afterwards. I want my name to represent a reputable company. I want to be a part of something that inspires people to think outside of the box rather than adding to the problem. I want to be a part of a company that actually has the common decency to send out a rejection letter, rather than letting writers figure it out on their own. Professionalism is dead.
When you think about it, job searching is a lot like dating. You put yourself out there in hopes that Prince Charming (or in this case, the dream job) will choose you out of a million other girls (applicants) and whisk you away to his castle on a hill (a nice office with a decent kitchen.) But then you start worrying about if you’re pretty enough, (well-qualified) or what he will think once he knows about all of your quirks and flaws (lack of a piece of paper that somehow deems me worthy of a job.) Either way, it’s a tough life out there and the only way you can be proud of your accomplishments is if you stay true to yourself and stand your ground.
While most of Generation Y is out doing things I’ll never relate to, I think it’s safe to say that one thing is universal: finding a job is a real bitch. Everyone deserves a fair shot at pursing their dreams. Putting yourself out there is petrifying but if I can write a piece that millions of eyes will see and critique, I guess I can handle it. Let the pessimism commence below!