One of the major lessons I’ve learned from blogging here on The Real Post Grad is to be accepting of the different paths we all take after college. Through this site, Shikole and I have had the chance to connect with grads that are working full time and part time, living in new cities, traveling, staying in their college towns, or moving back in with parents. I’ve come to realize that no one lifestyle after graduation is perfect. It all depends on what works for you.
This weekend I visited home and attended a street festival that my very small hometown waits all year long for. I saw people from high school that I haven’t seen in years, and the first question many asked were, “where are you working??” While my full-time work lifestyle seems to be approved of by most, I hate the looks that my some of my friends who are working part time jobs, or jobs not related to their majors always tend to receive when this question comes up in conversation.
You know the look.. it’s the raised eyebrow, followed by “oh.. well you’re on your way…” It’s almost like silent judgement radiates off of them. Sometimes, I just want to shake these people and tell them to remember just how lucky they are to be working in the exact field in the exact “perfect position” they desire (if they even truly are). I don’t mean to downplay the hard work and determination it takes to land a dream job, but we’d be kidding ourselves if we ignored the fact that luck plays into things too.
Before starting my current “career” job, I was ready to become a waitress, a camp counselor, or head back to working retail because it just didn’t seem like there were any jobs for writers out there. If I hadn’t happened to be randomly job hunting on a site I’d never visited before on a Friday at 3:30pm, I would have missed my chance at this position.
The moral of this rant? If your career is heading in a great direction, take a minute and appreciate just how lucky you are. Remember that you could have easily been among the post grads with less than ideal working situations. Try to offer them help in their search, or words of encouragement instead of judgement.