Important things I learned from a job I never wanted
So the transition from school to the world of work wasn’t as smooth as I’d hoped…
When you graduate school and finish four or even five hard years of endless study nights, a diet mostly based on fast food, early morning classes and, why not, a few bad alcohol and love life decisions, life is supposed to treat you like a goddess.
You worked really hard and now you deserve a great well-paid job that meets at least most of your requirements as the great professional you have become.
You broke your neck for long enough and that’s how it’s supposed to be, right?
Well… I didn’t get a great job, not even close to my requirements, and all my hard work seemed like it wasn’t enough. I had to take whatever job I could find when I saw myself behind on my bills and, of course, my past working and school experience didn’t matter at all. I couldn’t stay on my couch expecting the perfect job to fall from heaven. I had to go out and just do it.
I’ve found an eight-hour rotating shift job at an office, in front of a computer. Sometimes I work at nights, from 11 pm to 7 am, missing sleep and nights I could be spending with my boyfriend and friends. I don’t hate my job, but doing something I always told myself I would never do – something completely unrelated to my career and dreams – makes me feel like there is something wrong with me.
Maybe I didn’t work hard enough for what I wanted. Maybe my terrible social skills made those job interviews awful. Maybe I’m over-skilled and people are scared of that. Or maybe it’s just not my time to shine?
It’s been almost three months since I started the job I never wanted.
Most of my coworkers were nice at the beginning. I was the youngest, newest employee and they had to be nice. That’s called manners. After a misunderstanding involving my boyfriend (yes, my boyfriend, who doesn’t have anything to do with my job), they stopped being so nice. They started talking behind my back and gossiping. At first I was bummed. I mean, I was just starting out. Why did they have to be like that?
I spent days asking myself whether it was worth it to go to work and feel the bad vibe against me. I talked to my closest friends and all of them told me the same: “Go to work, do your thing, ignore them.”
And even though it’s really hard for me to ignore things like that, I made myself think:
“Yes, it’s temporary. Whatever those coworkers do or say, I’m not going to be here for that long. Whatever.”
I repeated the motto in my head every day and it has worked so far.
I’ve realized I’m strong enough to let unimportant things go and stop caring about people who clearly don’t care about me and my feelings.
Dealing with that kind of conflict at work and doing something I don’t love with all of my heart made me realize that there is a group of people that has supported me the whole time. My friends, family and boyfriend have given me the best advice, they have been there when I felt miserable and reminded me of how much of a cool, smart and brave woman I am. They have listened to all of my complaints without telling me: “Hey, you’ve said the same thing about six times!” and they have also told me that the best is yet to come, which I truly believe. Thanks to them, the whole experience has been less unpleasant.
Learning that life is not always how we expect it to be is the most important thing I learned. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many countries you have visited, how many languages you speak or how much of a great student you were. Your internships don’t count and neither does the perfect score you got in that test you studied so hard for.
The perfect job can be hard to find, but I’m sure I will find the job that fits me, where I feel comfortable enough and where I will be able to show how creative I am, how much I love moving around and travelling. Struggling after school happens to many young women and men around the world, but when it happens to you it’s when you realize that becoming an adult can be harder than
you thought it would be.
Losing hope at this point would be worthless. I’ve been through a lot in such a short period of time and I’m not willing to give up at this point. I will keep searching for the job that makes me smile at the end of the day, the job that gives me enough time to spend with my family, friends and boyfriend and where I feel that I’m valued by my peers.
I will continue to focus on my feelings, on the things that matter and most importantly, my career dreams and goals.