If you’ve seen “Finding Nemo” you might remember the scene where the fish plot to break the tank’s filter so that the dentist has to take the fish out of the tank to clean it. The plan works, the tank gets filthy without the filter so he bags the fish up and while the dentist is cleaning the tank they all roll out of the window, across the street, and plop themselves into the harbor. In the next couple frames of the movie you see the fish are ecstatic because their plot worked and they are out of the tank and they are saved from being tortured by the dentist’s niece. The moment of happiness is changed when the blowfish says “now what?”
I graduated from college 1 year and 25 days ago, I am one of those fish; so overjoyed, proud, happy, pleased, delighted, the list could go on and on and on that I have FINALLY finished college, that I am getting my degree so that I can go find my dream job in the real world. And then recently the “now what?” has settled in. Um, hello it has been a little over a year and I am STILL trying to find that dream job, I am STILL trying to find the path that best suits me.
Someone once told me that you have 6 months from the time you’ve graduated to land a job otherwise you become irrelevant in your chosen field, this use to scare the crap out of me, I would lay in bed night after night and think of all the places I could apply to, if I could quit my job and do internships so that I could gain experience, I can’t tell you how much this irrelevancy plauged my thoughts day in and day out. I was so worried about becoming irrelevant that I failed to remember that I have a job; sure not one that I want to do until I retired but a job that I make decent wages and I don’t hate going to. I failed to remember the time that it took me to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, the amount of effort I put into my education and into my decisions. I was so worried that I wouldn’t land a job in those first 6 months that I didn’t take the time to just be content.
Sure it drives me a little nuts that I am still having a hard time finding a job, but here is the thing the job market isn’t what it used to be; people are professional students because they don’t work, if you think you work hard I promise that there is someone out there working harder than you, and someone harder than that person. Jobs are not plentiful right now; I graduated at a less than fortunate economic time. Jobs are no longer about who you know, they are about the experience you have and the work you’ve put in, and remember someone is already one upping you in that arena.
Not having my dream job is a bummer, but wait have I told you that I don’t know what my dream job is yet? I haven’t told you because I don’t know what it is. I surely know what my dream job is not and I have internships to thank for that. Odd as it may sound I am thankful that I haven’t found a job yet and that I am able to test different areas of my field out. I am thankful for companies that offer internships. I am thankful for networking. I am thankful for friends who have startup businesses. I am thankful for anyone who reads my blog. I am thankful for all the things that are slowly but surely making me a better candidate for my someday dream job. Yes it drives me batty that I am still working in pharmacy, but I have become content with the fact that things happen for a reason when they happen, I will get a job, I can’t tell you when, where or how but it will happen and for now I just have to do my part because a job is not just going to land in my lap without my putting in the effort.
A lot of graduations have been happening in the past few weeks and even more to come in the weeks ahead, and I promise more people than not will have that “now what?” feeling, it may not be today or tomorrow but it will happen. And when it does happen just remember all of the things you did to get to where you are now, do not be discouraged; things happen for a reason.
I am still a fish in a baggy in the great big harbor, but now when I ask myself “now what?” it isn’t because I am unsure of myself or my decisions it is because I am planning my steps to making myself a better candidate for jobs.