When It Rains, It Pours
Patience is a virtue. Don’t burn a bridge. Good things come in pairs. It’s all in who you know. Timing is everything. The best things happen with you least expect it. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.
Let me be the first to admit that all of the cliché statements your parents, grandparents, family friends and teachers told you growing up are true! I have personally experienced firsthand every last one of these statements in the nine months following my college graduation and will forever regard them as the biggest life lessons I have learned and grown from. My post-grad journey has been anything but what I expected.
Allow me to run you through a quick timeline of my life since graduation:
- May 11: First day as an intern!
- October 22: Applied for a full-time role with the company I was interning for.
- November 2: Made it to the first round of interviews!
- November 26: Holy crap… I made it to the second round of interviews! Fingers crossed!
- December 11: Received a sucker punch blow when I was not offered the full-time position.
- December 13: Finished my amazing eight-month internship that opened my heart to a deeper passion for the game of golf than I knew and opened my eyes to a career possibility I didn’t know existed. I learned so much and met so many amazing people; I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. This is the “if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be” cliché moment. It is also the start of “patience is a virtue” as I began the process of sending out many, many, many job applications.
- January 15: Hired at a pet-boarding facility part-time (bless those people).
- February 1: Had an interview for a very appealing full-time role in the golf industry.
- February 3: Offered a second interview for that same role (excitement building!). This was the beginning of “timing is everything”.
- February 2: My boss from my internship reached out to me unexpectedly about a new job they just had open up. (whoa!). This is the “great things happen when you least expect it” cliché part of the story.
- February 3: Visited with my boss from my internship about this new role and the responsibilities associated with it.
- February 4: While at my part-time job, my former boss called me to offer me a full-time role (AHHHH!).
- February 5: The other job ALSO offered me a full-time role with their company (DOUBLE AHH!). And the truth behind the statement “good things come in pairs…”
- February 5: After weighing pros and cons, I finally decided to happily accept the full-time position with the company I had interned for.
- February 15: My first day as a full-time working woman!
Not getting hired on full-time where you spent eight months working hard can be a pretty big slap to the face. It’s like breaking up with your long-term boyfriend when you still live together. It’s the whole bit of “it’s not you, it’s me…” Not an easy pill to swallow that you just weren’t quite good enough. I have and will always hold myself to a very high standard personally and professionally and tend to struggle with rejection. As someone who has such high standards for herself and who puts a lot of self-worth stock into her job, I had never experienced a heartbreak quite like this one in any of my relationship breakups (pretty sure a psychologist would have a field day with that fun fact). As soon as I heard the word “unfortunately,” a part of me retreated, wounded. What did I do wrong? What could I have done better? Was it something I said in the interview? I was riding a rollercoaster of emotions for the week following the news. I was sad, angry, confused, content, lost all at once. I am an obsessive planner and this was not following my post-grad plan at all. I was supposed to work my butt off in an incredible internship following graduation, get hired full-time for my first big girl job, move out of my parents’ house and live happily ever. Instead, I was eight months into the real world with not much to show for it and even more confused as to my life’s path.
Though I was in a lull for around a month-and-a-half looking for a full-time position, I had two full-time job offers in a matter of three days! It came out of nowhere and just like that I actually had a choice which salary position I wanted to accept. If that isn’t a sign of hope and the power of prayer, then I don’t know what is. I had at least a dozen people tell me, “That’s a good problem to have.” And they are so right.
This is where the familiar phrases of “don’t burn a bridge” and “it’s all in who you know” tie in. The first job offer I received was sent to me via text by two of my good friends from college who saw the opening on Twitter. The second job offer was from the place I interned at for over a year in total. What do those two things have in common? I only heard/was considered for these positions because I knew someone. You might end up getting hired from a job you see on the internet but most jobs are found through personal relationships. As far as not burning bridges, t would’ve been super easy to cry hysterically or storm out of my bosses’ office that December afternoon. But I didn’t. I tried my hardest to compose myself and graciously listen to their rejection. I thanked them for all they had done for me in my internship and throughout the interview process, shook their hands and walked out with my head held high. (Of course the tears came when I called my mom with the news.)
One of the first things my boss told me when they later hired me full-time was how impressed they were with how professionally I handled the situation; that led them to knowing I was a perfect fit for this new position. Lesson learned: try your hardest to be gracious and not burn a bridge, because you really never know when or where that person may come back into your life.
This post isn’t meant as an exposition of my accomplishments, but rather to say that to those still on the job hunt, everything is going to be fine. “Easy for you to say, lady, you have a job,” you might be saying. If you would have told me a month ago to be patient, that everything will work out how it’s supposed to work out, I would’ve rolled my eyes and lackadaisically said “mhmmm.” But I can say from experience, though your self-worth might be at an all-time low and though you may be thinking that diploma seems like an awfully big waste of time, do not give up. Keep furiously sending out those resumes and applications. Keep smiling and shaking hands. You never know when you might meet the person who offers you a job or when an opportunity may present itself.
[Photo by Juliette Kibodeaux.]