8-12yrs, civic duty

Career after College: Is this What I worked for?

My graduation ceremony went by in a flash. One moment I was waiting with the other soon to be graduates listening to  speeches  from various individuals. Then I was walking away with my diploma cover(I would not receive my actual diploma until months later) along with my hopes and dreams for the future. Unfortunately, those hopes and dreams were not immediately realized. It was time to choose a career path and decided what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. In order to get what I wanted out of life, I had to work very hard after college.

Now, I was not completely unprepared for graduation. I started applying for jobs and internships that would help me start my career.  None of these jobs were a good fit for me, however, and I was not prepared for the disappointment. I knew that I was not going to land my dream job right away. Therefore, I  applied  for entry-level jobs to gain more experience and develop my skills.  I wanted to work in Publishing, but I started off doing administrative work to get my start in the industry. These kinds of jobs, however, are also extremely competitive. My biggest problem was that I did not have a lot of experience. Even though these were entry level jobs, there were other applicants that were  more qualified than me. My location and financial state at the time also made it difficult for me to find work.

My only experience at the time was in the service industry. Since I had very little experience and needed cash, I ended up working as a cashier in college. This was a very difficult time for me. I was going to school in hopes of creating a better life for myself and at the same time, I had to work as a cashier in the service industry. It was hard going to school and working. It took me some time to adjust. This made socializing very difficult and dealing with different types of personalities made my job harder.   However, I couldn’t quit, so I figured out how to adjust to my job.

Qualities Gained for a Future Career:

I did have work and internship experience from college that was relevant to the career path I wanted to follow. However,I lacked the skills and characteristics required for a career in publishing . I  always struggled with confidence and self-esteem. During my time  as a cashier, I developed new skills that helped me realize my own potential. I realized that I needed to stop letting my fear of failure keep me from getting what I wanted in life. Yes, I had failed and been rejected before, but keeping my mind open to learning was the only way I could grow and gain more experience. While I worked that job, I interviewed for many  positions and was rejected by many of them. These experiences showed me my weaknesses. At the same time,they a helped me realize my  strengths. Eventually, I became more comfortable showing potential employers that I was a confident individual.

Being a cashier also helped me build better social skills. I was always a very shy person. I was always awkward and uncomfortable in situations that involved other people. Interacting with other people was very difficult for me. Therefore, being placed outside of my comfort zone  helped me to become more relax and comfortable to being around people.  I learned how to deal with different types of personalities and how to make customers happy. This thought me that it was not always my fault that customers were unhappy. Someone might be having a bad day and the cashier at a store is an easy target. The best thing to do in these situations  is remain calm and professional. Dealing with my coworkers and my employers also became easier . As I became more confident and understood social situations better, I  became more professional in the work place.

At the time, it was hard to see the benefits of my professional career outside of college. However, I am glad to have gone down this route. Although it was a difficult start, it helped  me change for the better. In addition, I was able to grow and mature as an adult. Now I know that just because my life wasnt exactly what I wanted it to be, it did not mean I had failed. This only meant I had to use my situation  for my own growth and self improvement.

Hard work is always important: even after achieving a major life goal, the effort cannot cease.My first year out of college was very crucial in changing my perspective and motivated me to work harder.

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