Tuesday, August 16, 2011

the dream job BLOW OFF

This year, my brother and a crap load of other 2osomethings graduated college in one of the worst economies in recent history. Basically, it's kind of like the universe welcomed them into the real world with a big fat sloppy BLOW OFF. I seriously feel for all you kids in your early twenties. This is definitely a time of reflection combined with anxiety and panic that a college degree never prepares you for. It's a time where movies like Garden State really speak to you. It's a time when you're baffled by terms like 401K and health insurance. It's a time when you can do anything or do nothing.

The economy wasn't so great when I got out of school either (2002) and it took me almost a year to get a job with a salary and benefits.

I moved to New York after college fully expecting (and hoping) to work for a magazine or get a cool job at a network like MTV or a movie studio like New Line. I sent out countless resumes and only got one interview with an HR rep. I regularly collapsed in the bathroom in tears wondering how the hell I planned to afford the little shoebox New York City apartment I'd just rented...that my parents had to co-sign for.

So, nearly ten years later, here's some advice to all of you recent college grads still scrambling to find work.

Don't be an idiot and hold out for your dream job. I was so desperate for work, I took a job with ABC Daytime where all I did was watch soap operas. I know what you're thinking...how could that not be your dream job?! It was a pretty sweet deal, but I wasn't all that into soaps, it was only a temporary gig, and I was aiming for something that would let me contribute to society. After the job ended, a big wig exec needed an assistant and I somehow managed to get hired (even though she was concerned that I was a little uptight in my interview. Uptight? I had my nose pierced. Everyone knows you can't have your nose pierced and be uptight.)

The job paid well for a starting salary right out of school and my boss was the kind of tough broad I knew I'd learn a lot from. I figured it was a good job for right now. Or at least while I lived in New York, since eventually I'd move back to the bay area. And yes, it was far from being my dream job...but it's kind of like dating, when you've got zero prospects you lower your standards. A lot.

And like dating, my temporary job turned out to be one of those relationships that went on for far too long. The kind where you can't blow the other person off, because you're just so well taken care of and comfortable. And that's exactly how things went for seven years. Yeah, I got promoted over the course of that time, but I still wasn't doing what I wanted to be doing. I know what your twenty-two year old selves are thinking...how can you work at a job you hate for that long? Awww, all that youthful idealism is SO sweet. This is how: you get used to making money.

As it turned out, not holding out for my dream job was the best decision ever. I ended up meeting my future husband, winning a really cool gold trophy that rhymes with the word yemmy, and eventually working my dream job (for the time being anyway...I do miss the steady paycheck.) I'm still working on that whole actually contributing to society thing.

So, stop watching Garden State. Zach Braff's career doesn't really go anywhere. Go out there and interview for that job you really don't want and then take it when they offer it to you. Trust me. You're in your twenties. That means you're totally allowed to be mediocre for like eight more years.

1 comment:

  1. you are awesome. just what I needed.