Struggling with a degree 101

July 18, 2017

  Ramen noodles were my holy grail in college due to insufficient funds. However, little did I know it would be my holy grail after college because I was officially struggling as a an adult. Fedloan Servicing contacted me within six months. There was no congratulations or understanding of my circumstances, but their was a nice bill for 320.00 dollars monthly in my mailbox.
  After I graduated from college, I thought that jobs would fall at my feet because I had a degree. Little did I know, I would have to work twice as hard to work what people think are "dead-end" jobs to pay for my basic needs. Internships are a wonderful way to enter into your field, but unless the internships offers a fulltime position or impressionable reference, then it's kind of meaningless. Fields in education, science and math are the exceptions to this rule. However, a lot of high school and college students believe this misconception that "a college degree will get you in your career and not your hustle". I use the term "hustle" instead of experience because I felt like I was not only flexible, but clever and resourceful when applying to jobs. Because my major was in journalism, I only applied to journalism jobs on Indeed. By the way, Indeed is where I received almost every job I've had. Although I received interviews, most positions were unpaid internships or temporary positions. At the time, I felt like I couldn't take that risk because of financial responsibilities, therefore I applied to restaurants and retail stores. 

 

Rule#1 When struggling with a degree, do not let what you want overcompensate for what you need. I'm not saying give up on your career choice like I did, I'm stating that it's possible to focus on what you love but work at a job that can help supply you with basic needs unless your parents are willing. I worked at Chipotle, a daycare center and then became a lead teacher at two schools and the rest is history! I went from making 12.50 hourly to being a salary employee making way more.

 

Rule#2 We may all think our resumes and cover letters are amazing, but having an expert check it, doesn't hurt. This is not the time to show your cockiness! Fiverr is a great website that has a lists of certified resume writers who charge at least twenty dollars. That twenty could land you at least two to three interviews in a month depending on how hard you grind. 

 

Rule#3 Networking is one of the biggest reasons why people who are unqualified are in leadership positions. Why? Because they know how to market themself to the point where their lack of experience doesn't matter. Networking in your field regardless of the level of the position can reward you with contacts that you may need. I know a person who only job was working at Wal-Mart as a customer service representative. They now work as an accountant manager for Chevy Chase because someone they knew had a business relationship with a supervisor. It took me a long time to receive this, but trust me this helps! 

 

Rule#4 Stop doubting yourself! Sometimes regardless of the qualifications, if something is interesting to an employer, they'll want to meet you. It can be your college, name, experiences and or skills. Swallow that pride and insecurities and own who your are in your initial interview. Whether I was making rice at Chipotle or teaching four-year olds, I've always been confident in my interviews and led the employer to believe that I was valuable to their company, and I was.

 

Rule#5 Don't listen to naysayers. This needs no explanation. Sometimes you will have people who will try to help you. Listen to them! However, learn how to differentiate constructive feedback from criticism, there is a difference. Whether you change your degree or career choice, be confident in your decisions no matter the outcome. 

 

Rule#6 Find a hobbie or activity that adds to your well-being. For some people it's owning a business, for me its writing. Sometimes when we omit our current struggles and frustrations and put it into what we love, we began to create magic!
   

 

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