Life After College: Educated & Unemployed

I originally wrote about trying to get work in the real world after college in 2013 and again in 2015. Well, here it is yet again in 2019. Since the last Life After College post I’ve gone back to school again and obtained my masters of arts degree in journalism. I felt that I needed to learn more and gain more hands on experience to keep my skills up-to-date as well as my resume and of course to gain internships and network. I was able to do all of those things in college, but after graduating it seemed to get more difficult. I continuously applied to job after job, internship after internship. I reached out to people who I felt could direct me and that I’d built report with. Nothing came through. Not a paid job in the field or a “connect” in the field. It was a hard disappointment.

After not landing an entry-level position since graduating in 2013, after graduating in 2018 I moved states. Prior to moving I applied to numerous jobs in televisions news and production. I’ve consistently watched and reached out to radio stations in the Greater Atlanta. Still nothing. I’ve applied to non-paid internships and have been contacted and told that I am over-qualified. I’ve applied to jobs not in the media or entertainment industry and some in the field and told the same thing.

Recently I applied for a production apprenticeship in the county that I reside in. It seemed perfect. I applied via Indeed. I received an email for the next step which would be an information session and completing a full application. Today was the day I’d attend the informational and wait to see if I am called back in consideration for a spot in this fellowship. Well, I attended the session and did not receive more information than I went in knowing. I filled out the online application needed and a paper application (which was a bit lengthy). After an hour I completed all needed documentation, signed a form with the on-site notary, had my driver’s license and social security cards copied and filed. I turned in my application for quick review by the session hosts and the gentleman who was reviewing my documents stopped. “Oh I’m sorry, I wish I’d seen this before hand. I’m so sorry to have wasted your time, but you have a masters. They want folks with very little to no experience…” I have little experience, industry and union experience if you want to get technical. Another attendee asked if he should continue on as he has a bachelor’s degree and have held jobs in the industry. Never-the-less, I left out of there feel so defeated. I’ve sacrificed so much to receive higher education to put myself in a better position and yet it seems I’m always turned away. Before it was lack of education and or experience. Now it’s too much? I’m not understanding. I know a great part of it is it’s who you know, but even with that it’s years of experience which I have yet to gain.

unemployment-grads-cartoon

To say the least I was frustrated. Not with the host, just with the process. I thanked them for their time and assistance and spoke to one host about networking here and events in the area. While I’m grateful for what was shared with me and I’m confident with myself in being able to research and mingle with others, I am sick of being over qualified. I’m tired of being educated and unemployed. Again, it makes no sense to me!

A part of adulting is having to put your pride to the side and taking on jobs that may be “beneath you” (for lack of better terminology) to handle your bills and pay for necessities. Trust me, I’m always doing this even when I pick-up writing or production gigs. Honestly, in even landing some of those jobs, okay most of those jobs I’ve left off degrees and certain positions on my resume. During interviews, I’ve held back on talking about certain skills that I have in order to get a job. Basically, I’ve been dumbing myself down to make money. It’s such a horrible feeling, especially after it’s noticed or found out that “you are better than this” or told that you’re appreciated or have improved things but “you shouldn’t be here.” Then where should I be?

I know I am not special meaning I am not the only person who has and will experience this. It hurts. It can be scary. Where will my monies come from? How will I pay for this or that? While I hold faith in myself and the Universe that I will be okay and everything will turn out fine, it hurts. It’s almost as like, in this space I do not belong. Tough.

Life has many ups and downs and most definitely will throw curve balls. I want to encourage anyone reading who may be experiencing this as well as using this notation as self encouragement to keep pushing forward. Nothing worth it in life comes easy and in some instances we must create our own lanes. Do not be discouraged. Do not give up. Our time and opportunities are coming.

Peace.

Viola Constance

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