Man, these last couple of months have been tough. I keep waiting for spring to arrive, for this symbol of renewal lying just inches away from my grasp. It feels like I'm running the last kilometre of a marathon, a marathon I've ran hard, a marathon I've dedicated my whole being to. I'm ready to cross the finish line and celebrate the result of all my hard work, but the finish line seems impossibly far away.
I honestly thought I had already crossed the line. I graduated last April, and was given the opportunity to work abroad doing development work right out of school. Honestly, it was a dream come true. To me, it was just another manifestation of my hard work and positive spirit; a combination that has continue to bear fruit over the past 5 years. But now, in my current state of underemployment, and my inability to find worthwhile work, I'm starting to feel worthless. If two degrees, a solid GPA, 3 years of sales/administrative experience, volunteer work, multiple conferences, and an international internship aren't enough to land me an entry level job, then what is? I know networking is key, but so far I haven't come across any solid leads. This is demoralizing.
Unfortunately, all this hard work created an expectation of success, of a value I had as an individual, and a capacity for change that I had to bring to the world; but so far the message I've gotten back from countless hours of resume writing and tailored cover letters has been a message of worthlessness. I'm ready to move on to the next stage of my life. And I'm working at it, with networking at events, reaching out to friends, and applying for countless jobs; but no seed has borne fruit yet, and I'm hungry. I keep asking myself what all my hard work was worth, and the answer the world has given me back so far is essentially nothing.
From what I know, many grads face this limbo stage when coming out of school. The fact is that unless you were the cream of the crop, you have to work to get into a good job. I thought I was up there in the ranks, so I'm really struggling with this soul crushing feeling brought about my underemployment. I'm currently working as Events Support at the University of Calgary, which entails setting up rooms for events, and cleaning up afterwards.
I know I'm not alone in this struggle. For many of my friends it took about a year to find regular work. But having completed an extra degree, many of my friends have full time work, and can afford to go out together and partake in fun times. And then at work I'm constantly reminded of where I want to be, as most events I work are for various departments within the university. The other night I was working event monitoring for the teaching recognition awards, a prestigious event with a beautiful set up and some of the best catering I've seen. They definitely went all out. And why so extravagant? Because the event was attended by VIPs in the university, successful scholars and university employees. Being surrounded by all these amazing people, and not getting to mingle with them made me really sad. I was just a blank face, a nobody to them.
I'm excited for the spring, because at the very least it will allow me to work outside in a job that has some spiritual value. I love landscaping, working with plants and the earth, and creating ties with my co-workers. If nothing else, I could enjoy that for the summer and gain some self-respect from it. But right now, I feel I have nothing to feel good about.