Life as a post-grad grad

Thirty-seven days after my last final in my last class EVER, I still don’t have a job.

I moved cities, reclaimed my dog (who knew pit bulls are illegal in certain counties?), and accrued all kinds of fees (excuse me parking authorities, but I will be fighting all $300+ in parking tickets you have bequeathed me from the week of my move, thank you very much) … but still no amazing new source of income to boast about to family and friends.

I have reached the point of desperation. So, I’m doing what I normally do when I’m stressed: writing about it. Only this time, I’m taking a new approach and making my thoughts public, and I’m giving them a name: “(Un)Employed in D.C.” This is, after all, what’s expected of my generation, right?

I have to admit, I’m not one to normally peruse or write blogs, but the prospect that someone might ACTUALLY read what I have to say and relate to it or, even better, sympathize and react accordingly (give me a job, please), is just too tempting to pass up at this point. And, I figure, the more I write, the better my chances of finding myself distractedly browsing the internet and stumbling upon some career advice I may not have heard.

So, here’s my gripe for the day…

In all my desperate venting and crying this lack of something to do with my life has inspired, my mother uttered a phrase I never thought I would hear escape her ever-encouraging lips: “Maybe it’s time to sign up for welfare.” Don’t get me wrong, I am not even close to blaming my mother for saying what she said (from here on out it shall be known as the “unspeakable”); she, just as any other mother I have met, is simply concerned for her child’s financial well-being, and having no income is not a healthy path to monetary fulfillment, and certainly doesn’t pay the bills.

Here’s my issue with the notion of the unspeakable: How does a young woman who spent her entire life fighting to get an education and prove her value as a person (and employee) — to combat the constant reminders of her status as a statistic waiting to happen  — end up in this predicament?

Maybe it’s a pride issue, but I was raised to be proud of who I am and what I can offer this world (and any employer). Welfare, in my experience, should not be the pot at the end of that rainbow, or even a pit stop.

So now I have some decisions to make. Do I keep filling out the dozens of applications I find every day? Yes. Do I broaden the scope of my job search to include customer service jobs, even though I already started doing that a month ago? Yes. Do I apply for government-funded financial assistance, when I really have a hard time envisioning myself as being “there,” even though deep-down I know I am? I don’t know.

Somebody … anybody … give me your thoughts. Two brains are better than one.

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4 comments

  1. You are living my worst fear and I can only say I wish you luck!
    I was disabled in a car accident a little over a year ago and be it coincidence, dreadful timing, or heartlessness from the company I had loved working at for several years – I was let go only a few weeks after the accident. I spent several months trying to find work, actually found one job that promptly let me go due to my having to walk with a cane and I decided to enroll in college and learn a new field. I’ve now only about 6 months to go before I earn my associates and I am so worried that it will prove only to be 20k in student loans that with interest will send me to the poor house without a job opportunity.
    I understand the pride you feel and I know exactly how you feel as you start lowering the standards for jobs you apply for, thinking I’ll move up from within. And at some point, that pride will possibly have to take the lowest blow, to admit that you need to extend your hand for help. I haven’t gotten there yet myself, but I’ve started accepting that as a reality.
    Statistics are just numbers, we’re all statistics. And if you have to be one of “those” statistics for now in order to get to be one of those even rarer statistics who changes the world, then perhaps it’s necessary.
    I could ramble all night, but I won’t. I’ll wish you luck and strength and simply leave you with this – there is a reason for every off ramp and on ramp on the interstate, sometimes you have to take the detour you didn’t plan on to get a few miles further down the road. Just enjoy the scenery, and absorb the lesson it offers you.

  2. Dear Protogere,
    Wow, thank you so much for your heartfelt response! Without trying to evoke the phrase “misery loves company,” it is truly refreshing to be reminded that I’m not alone in the daily fight for survival. It can be very difficult to find sufficient reason to keep trying when the things keeping you down seem absolutely beyond your control. I wish you luck as you complete your degree and search for your ***dream job*** Hopefully your prior work experience will come in handy for you, as that’s what seems to be my biggest roadblock right now.

  3. I don’t know that it will as I am changing work type entirely through this, but I am hopeful. And no, you are certainly not alone at all! 🙂

  4. […] myself on a daily basis that I’d rather this level of hysteria than the paranoia of immediate post-grad-graduation … but there’s no way that working 65 hours a week can be sustainable long-term, […]

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