‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” is not only a famous quote from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities—it might be how you’re feeling if you just finished your last year of college and you’re now an unemployed graduate.
As a senior, you may have enjoyed being a BPOC (Big Person on Campus), but now you might be feeling like a freshman all over again, standing at the edge of adulthood where your future is defined by your next step. If you’re thinking this is the “worst of times” and that you’re all alone in this journey of full-on adulting, you’re not alone. Despite the article posted by Staffing Industry Analysts, Three Quarters of 2018 Grads Have No Jobs Lined Up, I want to dissuade you from thinking that there’s no end in sight, because I was once in your shoes. Granted, it was over two decades ago—and Google, LinkedIn, and email/the internet wasn’t really a thing—but the feeling of despair was clearly evident.
“What did I do?” you ask? Like most people facing a life-changing event, I went to the beach… and finished my summer job as a lifeguard. Aside from saving lives in the ocean, I also had a bartending gig, which is actually where I was working when my cousin came in with his friend from the staffing industry, and that’s how it all began for me… and I’m still riding that wave. Don’t get me wrong—there were many wipeouts along the way. But in my 21-year career, I’ve only ever had three employers, and that’s due to being loyal, having a fierce commitment to adding value to others, and believing in my decisions even when it might’ve felt easier to quit and start over.
So, my advice to anyone feeling like they’re alone is this:
- Be a good teammate and realize everyone is—or has—the potential to be on your team. Use your school as a common denominator on LinkedIn to find other alum who have walked in your shoes. Ask them for some advice and direction—you’d be surprised at how much others might want to help when you ask them. Remember this good will and pay it forward down the road.
- Work hard—there’s no substitute for hustle. Life WILL challenge you and force you to rely on your resilience AND your teammates.
- Add value whenever you can, and to anyone you can, as there WILL be a time when you’ll need something from someone else—maybe even a teammate.
Notice the trend here: Great teammates, including family, help us get through life. If you find yourself looking for help with how to take those next steps in your career, reach out to the Russell Tobin team, where life is #BiggerThanTheFee.