Facing Some Fears

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So the last few days or so have been a little difficult. I’ve been contemplating life and what I want to do, and I finally sat down and discussed with my mom some of my fears and misgivings that I have moving forward.

“I’m scared to work in a big city,” I said. I’m worried that if I get a job there that I will have to move there in order to do my job effectively. It’s not the moving that scares me necessarily, but the fear of getting a roommate that I can’t trust and having to live in a city where I know no one, working a job that I don’t like to pay back my loans and eke out a meager existence. This fear is not completely irrational or unfounded. I have had bad roommates in the past. However if I let them, my parents, friends, and even my extended family would definitely help me vet any apartments or roommates I would be looking at. I just have to remind myself that I am not alone in this. Too often when thinking of the future, I think about me, regardless of everyone else in my life. But to live my life to my best ability, I really do have to take them all into account. Not in a ‘I can’t move to Oregon because how would they go on without me‘ kind of way, because they could, and would, go on without me if I moved away, but more in a ‘How can I live my best life by keeping my family in it so I don’t go insane with homesickness‘ kind of way. Because my family is my source of strength. Without a strong base, I can’t reach for my loftier goals.

Applying to jobs is incredibly disheartening. So many employers never send any kind of response to a resume or inquiry you send in. I have come to appreciate even the automated rejection notices, because at least they give a semblance of closure. To combat this, we did some investigating, and discovered that most of the big, credible companies I am interested in working for only hire through agencies. Now, locating these agencies is a whole other ballgame. Some businesses will have a ‘careers’ link right on the website. Perfect. Love it. But for some others, finding out about job openings there is like finding a needle in a haystack, or a needle in a cornfield, or something like that. Nearly impossible. So when we finally located some of those agency sites, I was ecstatic. Now I can find some jobs that I’ll actually be interested in, I told myself. Still, the pickings are slim.

I worry that I’m missing some qualification that will get me the job I want. I only did one internship during college because that’s all I had time for, but more and more job openings are screaming that internships are important and that companies won’t hire you without internship experience. Why? If I worked in the field at some other company then I’ll be aware of how that company works, and it will just confuse me when I try to learn your way. Without the in-field internship, I might not be familiar with the types of software and everyday jargon you use, sure, but as a highly teachable and quick learner, I can pick up those skills in about 3 months no matter what I’m doing. I can tell people all day every day that I am a quick learner, but they aren’t going to believe it until they see it because everyone puts that on a resume regardless of its validity. Sure, I only had one internship, but I learned as much as I physically could and then I turned that into a part-time position at the business. The skills I have learned during my life are incredibly varied and nuanced because of how I grew up, and if there’s anything I can’t do, I know someone who would be willing to teach me how to do it, if I only ask. There is really nothing for me to be afraid of.

So what is my plan? Apply, apply, apply. Look into businesses and agencies and send out an impeccable copy of my resume and a cover letter to all of the jobs I am interested in. Then, the waiting. But while I’m waiting I can be learning. There are a million ways to learn about a field. The simplest way is to do Google searches about it. Then, there are people in the industry that I could interview and ask about their work and what their day-to-day entails in order to get a better look at how it all works. There are always classes I could take, at local colleges or online, to get inside the industry. Or I could skip the classes and just read books written about the industry. See how the authors are interpreting the field they are a part of, and view how the field is growing and changing. These are all things I could do. These are all things I will do to varying extents.

Talking with my mom always reminds of two things. 1) I am not alone, in this or in anything. And 2) I am a lot stronger than I think. I have a lot of gumption, or nerve, or faith, depending on what you call it. And I am not afraid to use it.

Until next time,

Amanda

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