When I imagined my first job out of college, I pictured myself at an advertising or public relations agency. It would be much like my college experience in the subject, where I would collaborate with a team to produce creative copy, brainstorm on awesome campaign ideas, and maybe have the opportunity to explore a new city.
As teachers and parents help prepare students for their careers, they forget to tell the students that walking across the stage to receive their diplomas is not the end of their hard work–it’s the beginning of starting at the bottom of the next hill of life. These students leave college on a wave on euphoria with high expectations, and quickly they find themselves crashed on the rocks of reality. They’re devastated when they receive their 335th letter of rejection from an employer they really felt was “the one.”
I say all of this based on my own personal experience after college. Although I may have been at the top of my game in college, I had to realize that in the real world, the competition is fierce and no one ever plays fair. I learned quickly how important networking was, how useless my degree was in comparison to experience and, sadly, that I wouldn’t immediately land my dream job.
I work as the digital coordinator for the corporate office of multiple car dealerships in the same little college town I’ve lived in since childhood. Never in my life would I have pictured myself working in the auto industry, but you have to take what you can get to gain the experience needed to move up in the world. I can’t say I enjoy my job. It takes an act of God to motivate me to spend another day staring blankly at my screen.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond appreciative for my position, and I always give 110 percent at everything I do. The thing is, I don’t have anything to do. My day consists of reviewing and updating the social media content and websites for the different dealerships and maintaining their online reputation through sites such as Yelp. This sounds like it would take a long time to complete, but I have everything finished in an hour. Then I have another seven to go. For some people, having an entire day to get paid to play on Facebook and browse cat videos would be a dream job. However, I’m way too ambitious, creative, and energetic to spend 35 hours each week twiddling my thumbs.
I have to say the worst part of my job is the eerie, overwhelming silence. Outside of the sound of faint clicking of mouses and subtle coughs from the neighboring cubicles, the only sound I hear in my office is the ringing inside my ears. I have the impulse to jump up, knock over my chair and climb over the wall and make a run for it.
Am I alone? I think not.