Finding work is a job in itself

My first column in the Lake Forester addressed my problem of a seemingly-insurmountable amount of responsibility during my senior year of college. Now, 23 columns later, that level has remained fairly constant, but one task in particular has come to the forefront – finding a job.

The job search is the most popular topic of conversation among the senior class. A typical exchange goes something like:

Me: “Hi friend, how’s the job search going?”

Friend: “Alright. I applied to another place the other day.”

Me: “Any luck with anything so far?”

Friend: “Nope.”

Me: “I know what you mean.”

And while these conversations may seem monotonous, they are actually quite comforting. It’s nice to know that my cohorts are all exactly in the same position as me – struggling to start a life. Truth to tell, if someone would say they’re closing in on a job, a certain degree of jealousy would creep into my congratulations because they’ve surged ahead of the rest of us.

Most of my peers (myself included) are in the ‘waiting’ phase of our search. The beginning of this frustrating journey starts with a resume. It’s the knock on the door before you can get your foot in. I started this by listing my various accomplishments, classes, awards and, of course, my tremendous good looks.

The next step is finding places to send this brilliant piece of paper. I’ve searched on the internet and various papers for opportunities, each one a distinct possibility. I begin to see myself in these various positions, thinking, “Yeah, I can do this! I can totally see myself there.” After assuring myself that I am the best candidate this particular employer could ever hope to hire, I send over my resume and expect urgent knocks at my door with pleading future bosses on one knee, ready to whisk me away in their Porsches and sit me down at my new work desk.

And then I wait.

And I hear nothing.

Out of the jobs I’ve been investigating, the ones that I’ve had the most success with are those where I have a personal connection. People close to me always say that life is all about who you know, and so far this has proved true. Instead of having random HR departments calling me back, I’ve started to engage in conversations with people I already know about openings they’ve heard about. And honestly, these kinds of positions are better than any I’ve applied for out of the blue. Those bosses and their Porches don’t know what they’re missing.

But in this job market and with this economy, even the best connections may not be good enough. Knowing Uncle Sam himself may not guarantee a position.

I used to panic about finding a job, but after being on this journey for a while, I realize opportunities may come my way without me even trying. That’s the way life works. I can send out all the resumes in the world and still not hear anything back. I have a room waiting for me in my parent’s house that I still call home. Things could be a lot worse.

I’ll just keep waiting. But if anyone is reading this by their Porsche and looking for a new, quick-witted employee, I am currently accepting offers.

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