I graduated from college with a degree in 7-12 social studies education in May 2011. I spent all last summer applying for jobs and not getting one (since my degree is in an oversaturated licensure area for my home state of Ohio). I accepted a job outside of my licensure area at a charter school based on promises and pure panic of the unknown. The job turned out to be a bad fit for my career aspirations and my strengths and passions. Add in family issues, and I quit two months later. I’ve been coaching and subbing the past school year, and I truly loved it. It was really hard, but I felt like it was what I needed my first year out of college.
However, I’m back into the job search again now that it’s summer and schools are again searching for new hires. I’ve been rejected from the only three full-time positions I have received interviews for and have been crying my eyes out, doubting myself. I keep thinking: “Why did I choose this degree? It’s my passion and I’m good at it, but there aren’t any jobs in Ohio. When I was 18 and had never lived outside of my childhood home, I thought I’d be okay moving states away for a job. Five years later, everything is different and I know that’s not right for me at this point. But I have student loan debt! And I’m planning a wedding and living with my parents! What am I going to do? Should I completely change my career? My resume and references are so solid, why does no one want me?” And everyone – friends, coworkers, people I’ve just met – has some opinion on my life: “Why would you major in such a populated field?” “You know, there’s plenty of jobs in Texas.” “Why do you want to be in public education with the changes going on?” “You’d make a great lawyer. Have you thought about law school?” “You’re too young to be married.” “You have plenty of time before you need to settle down.” etc., etc.
I know, despite the stresses I’ve mentioned, that I am extremely blessed. My life is spared from incredible hardships that so many others have to navigate, oftentimes with less than ideal resources. But it’s hard, it’s so hard, to not get bogged down in a pity party. To look at what others my age have achieved and the life they’ve settled into and not feel like I must be doing something wrong if I can’t get there, too.
So I let myself have a pity party. I normally try to limit my moping to one day per bad news item/setback. Back-to-back bad news yesterday and Monday lead to two depressed days in a row – but that’s enough. Time to keep moving forward.
I’m going to practice gratitude and look on the bright side. I’m going to keep applying for teaching positions but (try) not to obsess over the whole process. I’m going to have faith that things will work out in a favorable way as long as I continue to work hard and pursue challenging opportunities that bring out my strengths, feed my passion, and bring me joy.
It will be okay. I am blessed. Life is good.
P.S. Special thanks to Daniel and my best friends for their kind words, as well as to favorite blogger Jess for this post. I needed a bit of a nudge to buck up and keep going : )