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Don't Get too Comfortable

My senior year was one of my favorite years of college. I got the best grades of all my years of college while also soaking in every last moment of undergrad. I went to almost every outing that I knew about on campus and did things out of my comfort zone because I didn’t want to take my last year for granted.

During my last semester of college, I was interning at a company very close to the university as a social media intern. It was the perfect setup for me. I not only loved the company but I was implementing new things in this role that I had been learning directly from my classes. I also loved the people on my social media team. They were all so welcoming and pushed me to produce new content. To top it off, this internship qualified for about 4 of my final credits.

Within just a month of my internship, my manager told me that the team was looking to bring a new social media coordinator on and that she would love for me to take the position into consideration.

I was excited and relieved. A lot of people advised me to start looking for job’s the summer going into my senior year and to continue looking throughout my senior year. As a lot of seniors can relate, if they’re looking for full-time jobs after college, I was getting nervous about where I was going to work after school. Then for my internship to offer me, it seemed too good to be true. I no longer had to keep applying to jobs because I knew where I was going to work. I just focused on continuing to perform well as an intern, keeping up my grades for the last semester and enjoyed the rest of my undergrad experience.

But, I was in for a rude awakening. When the internship was wrapping up, I was notified that I wouldn’t be able to be brought on the team to start in July 2019 due to complications. They told me that they would notify as soon as the position opens back up. I knew that my manager would vouch for me but I had no clue how long it would take for the issue to resolve.

At this point there were about three weeks until graduation and I was being thrown back into the process of searching for jobs again. I remember driving home crying because I was frustrated. I wasn’t frustrated with the fact that the offer wasn’t on the table anymore but frustrated with myself for getting too comfortable. I didn’t even try to look for other jobs after I received the first job offer from that company. The whole semester I assumed I was set with my job after college and stopped worrying. In fact, I turned down a job offer from a different company that I got shortly after I got the first one from my internship because I already knew I wanted to go on to be full-time at my internship.

That’s what happens when you get too comfortable. To put it into comparison, think about when you’re entering the dating scene. Do you always choose to keep talking to the first guy/girl you go on a date with? Most of the time, no. There's a lot of people who will shoot your shot at you but you have to evaluate those options before you give your complete self to just one of them. It’s good to know what you want and to know your worth, but don’t always jump at your first offer without weighing the options.

Although it was frustrating to have to start applying to job’s again, I realized that life isn’t supposed to be easy. When I look back on it, I’m actually glad it happened how it did because not only did it give me more time to just relax and enjoy my summer, it also taught me a powerful lesson. You CANNOT become overly dependent. That goes for everything in life. But for this situation, you cannot become overly dependent on your job. Of course I’m not saying you shouldn’t be proud of your work or enjoy your job, but I am saying that you can’t let yourself become blinded by all the economic realities of life. You can work at a company for 20 years and still be replaced in the blink of an eye.

You may not be able to predict how things will play out with most things in life, but you can rely on yourself to help lead the way. I had no next plan of how I was going to get money after the internship stopped and no clue when I would start a new job as I was just starting up the job search again. Thankfully, I have a supportive family who would help me until I did land another job but I still didn’t want to have to rely on them too heavily.

I felt really lost over the summer after graduation even though I was also enjoying the free time. The free time allowed me to reset. However, saying “I’m currently unemployed and still looking for jobs” everytime people would ask where I’m working now became more and more draining every time I said it. But, I realized that I shouldn’t feel bad just because I didn’t have a job right out of college. Society would say that’s how the timeline has to go. While that is how it goes for some people, every story is different. If I were meant to start working in July, then that’s how it would’ve been but my life was taking another path to teach me a lesson.

Even as I was going to different interviews and got multiple offers, I still kept in mind my worth. I didn’t jump at the first, second, not even third offer I got over the summer because I thought I deserved better than what the companies were offering me.

In August 2019, I had an interview with a company that I had always wanted to work with, and that company offered me the job in September. Right as I was about to sign an offer letter, guess what came back around? Yeup, the full-time position from my internship was back on the table and they were still eager to have me. I went back and forth for days and weighed the pros and cons of both options.

In the end, I chose the company from my internship even though I had a level of uncertainty because of what had originally happened. However, I still really loved the company and felt like it was meant to be because it came full circle.

When I signed the offer letter, I still remembered the lessons I was taught. While I was searching for jobs the whole summer, I had the recurring idea to start a side hustle related to my communications/digital marketing experience so that I would always have something to lean back on. And that’s what led me to start my website that will not only hopefully help to motivate others, but also showcase my services.

Remember, no matter what the odds are, always bet on yourself.

- KD

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