Note: This first-person account is part of a larger article, Job-Hunting Lessons from the Street: A Roundup of Recent College Grad Experiences.
Like many other seniors in my graduating class, my goal was to walk across the stage at graduation knowing that I had a job. I did just that, and my story is similar to many with the same goal. I had met the internal recruiters at a career fair, and thought what they did sounded like fun. I learned a little more about the industry, talked to some relatives, and figured that “staffing” couldn’t be that bad.
I wanted to make sure I had a job. A solid one. And the promise of money that Company A offered me WAS alluring, even though it was 75 percent commission. After all, I had just spent four years at a private college… I needed to pay off some loans!
What I didn’t think about was getting a job that I really liked. One that I wasn’t settling for; one that I really had to reach into the depths of my intelligence in which to succeed. I wish I had done that. Instead, what I ended up doing is exactly what I swore I wouldn’t do: sit behind a desk, organize paper, and make “lukewarm” calls all day. After a few bouts of hating my job, I decided to look for a new one.
Please don’t get me wrong: recruiting is for some people. There are people more happy, and making more money than I’d have ever imagined working in staffing. But it wasn’t cut out for me. So, take it from me: a girl who has spent the last eight months being micromanaged, overseen, and stifled — do whatever it is that you WANT to do.
Do not settle. You can always make enough money in retail, or waiting tables, or doing SOMETHING, to make ends meet. Enjoy yourself in your job. Investigate. Find out what makes you happy… then find a job that embraces whatever that is. You’re going to spend MOST of your adult life working — find a job, an industry, or a concept that you enjoy. Then, when you’re sitting there for 55 hours a week, at least it’s something you like.
Update: Vanessa will be working CLOSE to 55 hours a week at her new job: a director-level position at a consulting firm. A few interviews reaffirmed her confidence, and she’s extremely happy to be stepping out of a job she hated — and into a career she loves!