On Jobs and Progressing Through Life

If any of you know me outside of this magical place called the Internet, which most of you don’t, then you’re aware that I’m very good at becoming overwhelmed by thinking about my future. My self-confidence is bad (much better than it used to be) and I just need frequent enough encouragement from my friends and family to make it through some things.

I’ve always felt the pressure that I needed to get a job. Needed to start working. Everyone else was working, sometimes multiple jobs, at my age and I was super behind the power curve. My mom always told me to focus on school: “School is your first job. You’re fortunate enough not to have to work right now.” And she was right. But as I’ve gotten older, as in approaching 21, I began to panic. Why is it that I’m 21 years old and have no work skills? That doesn’t seem right. If I don’t have any work skills, how am I going to get a decent job? Who will hire someone lacking ALL the skills?!

So this year, around April-ish, I applied to be a tour guide at my university. Just to try it out. It involved working with people and I’ve lived in my residence hall for three years so I was fairly confident that I could do this job well. I thought it was a volunteer position, but it’s actually paid! BONUS! I started working and I’d never felt more capable in my life. I was working, ENJOYING what I did, and had a little bit of extra spending money in my pocket. I thought I was doing well: I took that first step.

But now that Summer has set in, I’ve slumped down into my room at my parents’ house in Germany for a few months and I’m pretty much just occupying space. I recently had a job interview on one of the local military bases and it seems like it might have gone well. This is a terrifying experience for me. For some reason, this job feels like it would be different from my job under The U. I’m still working with people, I’m still getting paid, but it seems like this summer job outside of college is so much more real. I can barely handle it. BUT it is only for the summer, but it’s pushing me towards my future.

One of my best friends and I are moving in together after college, but we’re going to be newly grads, mostly poor, and doing things on our own for the first time. Clearly we have reservations and a shit-ton of worries. So while I don’t really need this job right now, getting it is definitely a first step to putting away money for this ridiculously new endeavor into Real Life.

All of these things are wonderful, but I’m still just as nervous as I am excited. We can do it -I can do it- but it’s much harder to look up at what’s to come than to look back at what has already been done.

I received an email yesterday saying that I did not get the job. I’m not upset that I didn’t, but I’ m upset that I wasn’t the most qualified person to apply. After I had my interview, I began to actually think that my resume, filled with volunteering and tutoring opportunities, would be perfect to work as a sales associate or customer service representative. Maybe it is, but someone actually knows how to use a damn cash register. I don’t know, but now I’m back to square one: no job experience, and a future coming at me fast.

Am I panicking? A little bit.


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