The ultimate failure of a recent graduate...

It finally hit me last night...I was the biggest failure I had ever encountered. After 3 months of being back home and job hunting till my fingers bled (figuratively speaking) I was no further than where I had first begun. I had in my possession a degree from an esteemed school and no current or future job prospects other than the one I am at. I find myself extremely disappointed and not just a little less than short of despair.......definition: I have cried about my lack of a career more than once. But last night I think I hit a spot where I have not previously ever found myself. I was a failure. Upon further evaluation, (I love saying that phrase) I regarded myself as the biggest failure I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I had sent out numerous cover letters, had many interviews, all to no avail. Why couldn't I climb that ladder?
Don't get me wrong....I am not suffering...far from it to be exact. I have a job at a upper-class restaurant that provides me with what I need. Yet, who with a four-year degree likes to say "Oh I work at a restaurant that I've been working at for the past 4 years"? How is that respectable? I read what I have just written and I sound like I'm having a pity party...and maybe I am. I really shouldn't be, given the economy, I really am lucky to have a job.
Yet, I still can't help but bemoan my poor sorry little self. I should probably disclaim this is not me begging for a job or me trying to appeal to you for some morsel of a job contact.
This is me just blogging about my job hunting whining....whatever you would like to call it...this is me just relaying my experience.
I've come to realize I measure myself, my success and my failures through other people's binoculars. I assume another's view of myself and that is what, for me, determines my ultimate verdict. I don't ever ask myself what I think success to me means. I don't ever ask what value to me means.
A stockbroker may think making 100+ a year is a success.....whereas a doctor may think saving a life is a success...and a teacher may think teaching a child to read is a success. But what do I, Michelle Ashley Hipps, think success means? I find myself lacking an answer and maybe, for right now, I have to keep trudging (like Chaucer in a Knight's Tale) to find an answer. Maybe for me, it's to go back to school and learn more....maybe it's to keep blogging, as I love to do, till I somehow spin up an answer. Whatever the case may be, I doubt I'm going to find it at a restaurant that pays me what I need....maybe I need to be lacking to find it. I'll let you know if I find it.


Annalise said...

I have to say that I feel so blessed to have a job right now too. I seem to meet someone every week who's been layed off and looking for a job or has been for 3-6 months. Hopefully you'll find the right one out there. You're not a failure until you stop trying! (@fpugirl)

Nathan said...

The only reason you feel like a failure is because you are comparing your current situation to some unrealistic plan where you would already have saved the world by now. The truth is the next step in your life is going to smack you in the face when it’s good and ready.

My advice---enjoy your life exactly as it is until an opportunity shows itself. Your 20s is the last time in your life that you can look someone in the eye and tell them with a straight face you are “finding yourself” and have them not laugh at you until tears roll down their face.

Take this time to read, blog, connect with friends, sleep in, stay up all night, and go driving just for fun. Once you get a job, your time becomes your most valuable resource. You might even end up wishing you were waiting tables---at least then you could have someone cover your shift when you felt like sleeping in :)

Rog said...

Yeah, you are young and full of opportunities ahead. Remain focused on what's most important: family, God, health, serving...

You seem to have a good head about you, so trust Him who can guide you through this season of searching, faith, and doubt. :)

residuetiger said...

I might have to agree with Nathan; at the age of 35 I find myself in a similar situation, sort of. I'm currently employed, it's just a job I hate; it's sucking my soul dry.

So I'm quitting. Decided about a month ago.I'm going to take some time off to reevaluate, and sadly, for one of the first times in my life, take some time to figure out what kind of work I could be happy with. I've thought about blogging about it myself.

Lynne said...

Even though I'm not in the job market yet, I feel your pain. It is so easy to compare ourselves to others and measure success through their lens. That's what people-pleasers do.
I think it will take a matter of time before you are able to define success by your own terms. Just know that the experiences & struggles you are facing now- working at the restaurant, being rejected/ignored by prospective employers- are all just building up towards that eventual realization of what YOU are meant for. It will come with time, I'm confident in you!

In any case, I look forward to working with you next year on some of Quang's projects! Those hold a lot of potential, I believe : )

Jlo0312 said...

Hi Michelle,
It took me a while to figure it all out (I am now 43-ouch!). I am basically one of those weird people like Robin Williams who just never grew up. I went to the military for about 8 years, college for 4 or 5, started working in advertising before graduation, and 10 years later, found myself laid-off from the field of my choice.

It was probably the best thing that ever happened. I always defined success using the definition that I grew up father is very successful...a CEO, great business-man, loved by many. Both my brothers are VP's of something or other. Me? I worked in Media Planning and branding.

I was let go on March 4th, and have to say that as far as failure or success, I was using the wrong definition. I'm not cut from the same mold. I love work...don't get me wrong, but I will never be a great business person. I'd rather be a great father, write a great book, or help others.

Don't feel lost just yet...the worm will always turn. "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find...

Take care

@jlo0312 on Twitter and FF