It’s the last semester in my graduate program and, truth is, I was terrified to death of the thought of spending the next (how many ever) years working a traditional 9-5. I had to look forward to long hours working a job in which everything else in life that I enjoyed would be put on the back-burner. Actually, that wasn’t the case for me. Six months after I began to apply for jobs and a few decent interviews later, I still had no job offers. I couldn’t help but think, what was I doing so wrong that I couldn’t even land one offer?
I had always dreamed of landing that top consulting gig at a prestigious firm with a great big office in the sky. This couldn’t have been the farthest from the truth. I come from a family line in which going to work every day was the pinnacle of life and everything else came second or even took a backseat. I was taught that you must work hard for many years first so that you’d be able to enjoy life later. The only problem was that I didn’t want to work hard at all, I just wanted to work smart.
Like so many of my classmates, I wanted to start my own business but, was often told that you would first need to find a solid career for at least 10-20 years before branching out into entrepreneurship. I simply could not accept this as the norm. What that meant to me was, I’ll hold you and all your dreams hostage for at least 10 years before you can finally do what you’ve always desired to do. I was devastated. The mere thought of having to wait that long before I could pursue my dreams overwhelmed me. I wasn’t really prepared for what was to come either.
Before I knew it, graduation was here and still no job offer. No shade to the students who did manage to get an offer but, I like to think that I was rather experienced compared to other students in my class who had never held a professional job in their life but, had the privilege of walking right into their career field almost immediately after graduation. I had at least 5 years of professional experience on my resume, surely that would have accounted for something, right? WRONG. How in the hell did I let that happen? I even found myself lurking social media pages of the fortunate job-holders while congratulating them publicly and being envious of them in secret.
A few more months of unsuccessfully landing, what I thought would be a dream career, I made a conscious decision to take my destiny into my own hands and stop asking for opportunities, instead, I would work smart to create my own. I no longer wanted to be in peril of society’s status quo, so I began drafting my strategy plan for my business. I wasn’t sure of how the next few months were about to play out but, I had an idea of what I wanted in a professional career and that was enough motivation for me to make the first step toward my dreams.