An English Major’s Struggle To Find a Job

I recently took a new job here, (go figure, right?)…something that has me typing information at a desk, not customer service, not worrying about sales pitch – did I get it right? Just plain old monotonous information, and type-type typing away.typing-clipart-16-COLOR

And while this job was described to me as incredibly boring, I can’t but help be somewhat relieved. Left to my own thoughts, my own devices, I am more productive, less stressed and overall satisfied. Plus, I don’t have to talk to anyone if I don’t want to. Is it sad how much this is a relief to me?

Ever since college I have been struggling finding my way or niche in this world…I watch friends of mine, graduates from the same college get jobs at corporations, in the classroom, or go on to pursue higher education at graduate school.

I am proud of them and their accomplishments, but where does that leave me? Taking a job in retail, in customer service, in collections…finding places that pay the big bucks with little need to think or grow? I don’t live in an area that offers an overwhelming amount of options, either. I feel like I have ruined my job experience…even the manager that recently interviewed me said he was worried about hiring me…”Your job history seems a little…scattered,” he said.

“Oh, I know,” I said, and then shrugged. What could I say?

“I missed the boat when it came to moving to Florida?”

“I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up?”

Life is difficult and not always forgiving when it comes to pursuing your dreams and passions. I got an English degree, so everyone assumed that I wanted to be a teacher. I worked in customer service, so everyone assumed that I’m great on the phone, and love to help others. (I am great on the phone by the way. Former debt collector here, watch out!)

But what to do…what to do, when all of the world seems to be telling me that I am a failure? I took the jobs…because I needed the money. Not everyone has a savings or rich relatives. (Oh, but wouldn’t that be nice!)notebook in candlelightSince I was a young teen, the one thing that I consider myself great at is writing. This led to the thought: “I’ll be a writer.” Yet, with the pressure on to pay the bills…is such a desire a pipe dream? Or should I really just bite the bullet and go back to college…even though I don’t know what I want to study?

The questions are endless and the emotions boarding on that feeling of overwhelming sadness. I think the real answer to these questions are:

Do what makes you happy and don’t worry what everyone else thinks.

My head is grasping for the words of advice I’ve heard many times: “Don’t give up, you’ll get there.”

“Believe in yourself.”

“Never stop writing.”

“Don’t lose faith in yourself.”

Yet, they seem to be falling on deaf ears this afternoon, or falling in the cracks of heater and getting lodged there, (God knows little heat is getting out!).

doryThe sun is peaking out of the clouds now, and the snow has finally stopped. For some reason Dory’s voice from Finding Nemo has snuck its way into my head:

“Just keep swimming…just keep swimming…What do we do? We swim!”

Hmm…I am a terrible swimmer, but I can keep going, no matter how difficult it is…

The truth of the matter is, I am not unhappy here, sitting at my desk in the sunshine, which is creeping through to land on the floor and the cheery, yellow walls of my office.

I can keep on swimming, and I can begin to stop listening to what others think…because only my opinion matters in this instance. Being a writer is my pipe dream, and that’s all that matters.

I can keep on swimming no matter the cost.

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2 thoughts on “An English Major’s Struggle To Find a Job

  1. It can be tough finding your way. I was down on my luck (after moving out of town for a job and then having to move back) and took a minimum wage job with a company. I was 26 at the time. Over the next five years, I worked my way up and became one of the top five executives in the company. Things do change.

    I think you are right on track, Amanda. Keep swimming.

    I understand how you like doing your job without much interaction. There is a lot to be said for paying the bills without having an incredibly stressful day to do it. Keep swimming. While you’re doing that, write. Write what you want to write. Self-publish something! If you want to pick up some freelancing jobs on the side, do that, too. Things do change. An opportunity may present itself at any time. Try not to be sad or dissatisfied. Do what makes you happy.

    Things do change. Keep swimming!

    • Thanks Maddie for the words of encouragement! That gives me hope for myself as I am 26 now and feel like I am floundering. You are right, though, I have to keep writing and doing what makes me happy. No giving up even though the going gets tough! 😛

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