We all have to hit the metaphorical reset button on our lives at one time or another and I won’t lie to you, it’s terrifying. But, it tends to work itself out.
If you don’t believe me, allow me to walk you through my post-college, quarter life crisis phase…
After graduating college in 2013, I came home to the Bay Area. I had a summer job working at a sports camp for kids, which was really more akin to glorified babysitting. As the end of summer came near, reality set in that I needed reset and find a “big girl job” ASAP.
A friend told me about a full-time receptionist position that had opened up at a small insurance agency in our hometown and I thought it sounded perfect. In my mind, I was going to make decent money answering phones and filing papers 40 hours a week, and in my spare time, search for a media gig to put this journalism degree to work!
I got the job, but I soon learned that I was not a receptionist. Unbeknownst to me, I was actually hired as a “policy services representative” — a title I neither applied for nor wanted, but I took it anyway. To be frank, insurance is miserable as HELL!
There were times I broke down and sobbed in the restroom because I was so fed up. Making matters worse, my one work friend I had left to take an internship in Europe, so then I felt completely alone. Nevertheless, I lasted a solid nine months there before I finally threw in the towel.
I impulsively quit without having another opportunity lined up and, although I may have made a rash decision, this was my prime opportunity to hit reset.
I started working a few nights a week as a gym attendant at the local recreation center. The hours were really scarce, so I picked up another part-time job at Red Robin.
During this period, I spent nearly every ounce of my spare time trolling the Internet for something better. My glimmer of hope came when I got an internship at a nearby newspaper. It was unpaid, but a step in the right direction.
I went from having no job to having two part-time jobs and an internship that I juggled all at once. Not long after, I was offered another position with a San Francisco-based TV station. It was a low-level production assistant gig, but it was another avenue into media, which is all I wanted.
I guess I was meant to be there because my coworker, who later became a friend, told me about a promo assistant opportunity at a radio company and I was eventually hired there too.
With these new opportunities landing in my lap, I felt like I was finally on the right track. I just knew that at least one of these three jobs was going to propel my career to the next level.
Goodbye Red Robin, hello Red Carpet! (wishful thinking)
By this time, I had also been hired as a part-time staff reporter for the newspaper I was interning at and the juggling act continued. I worked three jobs simultaneously for a year before completely burning myself OUT.
It was time to hit reset again.
I started hunting for a new job with more hours and better pay so I could downsize and try to get my life back. A full-time reporter position opened up at the newspaper and I thought I was a shoo-in. I was wrong. Instead of promoting me, they chose to hire someone from outside. Feeling jaded and devalued, I went back to the drawing board.
Ironically, my cousin happened to be searching for jobs for herself and stumbled upon an ad for a writing gig with a startup digital media company. She sent it to me and I jumped right on it. I was able to leave all my other jobs behind.
I was with the startup for three years, battling many ups and downs there that we’ll have to save for another story. But, in September I was abruptly laid off. For the first time in four years, I have found myself jobless once again. The reset button was forced upon me this time around.
I have no clue what’s next, but my past experiences have shown me it’s true that when one door closes, another one opens — as cliche as it may sound.
Sure, this road has been bumpy, but I have no regrets about the journey I’ve been on. I’ve taken risks, I’ve challenged myself, I’ve persevered through hardships, and most importantly I never gave up. These are the ingredients for success, but just like any recipe, it may take a few tries to get it down just right.
If you’re still figuring out how to make lemonade out of your lemons, don’t worry…you are not alone and these slumps don’t last forever. I got this, You got this, WE got this.