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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Looking Back on the Past Year: The Beginning

Life has been treating me really well these past couple of weeks. I am very lucky and fortunate to have everything finally settle into place. I think I've had enough time to look back on this past year and be able to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was rough. I'm not going to lie. I spent many days crying, being completely drained of hope and confidence. I constantly wondered why it was all happening to me. In the back of my mind I knew that everything does happen for a reason. It was just so hard to see it back then. Let's take a look back.

I graduated college. I was happy to finish in 4 years, especially with my last year being one of the biggest challenges I had faced in my life (moving out of my parent's home, applying for loans for the first time, and being financially independent). It was a difficult year. My family ties were strained. My sisters turned their backs against me. I had to rebuild my relationship with my parents. They were just happy to be there at my graduation and take a few photos with their daughter. I don't think many people thought I would be able to graduate under the circumstances. My oldest sister was the rebellious one before me, and she took 10 years to graduate.

proof that I graduated, wore a blue gown, and posed with my proud parents

I'll admit that I probably wasn't prepared for the job market. I assumed that it wouldn't be too difficult, especially with a business degree and experience. I was an assistant property manager for my dad, and I managed 3 rental properties in Newark. This was all while attending college and having no clue what I was doing the first couple of months. While my experience may have sounded good on paper, I didn't have the important internship to lead my career. I'll admit it was my own gosh darn fault. The summer before senior year I was consumed with my own personal problems. I was desperately trying to piece together how I would afford my last year of college and be able to keep myself clothed and fed with a roof over top of my head. Mistake #1.

I was undeclared for the first two years of college. I really had no path. Later I figured out exactly why, and I had to be over 8,000 miles away to come to my conclusion (will elaborate later). I pretty much had no confidence in myself to begin with. I settled with business because it was the easy way out. Right after declaring my business major I fell in love with my nutrition class and wished that I could take back the last two years. Oh well. At least there are a lot of different aspects in business. There was sure to be something for me, right? I tried to stay positive. After taking a class in Human Resources, I was determined that it was the right kind of business for me. I spent the first two months looking for HR related jobs. It was difficult. I didn't qualify for any of the job descriptions I saw, but I applied anyways. That's what they always tell you to do. Let's just say that I wasted the first two months of job searching. Mistake #2.

With the summer coming to an end, I had only a few interviews, and they were all dead ends. Many never had the decency to even tell me that I didn't get the position. I even had a few connections, and they never did work out. I became desperate. The economy was taking a turn. I needed to find any job. My original goal was just to find a position that I was fully qualified for, and that pretty much meant using my degree. I didn't want to work in a position with people who had an English or History degree. No offense to them. I was just a business major, and I studied it for the past 4 years. I wanted to make use of my degree. With desperation, I didn't even care about that anymore. I started to apply for jobs that only required a mere high school degree. I applied for jobs that I knew I was too good for. I was desperate. Mistake #3.

By October things started to look up for a change. I had a few potential leads. I was even hired for a job. It wasn't a very pretty one. It was actually all sorts of horrible...

Want more details? Stay tuned...

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