I’ve heard it said it takes an average of five months for a college graduate to find a job. Think about that for a moment. Once a student climbs that hill and obtains a diploma, it can take them nearly a half a year to find employment. This is the kind of statistic which comforts the patient and drives the anxious completely insane.

As a recent college graduate myself, I probably fall somewhere in the middle of those two camps. It is somewhat reassuring to know that not everyone walks right out of college into their dream job (I should have known this from my experience with my undergraduate degree.), but it is also maddening to consider months of waiting to be the norm. If it were just the waiting, though, I think I could take it. During those five months, interviews are conducted. Job offers are made or not made. In the end, you either succeed or you fail.

I think it is the weight of those failures that concern me. I’ve never been able to brush off employment rejections easily. It’s a strange paradox. I’ve never considered myself a very confident person, but there is something within me that rises up during job interviews and convinces me I’d be the best man for the job. Of course, I (like most of the population) do not get every job I interview for, and that fact weighs heavily on me. In my mind, it’s never that I might not have been the best fit. To me, each rejection is a representation of me falling on my face, making some mistake to make me seem unhirable.

One of the running themes at my commencement ceremony was how we, as graduates, would fail sometimes. As a non-traditional student, I’m guessing I had collected at least a few more failures than most of the people sitting around me. Even though we were hearing these messages as a group, failure has a wicked way of making you feel all alone. “No one here will fail like me. No one else here will have to wait as a long as I will for a job. No one else here is sweating failure like I am right now.”

Of course, that’s not true. At our core, most of us nurse the same insecurities, and we all do our best to hide them. When we fall on our faces, it hurts. Some do a better job of getting up after they fall, but we all fall nonetheless. Even though I know this, I still dread the process. Every rejection feels like the death knell to me, as if there is an hourglass somewhere measuring my opportunities. When the sand runs out, my prospects will be gone.

The real question is, though, can I handle five months of job searching? Well, yeah, I can. I may handle it poorly, with much weeping and gnashing of teeth, but I can get through it. I know this because I don’t really have a choice. Employment reflecting my degree is the next step for me, so I continue to put one foot in front of the other. If I never find such a job, then I move on to the next step. The key, as someone once told me, is to keep moving. When you stop, you die.

I realize this hasn’t been the most uplifting post, but it’s part of my thought process at the moment. I haven’t blogged consistently for a while, so getting back into the habit of writing is taking some effort. There will inevitably be some aimless and not-so-great posts along the way. I may even fall on my face a few times. Hopefully, though, the road to decent writing won’t stretch on for five months. I at least need to feel a little success.

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