At first, my job hunt was tailored to specific expectations and standards based on my education, experiences, and interests. It was then narrowed further by my geographical preference. While I was aware that I was limiting my search, I did not fully understand the challenges that I would soon face. With the intention and hope to work close to home to help my parents for the first few years after graduation, I was determined to make it work. However, I soon came to realize that my interests had a geographical preference of its own and it was not near home.
However, I soon came to realize that my interests had a geographical preference of its own and it was not near home. This was a hard pill to swallow… on one hand, I was happy to be with my family but on the other hand, I was struggling to find opportunities that aligned with my interests. Sadly, this realization made me feel guilty for being home…
The bitterness of this realization sent my mind into a frenzy as I began to apply for anything and everything in order to make it work. I was applying for positions that I was overqualified for, underpaid, and even had no interest in. I was trying to hide my guilt by burrowing it in a heaping mess of applications just so I could convince myself that my unemployment status would be remedied soon. While I felt relieved that my resume was finally being noticed and that a stream of interview offers followed, it was quickly replaced by another wave of guilt. Guilt that I had compromised myself by convincing myself that passion was overrated. By applying for everything and anything, I started to lose my way. I was so fixated on getting a job that I was willing to put aside my passion, my hard work, and my self-worth.
The reality that I was chasing after opportunities because of desperation rather than passion was another hard pill to swallow. In a way, I feel ashamed for getting myself so caught up in the process… It took me a couple of months to stop myself and to take the time to reassess what my priorities and goals. I took a few days to be offline, away from my laptop, away from job postings, and away from my emails to restart my job hunt process.
Now I have a list of expectations and goals for my next career written down to remind me of my interests, my qualifications, and my self-worth. It also includes a list of organizations or companies to keep an eye on. This has helped re-focused my job hunt to be … purposeful. I can feel the difference that this has made in my cover letters and interviews as I can easily speak to my interests and passion. While I do still wish to work close to home, I know now that it is not worth compromising myself and my passion.
Having widened my job search radius further, I am excited for the greater range and diversity of opportunities to apply for. Yet, in the meantime, I am happy to spend the time I have now to be with my family.