Arrived at the job-marked hands full of shiny, expensive, fancy-sounding diplomas and feeling like a worthless fool? Yes. You are definitely onto something: you have been fooled! They will tell you all sorts of lame excuses for not accepting your job application, but the most common will be: “you have not attained the level of experience required for this position”. And yes, at first you may think “I’ll just keep on trying until someone actually looks at my skills before throwing my CV into the garbage for lack of experience and realises my potential”. “Someone willing to take the time to explain to a newcomer how things work at their place, after all that is normal…right?”. “They can’t seriously expect you to know everything as soon as you arrive do they?” Well this string of hope will probably last you a few months, but guess what? Yes they do expect a newcomer to know everything straight away, since explaining takes time and time means money. Do the Maths.
So after a while, after an undetermined but copious amount of rejections, frustration will lead you to no-jobs-land. You will realise that all that money invested in shiny diplomas, well…you might as well have thrown it into the toilet. All that precious time spent studying your bum off, well…you might as well have gone partying. Why? It’s all about having professional experience. Which you don’t. No-one is willing to give you a chance to gain it and no-one will let you in without it. So why did you bother studying when the most important thing seems to be shoving your foot into the professional world which ever way as soon as possible? Your diplomas become your biggest nightmare. They seem to be holding you back. The more you have, the worse.
You loose your confidence and apply for less and less jobs. You underestimate yourself and generally feel like bull-crackers. The day you finally get a call-back and an interview, for a split second, thoughts of chickening out fly through your brain Then you come to your senses but make sure to tell family and friends so you have plenty of pressure to actually show up on the day. You put on your finest show in-front of your potential employer, but inside you feel like dying all along. Afterwards it’s even worse, you feel used and disgusted. But this is just the beginning, so suck it up and buckle up for the worst ride of your life (professionally speaking of course, there are people out there with real problems, you could be missing a leg or an arm or be sick or be blind, imagine how that feels and be grateful missing a job is your biggest problem).
Despite your best try to lighten up, you can’t help but notice that friends who have chosen technical/applied training instead of post-graduate education are making more money than you and will keep on making more money even if you land the perfect job someday. But for now, you’ll probably find a crappy underpaid position that has nothing to do with your career, that is, if you’re lucky enough…and will probably kill yourself soon (just kidding!) or you’ll just keep on fighting, reinvent yourself, change, adapt, find out what it is you CAN do, where it is you CAN fit in this vicious cruel system. So what will it be? Suck it up and carry on my friend!
The system will always try to mess with you, so be smarter than giving up and fight back! Yes it is hard, but it is not impossible. Never give up on yourself. Don’t let anyone downgrade your academic achievements. Be proud of what deserves to be prised. Most of all, BELIEVE, and don’t forget to be HAPPY while you’re at it. This is just a phase, this is not your life nor does this define you. You decide who you are. Don’t you ever forget that. Breathe and just keep going.