That Magical Diploma
After spending countless hours consuming gallons of coffee and having at least one anxiety attack a week for 3 years, I finally graduated with my bachelor’s degree, with honors even. Now, in my mind, graduating with such high grades and honors, I thought surely, I would snag that magical decent paying writer’s job. Potential employers would look at my resume and my shiny new diploma and transcripts and be in awe of my greatness, hiring me on the spot. (hahahahahaha) Excuse me, I had to get that off my chest.
My delusional dreams are far from what reality has posed for me. Granted, I have a great work history in the IT world, but as a writer, most see me as still wet behind the ears. This is even with 14 years of technical and business writing under my belt. Here’s a fact for you, writing jobs are highly competitive, I mean cutthroat. So, if you’re like me and have less experience in the creative arena, the likelihood of getting a full-time gig is almost impossible. At this point, I’m hoping to get a few contracts to cover my rent.
What’s my point here? First, just having that degree doesn’t make you entitled to have the best position, with great pay. Having that piece of paper doesn’t even guarantee you a job. It takes a lot of work, perseverance, thick skin, and even a sense of humor. You will see tons of rejections before landing a job or contract. You may end up switching jobs a few times, but having the tenacity to not give up will be your best skill. That and the right attitude. I’ve experienced the downside of writing contracts for entry-level noobs like me. They pay pennies on the dollar, but like anyone starting out, you have to take some low paying jobs to build that portfolio. The more you add to your portfolio, the more you’ll be able to negotiate for later on.
Don’t be like me and be lulled into a false sense of security. I was overconfident of getting a job even before I graduated. Now that I’ve had that cold slap of sense knocked into me, I’m a bit more serious in my job search. My advice is to keep applying. Apply often and apply to jobs that you may think you aren’t qualified. There’s always that chance that someone will see that diamond-in-the-rough and want to help you shine.