I’m not going to lie, 2016 hasn’t been my favorite, and that’s not even counting the drama of this election cycle.
Yes, I’ve had many blessings and good times this year, but I also feel I’ve struggled more in these past 10 months than at any other time in my life. The optimist in me says, “You’ve made it this far! Look at all the bright sides – all the personal growth you’ve experienced in this short amount of time.”
The realist in me says, “Oh look, this crap still isn’t over with yet.”
As many of you know, I graduated from an excellent university in May of this year, bright-eyed and ready to take on a full time position in communications – ready to use the degree I’d worked so hard for so I could make a difference. After polishing my resume, earning honors in my major, and building my portfolio through two great internships, I figured I could easily lock down an entry level position well before the end of this year.
But that’s not what’s happened.
Since May, there have been 42 applications, 25 rejections, and 17 ignores. There have been a fair number of phone screenings, a few first in-person interviews, and some second ones. Once or twice I had to really stop myself from getting my hopes up about certain positions, but that became easier to do once three weeks passed and the company I was sure I’d had a shot with didn’t even bother to email me a “no, thank you.“
So here I am in October, not able to live on my own yet, working a survival job at Panera. It’s been pretty hard to see the silver linings so far.
My life has felt extremely off-track this year, but I feel things are finally beginning to change.
*For those readers starting to get seriously bummed out, don’t worry – here come the happy parts.*
In all this time, waiting and wishing for that one opportunity to use my degree and follow my passion for communications, I’ve been doing something more important: working.
Whether meeting with a career adviser, attending free classes for professional certifications, or doing my best to network more (because I’m honestly pretty indifferent to what people think of me), 2016 has really been a year of much growth. The best thing I can do when I’m down is to improve, and let me tell you I’ve done my best to flip my life like it was an old house on HGTV. So far, the demo is done and the renovation is underway – I’m pretty proud so far.
My crowning achievement has been the creation of my own freelancing business: With It Communications. Thanks to an awesome mentor I’ve gained and some clients he has connected me with, I’ve had a resurgence in self-confidence allowing me to invest a lot of time and care into this business and the field of content marketing.
I’ve been able to stretch my creative and analytical muscles, which were beginning to grow stiff after so much rejection. I’ve been able to teach myself WordPress, how to be a more effective graphic designer, and how to run a freelance business.
I’ve built this thing from scratch and I’d be proud of it even if no one else cared (I’m actually very blessed so many do).
It’s taken me longer than you know to get the courage to write this post. Feelings of shame and inadequacy have plagued me like flies buzzing around my head as I’ve searched for my place in the world. It’s been hard to swat away these flies long enough to make real progress, but I’m getting there slowly but surely.
As far as this blog goes, I realize I haven’t been posting lately and am definitely not living up to my “Post A Week” badge. I’ll be making up for that soon (“Who knew it would be hard to set up a company?” he thought sarcastically).
One day I bet I’ll look back on 2016 with…’fondness’ isn’t the word, but something like it. I’ll look back knowing the struggle was worth the light at the end of the tunnel.
I’m not at that light yet, and I don’t know how much longer I’ve got to go. Thank you to everyone who has supported me especially in this difficult part of my journey.
While 2016 hasn’t been my favorite, I now know one thing:
I’m on my way.
Interested in positioning your brand as an expert through quality content marketing? Let’s chat about how With It Communications can help.