Why It’s Okay You Didn’t Get That Dream Job After Graduation

You’ve just graduated college and are at a party with your friends. You’re all sitting there, talking about post-graduation plans and what you’re going to do for the summer. Some of your friends are being adventurous and backpacking through Europe. Others take much-needed time off to regroup before entering the ‘real world’. Then you have your other friends, the ones you are most jealous of, are starting their dream careers a few weeks after graduation. Yes, we know we aren’t supposed to be jealous or envious of one another, but sometimes it is really hard, especially in situations like this.

It can be discouraging when you don’t have your dream job lined you. You worked beyond your maximum potential the last four years, maybe done a few internships in your career field, and sent out dozens of resumes only to be rejected; relax. You’re not the first person to graduate and not have your ‘dream job’. It seems like the end of the world and that you are just destined to work a minimum wage job for the rest of your life, butI promise you that it’s not.

How do I know? I am in the same situation as many of you that are currently reading this article. I just graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communication and I am not currently working my ‘dream job’ or anything remotely close to it. I’m working a part-time job in the education field and currently trying to get my foot in the door as a writer by doing internships that allow me to get the experience that I need in order to apply for said dream job as a writer.

Was I disappointed to not have a job lined up after graduation? Of course! Did I feel like it was the end of the world? Absolutely! I wallowed, cried, and had the biggest ‘woe is me’ pity party you’ve ever seen, but eventually I realized that if I wanted a job I had to get up and go after it myself. It wasn’t going to be handed to me no matter how hard I wished for it. I also took some time and had a serious heart-to-heart within myself to decide just what exactly I wanted to do with my life. Until I realized what it was I wanted to do, I was not going to get anywhere.

I think that is the most important part of realizing why it is okay that you didn’t get your dream job after graduation. So many of us grow up knowing exactly what we want to do with our lives, and so many of us have no idea. We either choose majors because of knowing what we want to do or we choose them because we think and hear that is where the jobs are. Sometimes you need to be able to take a step back and breathe.

Most people recommend taking that year off between high school and college to ‘find yourself’, and I believe this is the better option. You are more mature and have been exposed to different experiences, individuals, and situations. You have also made more connections that might be able to help you in landing that dream job – your advisor, professor, co-worker, classmate, roommate, and so on.

The harsh reality though is that according to The Daily Caller,

In 2015, only 14% of college graduates actually had jobs waiting for them in their chosen career field. Twenty-five percent of students had internships lined up, and the rest were working regular jobs or not working at all.

This is not necessarily a bad thing or meant to seem like the end of the world. The job market is more competitive than it has ever been and many of us millennial born are facing the push and pull of the in which you either have to have the education, experience, or both. The majority of the time employers are looking for experience over education, so this is where it is good to have internship or volunteer experience, or have been involved in a club similar to your career path on campus.

What is important to remember and I cannot stress this enough is that IT IS OKAY if you did not get your dream job after graduation. Perhaps at that moment in time it was not meant to be. Maybe you were meant to do something else during that time to bring you closer to realizing what your truly calling or your dream job really is. What you can do is think about what it is you want to do and try doing internships or getting volunteer experience. If you do not like it, that’s okay too. You have to keep moving and trying. Not everyone’s dream is meant to happen at the same time and that’s okay.