Let me start out by saying that this post has gone in an entirely different direction that I first anticipated. I had set off to fill it with researched facts and figures about the unemployment rate in Michigan and the rates of college graduates who landed full time jobs right out of graduation. I wanted to use clever anecdotes and vignettes from various people I’ve spoken to about the topic lately.
However, as I actually set about writing it, the facts all stopped mattering to me. Like most of my writing that is not dictated by a real rubric of any kind, I started just ranting and letting my fingers do the thinking so to speak. I had paragraphs upon paragraphs lamenting the difficulties of job hunting and why I should feel sorry for myself.
As you see from the image, this idea was scrapped. Yesterday actually. All these paragraphs were small ideas that I really couldn’t back up with anything other than self-pity and hyperbole. So instead, like any good writer (with some exceptions, of course) I developed a draft. A thesis rather. Any time my writing strays from this, it ceases to have a point and becomes incoherent rambling. Such is the writing I am prone to, sadly.
So, here’s what I have for you: holding a part-time job hampers a job hunt, but not so significantly as a full-time one would.
Hell of a thesis. Seems like I’m stating the obvious, but please bear with me. In my “research” for this topic, I discovered that my original premise was flawed. I was basing this on a quote from a friend stating that (paraphrasing here) it is difficult to look for a job when you are currently working. I did not assess the fact that she was referring to looking for full-time work when you dislike your current full-time position. This would most definitely be true.
Looking for work when you hold a part-time job holds different challenges, for me at least. It doesn’t make it any harder than, say, taking 12+ college credits and having a part-time job though. Lord knows that is doable. My particular challenges stem from elsewhere; the job itself, the frustration stemming from that and a stagnant (nice word Christi) job market and the challenge of mixing things up a bit.
On the first point: the job I currently hold is not challenging but things are frustrating. Anyone who has worked retail knows the stress and frustration involved. For those who don’t, I can assure you, it gets old quickly. Couple that with your days seeming to be perpetual déjà vu and throw on a dash of doing it for five years running and it can easily become a headache. The easiest thing to do, it would seem, is quit. But as one with debt and college loans etc. to pay, not having that relatively stable source of income is terrifyingly unwise.
My second point is closely related to the first in that working said job Ad nauseum gets quite frustrating. The daily dealings with cranky old ladies who never get anything exactly how they want it and coworkers who care less than you do and convey it in their work ethic pushes one such as myself to the point of going postal almost weekly. Trying to escape seems futile as there have been multiple job applications submitted from adults. This is the type of job high schoolers and college students look for as a transition into the work force. The fact that there are grown men and women looking to get in give me a grim outlook on the market outside coffee shops.
And that brings me to the third challenge; that of a new leaf. I may be to blame for the fact that I still live with my parents. I chose to go to school close to home and live there rather than pay to live on campus. So as it happens, I’ve stayed within that comfort zone for twenty-four years. Also, I’ve worked within walking distance of my home since I entered the job market eight years ago. Mixing up what is familiar and jumping into something completely different is a bit off-putting if not downright stressful.
I don’t even do my own laundry for pete’s sake.
So although I tell myself I am seeking outside employment, I bet there is a part of me that isn’t really trying all that hard. Sure I hate my job and would love something that is more consistent (hour-wise) and pays a bit better. But that logic fights the fear of growing up. I have a tendency toward the juvenile, I can’t deny that.
Back to my “research,” since I began working on this entry, I’ve applied for over 20 jobs in under two weeks. That’s more than I had done all last summer. The New Year kind of gave me a kick in the ass and got me to see if maybe I can’t better my life. Sure, when I get done at work and have all that pent up frustration it can be easier to just crack open a beer and catch up on blogs and television shows.
However, if I really want to grow up and make something of myself, I’m going to need to at least put forth an honest effort. To those who already do, I vail you. (it is, after all, hat week)
The job market may not be in the best place right now, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try all the more diligently. I think that is a lesson that everyone can take to heart.