Sunday, August 19, 2012

on perseverance.

Perseverance is a difficult thing to hold onto. 

One word: duh. (Does "duh" count as a word? It's my blog, it counts.)

The dictionary tells me that perseverance is: "steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state,etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement."

Lately, I've been looking for jobs. And by lately, I mean... for the last fourteen months*, I've been looking for a job. I'll set the scene for y'all: I graduated with a business degree in 2011 and ended up as a secretary for an insurance company in Boston a month after I received by diploma. 

Hey, whatever, it was a job...was what I told myself. 
Hey, not a big deal, this will be temporary...was what I told myself.
Hey, I've got student loans up the wazoo, this will be fine for the time being...was what I told myself.

I'm still pretty surprised at my ability to convince myself it was all going to be okay. After all, I'm the kind of person that doesn't settle (in fact, I abhor settling) and yet this was what I was doing with the first job I was offered post-graduation. So for the last fourteen months after I signed my contract, I looked for jobs.

and looked.
and looked.
and interviewed.
and looked.

You get the idea. It was a constant grind - of making it through two-plus rounds of interviews, of shaking hands, of ironing suits, of investigating executives and companies online. Some interviews I failed miserably after discovering I was in over my head. Some weren't in my field of interest, and some jobs I was enthusiastic about I either didn't hear from the company ever again or was told "we went with someone with more experience".

Or, as one VP told me, "always the bridesmaid, never the bride, huh?"

I could have stayed stagnant, could have stayed mildly complacent in the job I was in - just invoicing, billing, filing, not really doing things of density. But no - I wanted more, something I woke up to, Monday to Friday, eagerly anticipating the challenges that lay before me for the day. So I kept applying.

I can't say that I wasn't discouraged after several denials - and they all made sense. If you have two people that interview well, have the same aspirations and similar personalities... but one has three years of experience and the other is a recent graduate? Well, you get the idea. Shocking, breaking news: this economy sucks.

There's been a lot of tears, a lot of unanswered questions, and far too many stress pimples, but as of last Friday, I was offered a position as an undisclosed company's Assistant Marketing Manager, nearly 45 miles each way from my home. The job entails social media, blogging, increasing customer awareness, and brand repositioning. I don't know which one is better: that I now have my "big break" into brand management, or that tomorrow I get to put my two weeks notice in to a job I haven't loved since the get-go.

Moral of the story: don't give up. Are you unhappy with the way things are going? You may falter, you may fail, but the only way that you'll actually succeed is if you never, ever give up.

Perseverance, my friends. It did a lot for me; what can it do for you?

*For the sake of making longer stories shorter, I cut out both semesters of my senior year of college that I spent looking for jobs that I could start post-grad. My job search that I'm referring to here is entirely post-diploma.

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