Off-And-On Employment

In college, I was a typical fraternity brother -- I lived party to party with no real thoughts or feelings about the future. That is, until I realized graduation was a mere semester away.

Every student at the University of the Pacific, where I went, is required to take a class that is supposed to prepare you for the job market. The one-unit, once-a-week class was somewhat of a joke. The course helped students write resumes and cover letters, and conducted one mock interview per student. This was the only effort my institution made to force kids like me to look ahead.

The professor from that class always said, "Your next job is within your network. It's all about who you know." I slowly discovered that this statement was absolutely false. I started to panic halfway through my last semester. I heard about Career Builder through a friend. It didn't seem so bad; there were tons of jobs out there that were looking for many entry-level employees. I applied for a couple positions and suddenly, employers started to email me about positions. I was excited and jumped at the opportunity for interviews. It turned out that 90 percent of the people emailing me were employers that had huge employee turnover rates, miserable employees and obscene working conditions. Eventually, I ended up working for one of these places.

Luckily, the bank of Mom and Dad secured me some money as a gift for graduation, so my rent was paid. I found my first job, doing discovery work for a lawyer for a multi-million dollar case, with the help of my good friend. After a phone interview, I was told I could immediately start working for $15 an hour, sorting through thousands of medical records, organizing them into their respective piles and shipping them. The job, however, was temporary. There were a certain amount of documents that needed to be gone through (all of them), and once they were done, the so was I. It lasted two months.

I then found a job in direct sales and marketing. Ever been into a Home Depot? If so, you have been barraged by an employee asking you if you were interested in free promotions. I was that guy.

The hours were horrible and I didn't like anything that was going on behind the scenes. I quit before I had the chance to be promoted. Shortly thereafter, I headed back home to Massachusetts.

All in all, I thought it would be easier to get a job than it actually was. Students are told from young ages that getting a college degree ensures job security. The truth is, that's just not accurate anymore. When I was in school I thought I was, without a doubt, going to work in the entertainment industry and now I am striving to be an administrative assistant at a dentist's office. My goals and expectations have changed. I'm just as optimistic this time around but not relying on what was portrayed by my professor