Feeling sort of directionless...

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    Dec 08, 2012 8:33 AM GMT
    This probably doesn't belong in "All Things Gay" but I wasn't sure where else to put it. I'm basically just venting and asking for advice from anyone who more or less has their life together or at least feels as though they're on the right track. I tend to be wordy when I post, so I apologize for that in advance:

    Anyway, I'm a recent college graduate and the job hunt has me frustrated. Not only have I only had one positive response to all of the cover letters and resumes I've sent out practically daily since graduating in May (a request for an interview, which I then botched), I'm not even confident that if I did land any of these jobs I'm applying for, I'd be any closer to making the kind of life for myself that I want. I guess that's because I'm not totally sure what kind of life I want.

    I know I'm young, but I'm not getting younger and I can't help but feel envious of the people my age who have a real passion and are taking concrete steps to pursue it. I feel like each passing day is wasted potential, but I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing!

    I know I want to live in a city and surround myself with creative, passionate people, but I can't move out of my hometown until I find a job elsewhere. At least, that's what my parents are saying. Some days I'm tempted to just move to New York City or Chicago or Los Angeles or wherever, just because I know those are places I'd rather be, but I'm afraid it wouldn't be any easier to find jobs once I'm there.

    I feel passionate about a number of different things, but I wish I could narrow it down to just one thing, so I could pursue that thing 100%. Maybe then I could figure out what step number one is.

    Mostly I just wanted to vent and I don't really expect any miracle solutions. I know there are probably people twice my age who still don't know what they want to do with their lives, but for those of you out there who figured it out and feel really passionate about what they're doing right now: What's your secret? What should I do?
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    Dec 08, 2012 8:41 AM GMT
    Been there, done that. My advice to you is to take some risks. You're young and not established yet. You can afford to make mistakes. Just save as much money as you can, enough to live for a year on your own, and just move.

    Because in case you haven't figured it out, most companies aren't willing to interview/hire out of state applicants. They want someone that can be potentially available to start work right away if hired. It sucks. But that's the reality of job hunting these days.

    So save money. Research the cities you want to move to. Research the companies you want to apply to. And when you're ready, go for it. Hopefully, you have a good relationship with your parents. Because if things don't work out, you can always move back home, regroup, and plan your next strategy.
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    Dec 08, 2012 8:45 AM GMT
    Thanks for taking the time to reply! icon_biggrin.gif
  • zdravo

    Posts: 18

    Dec 08, 2012 4:06 PM GMT
    Good post. Sounds like you have quite a lot on your plate at the moment. My life is far from being "on track", whatever that means, but I will chime in.

    You say you are not totally sure of what type of life you want, yet you are leaning towards living in a big city surrounding yourself with creative people. I say do it. You are young enough to take the risk. The internet allows you to look for jobs from afar. Find a few that strike your eye, contact them and let them know you will be visiting the city for a few days and would like an interview if they like your credentials, and then crash on someone's couch for a few days. If you think that you need a job first in your hometown, you may never end up leaving.

    Don't feel bad if employers don't contact you. The job market is tight, and it is not getting better for most people. I remember spending an entire year searching for jobs and raking up a ton of credit card debt in the process to support myself. It was a complete failure. I sent out about 300 to 400 custom applications over the course of that year. In the end, I got hired by a CEO who found my resume on the internet. We still have a good relationship today even though it's been several years since I worked for her.

    Also, while I am sure people may be helpful in telling you not to make such a drastic move, take it with a grain of salt. I remember when I was 21, and had an opportunity pop up. Everyone told me not to leave my home city. "You will never make it" "Things will fall through" "What if you have a bad experience and have to come back home?" So what! That is what life is about, living learning, experiencing, and growing!

    So I moved 4500 miles away from home. Hated it and started making plans to return home. Then suddenly found my passion. Then lived overseas for five years before returning home. Ten years later, I have no regrets.

    Do what works for you while keeping others', including my, advice as a thought.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 08, 2012 4:40 PM GMT
    buy a compass
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    Dec 08, 2012 4:50 PM GMT
    the previous posters have given you some good advice . . . failure will be necessary for growth


    and you are in a great position - young; nice looking; educated and yet the education system hasn't destroyed your curiosity and passions; and probably not living anywhere near poverty (though this last one could be numbing you)


    . . . regardless of where you live or what you do, now is the time to read widely and deeply because you have the time and your education no doubt failed you in many ways . . . seriously, start reading now!


    . . . "seek and ye shall find" sounds easy and direct, but it is anything but . . . if your life becomes something more than a job hunt, it will be quite arduous, and necessarily so . . . when did creativity ever come at a discount (i.e., without suffering)? when did insight ever come without a steep climb?
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    Dec 08, 2012 4:53 PM GMT
    VSG: when I was contemplating switching careers 10 years ago, I called together a group of trusted friends who knew me and knew what my skill set was and we had a brainstorming session. Folks jotted down career ideas on post-it notes and stuck them up on the wall.

    I also did some vision boarding about the direction I wanted my life to take.

    Doing things like this gave me a lot of clarity ... It brought a mindfulness to the process ... and it also empowered me and was a definite confidence boost that I could see the process through.

    This may not be a good fit for you but I do wish you well in your decisions. The advice above about taking chances is also something worth giving a lot of thought.
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    Dec 08, 2012 5:00 PM GMT
    Well, responding as the 'older' element, I have to say that you're not alone where you are. I have kids that have the same issues. Interestingly, I was thinking about when I was 20, I had relatives that offered to house me in CA if I wanted to move from PA. I took them up on the offer and moved. OMG, I think of it now and I think, what the hell was I thinking but I've been here 35 years now and the best move I made. Think outside the box, take chances. The previous posted had it right when he said that if it doesn't work out, you can always go home but with the experience of what worked and didn't work.

    Money is always an issue. Big cities are expensive. Try and get to know guys in the area you want to move (IE: like on here) that might host you for a month or a relative in a city and then go for a month and try and find a job. Even if it's not your dream job, you have to start somewhere. Think outside the box.
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    Dec 08, 2012 5:41 PM GMT
    Everybody has to start sonwhwere. Very few if us get their dream job handed to us. It will take time. Research carefully where you want to move abs make connections to that city. Even if it is one one or two people. Then if you really feel like you have done all you can in your current city, move on. You aren't getting any younger. Act instead of dream...
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    Dec 08, 2012 6:17 PM GMT
    Well, in my experience, submit your resume' to all of those locations that you really want to be located.... If they're interested? They'll actually send you the airfare... they did for me.. Don't worry about the details... they'll take care of themselves... Follow your bliss.. not so much with the worrying so much.
    It shows (whether you know it, or not) if you really would rather be somewhere else, to be more creative or have much bigger plans or, you're too BIG for the company your're applying with... Take the leap... You'll be amazed at what happens!!! Best of luck... though, I don't really think You'll need it!!! Rocco.icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 08, 2012 8:21 PM GMT
    Thanks for all the nice and thoughtful responses, guys! icon_biggrin.gif I'm feeling a little more optimistic today.
  • mybud

    Posts: 11837

    Dec 09, 2012 4:01 AM GMT
    VSG1290 saidThanks for all the nice and thoughtful responses, guys! icon_biggrin.gif I'm feeling a little more optimistic today.
    I read your post...Looked at your profile write up...Before I can respond I want to know what type of working you're wanting to go into?
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    Dec 09, 2012 4:04 AM GMT
    Hey, look at me. I know what I want, got direction, but lack the tools. Sometimes you gotta enjoy the trip, no matter how many bumps in the road... however you do that. icon_wink.gificon_wink.gif
  • MidwesternKid

    Posts: 1167

    Dec 09, 2012 4:37 AM GMT
    You are where I was four years ago. My college didn't really prepare me for anything or give me any direction. I waited tables for a year, and have been in retail for three after college. I wanted and still do want to get out of this small town I live in and move to a big city but I had to make myself ready to accept bigger opportunities that called for a bigger risk financially. There have been a lot of days where I have been angry with the world and cried and been very frustrated. I stuck it out, and I will be free of some debts that were holding me back by the end of the year, and in 2013 I will be financially stable to move and take on better jobs. Long story short, it is all about timing. It is hard to be patient, but just realize that we are where we are and doing what we are doing for a reason. When its our time, it will happen.

    But don't let that keep you from being aggressive.