When I graduated from college back in May, I expected that it might take me a little while to find a job. The national unemployment rate was (and remains) 9%. Entry-level jobs for liberal arts grads were in high demand, and I knew that I'd be competing against a slew of highly qualified recent graduates.
What I didn't expect, however, was for it to take me 5 1/2 months to find a job.
On October 20th, I was driving home on the highway after some errands when I finally got the phone call I had been waiting for. I somehow managed to avoid running off the road while the HR guy ran through the details of my job offer from one of the country's major environmental non-profits. I was offered a development assistant position in their New York City office, focusing on foundation relations. Not only was this was the exact job function I had been aiming for, but it was in the field I had spent 4 years studying in undergrad. The required move to NYC stirred up mixed feelings (a topic for another post) but I reminded myself that I always said I would only live in the city for the most ideal of jobs. And this was pretty much perfect. I accepted without hesitation.
In processing this complete 180 of life's course, two emotions dominated: relief, and gratitude. Relief that the anxiety-provoking job search had finally come to an end and gratitude for everyone that helped me get there. At the risk of sounding like I'm giving an Oscar acceptance speech, I am immensely grateful to the family, friends, and friends-of-family and friends who supported me, encouraged me, maintained their faith in me, invited me to distracting social events, sent job leads my way, worked the crap out of their networks to connect me with job leads, listened when I wanted to unload a rant on them, and mercifully avoided the topic when I didn't want to talk about it. In particular, I am endlessly grateful to the person whose connection opened the door to this job for me.
So now I live in Manhattan. My first day of work was today, Halloween. It was a whirlwind of introductions, HR orientations, and filing to familiarize myself with the 100+ foundation grants this non-profit receives every year. I have a lot to learn in these next few months, but I couldn't be happier about it. Real life, commence. I'm ready for you.