Job Searching – My Journey

Searching for a job is a JOB itself! After two years of grad school, I’m back to where I started in December 2006 after graduating with a Bachelors and where I found myself in March 2009 after being laid off from my first “real” job after college. It took me ten months to land that job too, and it was my “dream” job – working at a magazine. At least it was my dream at the time. Ten months of completing applications, making follow-up calls, going to interviews – many times with no feedback or response from employers – whew, just the thought.

It was worse the second time around after being laid off and spending about a year job searching. I thought surely I’d find a job with my experience, but to no avail. Once again, I was submitting my updated resume, completing applications, making follow-up calls, and going to interviews – and the phone, it barely rang; my inbox, it rarely got a response email; me, I was barely making it. I was 24 and unemployed with bills to pay. I hit a low point. I withdrew from family and friends – I just wanted to be alone. Thankfully, I was blessed to be living with aunts who understood my plight and helped me along the way – as well as other friends and family members. Nevertheless, I knew my journey had to continue. After the first six months of job searching, I decided it was time to go back to school. I had thought about getting my Masters and now seemed like a good time to do so. I began by looking at alternative routes for teaching that offered an advanced degree. When those didn’t work out, I decided to look into Master Programs. Within the next few months I had decided on a program, moved home, applied, interviewed, and gotten accepted – but, the job search continued.

I was receiving unemployment, but anyone who’s ever received it knows it’s not anything near what your check once was – although I am thankful for what I did receive… It didn’t take long before I was freelancing at local publications after returning home. That was a boost of confidence – and being accepted in the Master of Education in Counseling program just topped it all off. I had taken a turn for the best in my journey – and little did I know it was going to have a great impact on my life and relationships. Working has not been a problem for me since I’ve been in school. I started my first semester off with an assistantship and have managed to keep one since – thanks to those who gave me a chance! Now…

Now, I’m back to where I started a little less than six years ago and found myself again nearly three years later. Job Searching. Aside from taking summer classes and working part time, I’ll be in search of the next turn in my journey. I’ve been told that earning a Master’s degree puts you at an advantage. I can’t help but wonder how much that will help in this economy. I’m trying to have a positive outlook on things. So I’ve updated my resume, and I’ve started submitting applications. My field of interest has changed since 2006, but my objectives/goals have not. I enjoy writing, and I want to help others. I’m hoping that somewhere, someone will see that and understand that as they read over my cover letter and resume and speak to my references. I’m hoping that one day soon the phone – it will ring; and my inbox – it will get a response email. And at the other end I will hear/read “Congratulations…” Until then, I’ll be making follow-up calls and looking forward to interviews. As of now, that’s my job.

~ Ciara L Walker

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