Unemployed and Out on the Prowl

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Graduating college.

People don’t warn you enough about how scary post-graduation life really is—especially when you graduate college without a job. There’s nothing worse than introducing yourself to your parents’ friends and having them ask, “So do you have a job for after graduation?”

“No,” you reply. Insert family friend’s look of fright, as if you confessed you have the most severe form of leprosy in existence.

So you don’t have a job yet, and that’s okay. Don’t pull out the McDonald’s application just yet.

The world will survive and so should you. If you haven’t already, pace around your room, feeding yourself with anecdotes about how a majority of huge businesses and success stories started out of garages and that many millionaires didn’t even go to college.

I advise you to do this not because you’re the next Steve Jobs—we both know you’re not—but because beating yourself up won’t change your current situation and no one likes an unemployed sob story. How does the saying go? This is my job (or lack thereof) and I can cry if I want to.

You don’t seem to have that luxury just yet. Instead, cement your unemployed butt to the desk chair and spend the time beefing up your cover letter and resume. Since you don’t have a job, you have plenty of time to create more decorations for your resume to make it look like you actually did something in college.

Dearest unemployed college graduate: You are not alone, for there are many others who are suffering the same predicament as you. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, be proud for conquering the challenge of graduating college.

Maybe the right job didn’t come around the corner for you yet, and the universe is allotting you more time to be 23 and fabulous. Perhaps this is the opportunity to do something brave and intern for a start up company or better yet, attempt to start your own. Give that old noggin a rattle and something useful will actually come out of it.

Take this time to go to Machu Picchu or whatever places you wrote down in your diary when you were 8 years-old. Go visit your long-lost childhood friends in Northern Sweden or go teach English to kids in Costa Rica.

If you find yourself absent of the opportunity to rot at a desk from nine to five everyday, why not take that chance to really grow up a bit before starting in corporate America. Be the person all of your working friends wish they could be and the cultured candidate employers want.

Taking inspiration from Forest Gump, life is like a box of chocolates and you never know when you will be given a box with nothing. Winston Churchill said it best: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Lauren Hoffman: writer, jaded romantic, and always making a serious effort to be a flamingo among a flock of pigeons. In my spare time, I am an English Major with a Business minor at the University of Florida.

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