When we choose to live a meaningful life, we want the decisions we make to be impactful and beneficial to not just ourselves, but to others around us. We want assurance and confidence in knowing that our decisions allow for progression and upward mobility, and I’m sure we each have our visions of what that looks like. For me (and maybe you), a growing young professional searching for full-time employment, my vision of meaningful living looks like this:
Providing services to clients/customers (possibly hosting some training sessions) within a casual corporate work environment in the hopes that my contribution improves the organization’s structure/flow or enhances the client/customer’s experience or well-being. In doing so, not only would I be loving what I do each day (because I’m more of a people lover than I thought) I’d be a part of an aesthetically pleasing downtown world. I’d be making enough to live my minimal, yet functional lifestyle and could help out my mom when need be due to a bigger financial income.
It’s been a year post graduation and I’ve been trying to sell myself to corporate companies assuring them that at entry-level, I am more than capable of taking on that customer-service role, thus allowing me to live and sustain my meaningful life. However, in a year’s time what I’ve learned is that “entry-level” is an understatement (within some organizations), your resume needs to focus on your accomplishments and assets just to land you an interview (and if you’re too humble like me, this can make it even harder to craft), your first job really may not look like your vision, and finally, what’s for you will be for you.
Yes, it took me all of 2017 and almost half of 2018 to figure out that my pride possibly blocked me from making an impact or contribution to an organization or a client/customer just because it didn’t look anything like my above vision.
Prideful (adj): having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy
If you have a degree (regardless of your desired industry), I’m sure your vision as a young professional looks nothing like a waiter/waitress, a cashier, a customer service rep at Walmart or any job that requires little to no education. You’re worth more than that. You deserve to be given more responsibility and to be placed in environments where your intelligence can be challenged and your skillsets can grow. But, if you don’t have much experience that shows you are capable of working in challenging environments or shows that you’re more than capable of working said job, then what?
Worth (n): the value equivalent to that of someone or something under consideration
This concept was hard for me to grasp because I, like many other first generation kids was told by my family that once you have a degree, your life automatically becomes better. No ma’am. No sir. A piece of paper does not determine your worth or value. YOU do. Therefore, if you’re like me and you’re new to the professional world, ask as many questions to as many people in areas that you aspire to be in as possible. AKA, network. If you don’t have much experience, get some. Volunteer. Intern. Freelance. Work part-time. Do whatever you can to gain experience. You can never have too much. If you’ve narrowed down exactly what you want to do (for now at least) take on those jobs you think (or probably are) too good for. The title shouldn’t deter you from the work. It’s the actual work you do and the contributions you make that are actually worth valuing, and you know what those look like for you.
Once again, I’m a people lover. So, any job within customer service/relations, retail, clerical, or hospitality, I would naturally thrive in. However, I’m also someone who doesn’t have much professional work/project experience. Therefore, my task in my professional journey is shifting my mind from “being a ____________ is beneath me because I have a degree” to “being a _______________ wasn’t my ideal job, but I give bomb ass customer service, so I can very well move up in this establishment to managerial responsibilities that can be applied anywhere“.
And I can honestly say after doing the work of editing my resume for the 2,759,974th time (which is another blog post on its own), understanding the difference between pride and worth and finally putting my pride aside, and lots and lots of prayer, I have come to a piece of mind and have been presented with multiple opportunities that keep coming.
Maybe you came to this conclusion way before I did. Maybe this post has helped you realize that we share similar stories. Maybe this doesn’t apply to you all, but you understand that having pride doesn’t get you very far, but knowing your worth and where to apply it will open many doors. Regardless of where you are on the matter, remember you never stay where you currently are forever. We all go down different paths and will get to our destinations in due time.
Thanks for reading.