Every decision we make teaches us a lesson, creates consequence or strengthens a virtue. Recently I started job hunting for my first full-time job after college. Before I started I imagined it would be a simple process with quick results. I remember hearing my college professors say, “It typically takes fresh graduates up to six months to find their first job.” I remember listening and thinking, “Well, that may be the case for some people, but it’s not going to be the case for me.” I realize now after two months of no luck what a slap to the face feels like. Job hunting has been a humbling, challenging, thrilling and irritating experience. Just because you have an up-to-date resume, relevant cover letter and snazzy online portfolio, that doesn’t suggest that a job is just going to fall into your lap. This proves how much effort it takes to track down a good job. You’ll notice how I used the word good instead of perfect because the first job may not be the perfect job, but it will be a good fit and inspire growth.
The decision I made: to search for my first job has led to strengthening two virtues: patience and perseverance. Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay without getting angry or upset. On the other side, perseverance is the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. Being able to accept that this is going to take time, trusting that God has a plan for me, and reading through job descriptions that do not match my skill set have tested my patience. Sitting down and filling out application after application, sifting through an endless stream of job alert emails, and going on failed interviews have tested my perseverance.
These past couple months have been hard, and I know the coming months will be more of the same: a surplus of uncertainty, more humbling interviews and unending applications. At this point I have no idea what my first job will look like, and that terrifies me. I don’t know what the expectations will be, what kind of attitude my manager will have, if I’ll get along with my coworkers or how far I’ll have to commute to get to work on time, but I do know that it’s going to take a lot more than what I’ve been putting in. Coming to the conclusion that more effort is going to be required to achieve my end goal has made it clear that my patience and perseverance are going to be strained for a while, but after all this is over they will be stronger than ever.