Key fit, knob turned & door opened

When we travel down a dark tunnel long enough, it soon becomes difficult to imagine the light at the end. The same goes for rejection. The more rejection we face, the harder it becomes to picture what success will look like. Over the past six months, I’ve been slowly venturing through the job-hunting tunnel. Every door I approached took the form of an interview, I would use my key (skills and experiences) to unlock it, but the knob wouldn’t budge. The lack of a key (right qualifications) forced me to try another way. Pretty soon the tunnel transformed into an intricate maze – I feared I’d never find my way out.

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I trust in God’s plan, but after being stuck in this tunnel for months, I started to doubt and grew distant from God. I blamed him for not having the right key to access the right door. I doubted my skills and believed no company wanted me. Constant rejection pushed me further from picturing what my life would look like when I received a job offer. I begged God so many times for a new opportunity. I told him I was ready to start working, but he didn’t answer – and I was angry and impatient.

Then a week ago, I received a follow-up email from a local recruiter regarding my resume. She met with me and set up an interview with a telecommunications company. I didn’t get my hopes up. None of my keys had worked, so what was going to be different this time? Like any other interview, I prepped, dressed to impress and showed up on time. The recruiter I’d been working with told me to call after and provide my feedback. Before I had the chance to call her, my phone rang. After rambling on with my positive remarks, she said “Well Amy, I’m glad to hear that because they’ve already contacted us and want to make you an offer.”

Dear Lord, thank you for the assurance that when one door of opportunity closes, you will open a bigger and better door for me. Teach me to trust in you more deeply and lean not on my own understanding. Amen

It’d been less than an hour since my interview ended – how could they have already made an offer? I expressed my disbelief and she replied, “They were looking to be wowed, and you wowed them.” I could feel the light’s warmth because I’d made it to the tunnel’s end. The key fit, the knob turned and the door opened.

That night after the excitement settled, I knelt down by my bed and opened in prayer. I thanked God for this incredible opportunity and apologized for doubting him. This position was everything I’d been looking for from the start: local company, great pay, collaborative team setting, creative department, writing-based position and so on. Every failed door hadn’t been a 100% fit – and even though I didn’t see it, God did. He knew what I deserved and followed through.

Practicing patience & perseverance

Every decision teaches, punishes or rewards us. I’m searching for my first full-time job, and before I started I imagined it’d be an easy-with-quick-results process. My college professors said, “It typically takes fresh graduates up to six months to find their first job.” When I heard that, I thought, “Well, that may be the case for some people, but not me.” After 2+ months of no luck, I’m eating my words. Job hunting is a humbling, challenging and irritating experience. Just because you have a resume/cover letter and online portfolio doesn’t mean a job is going to fall in your lap. It takes a lot of hard work to track down a good job. I don’t expect my first job to be perfect. I just want a good fit where I have a chance to grow.

Decision: to search for first job. Result: teaching value of patience and perseverance. Patience is accepting delay without getting upset. Perseverance is continuing to do something despite opposition. Accepting this will take time and trusting God has a plan is testing my patience. Applying for job after job, sifting through job alerts and going on failed interviews is testing my perseverance.

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The coming months are going to be more of the same: uncertainty, humbling interviews and unceasing applications. I have no idea what my first job will look like. 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 long my commute will be. What I do know is that I need to keep pushing, and after it’s over I’ll be more patient and perseverant than before.

Revisiting crossed bridges

Being a post-grad means you have to start making plans for a new journey. This journey entails a full-time job. Some students have a job arranged before they graduate. I had no idea what kind of job I wanted. Since my summer internship ended, I’ve been in limbo. Right after I graduated I did some needed R&R. After four years of college, I had a lot of built-up stress and sleep deprivation. However this R&R only added more pressure about upcoming decisions.

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The impatient nervousness I felt pushed me to contact old resources. After high school I attended a junior college for two years and got my Associate’s. Today I chose to return to the old stomping grounds to receive assistance from Career Services. The staff was always eager to help students achieve their career and life goals. As I walked through the Student Center, memories from my college days flooded back. I watched students, loaded down with heavy textbooks, walk to class. I can’t believe less than two years ago, I walked the same halls and sat in the same classrooms.

I remembered what an amazing time I had – the friends, presentations and responsibilities. I built an excellent reputation in regards to extracurriculars and academics. JCCC prepared me for Washburn University. Now JCCC would help me forge ahead in the workforce. The counselors care about whoever walks through the door – students, community members or alumni. They want to offer help until the task, like finding a job, is completed. I felt more confident after discussing job-hunting strategies with them for an hour. It’s a relief to know you can return to bridges you’ve already crossed for assistance in crossing future bridges.

“Until you cross the bridge of your insecurities, you can’t begin to explore your possibilities.” – Tim Fargo