Many people know, finding a job after graduation is a full-time job of its own. After I had Zion, I took time to get to know my daughter and start my job search. It felt like the pressure was mounting with each passing month. People constantly asked me when I'm going to find a job and others told me I needed to focus on Zion and not worry about finding a job. Conflicting and unsolicited advice from every direction made me feel as if I was failing. I realized even if I did find a job in that season of my life, I wouldn't have been mentally prepared for the responsibility of balancing work life and mom life. I felt that I was letting everyone down because I’ve always held myself to a higher standard than I felt I was achieving. I constantly fixated on issues that a different version of Kierra dealt with.
Finding purpose in the midst of a grueling job search is exhausting. The feeling of inadequacy despite achieving a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and masters degree from Northwestern University in the midst of reading each rejection email can send your self-worth plummeting into nothingness. This is what I felt month after month after graduation. I was not being kind to myself. I told myself I wasn't good enough, smart enough, and anything you can think of I've probably said worse.
My frustration got to the point that others happiness and success irritated me. I was projecting my dissatisfaction and it was definitely getting me nowhere. I had to learn that this was my season to sit still and learn the lessons I needed. I realized that even if I were to finally get the ideal job that I was hoping for, I wouldn't be mentally ready for the challenge. I needed to clear out old energy and let go of all the past situations that were holding me back from my purpose.
Comparing yourself to others is the enemy of your own progress.
I compared myself to everyone around me. I learned that social media is simply a highlight reel and people only tell you what they want you to know. For all we know, before they posted that picture on Instagram they could've had a mental breakdown on the bathroom floor. All you can do is create a plan, find some accountability partners, and try to be better than you were yesterday.
Be patient with yourself.
I'm still learning that setting time limits on yourself only hinders the progress. It's not your fault that the hiring process is tedious and unrealistic. The job posting stating, "Recent graduate with 4-5 years of experience" is a flaw in the hiring process. Many times they hire someone they know. Nepotism at its finest.
Do your best to come to terms with your past.
I spent every day blaming myself or beating myself up about situations or mistakes that I cannot go back and change. Telling myself, "I should've applied for that fellowship." or "Why didn't I do A, B, or C?" What's done is done. This still is something I'm learning daily.
Do whatever it takes to find your happiness.
You cannot find happiness in other people. Finding happiness in others can leave you empty. Pouring yourself into outside relationships while neglecting what you need to better yourself is what left me trying to find myself again.
Take a risk on yourself.
Life is too short. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. If you’re not where you want to be in one area, start that passion project you’ve been procrastinating on.
A great podcast to listen to about being a young professional is Joblogues: http://www.joblogues.com/category/podcast/