The Next Chapter

Once upon a time… a guy graduated from college. He spent the summer working with gifted high school students and loved it. He substitute taught for a semester and did not love it. Then, he moved to the British countryside and lived in a fairy tale castle, but the clock ran out, and he turned back into a pumpkin. And then the guy wondered what his next chapter would entail.

Upon returning from working in the UK, I had no idea where I was heading. I was winging it.

I moved back into my house with my best friend. I started eating a little better and running again to try to trim the newly-found blubber off my body. I began looking for my next adventure.

Before I left England, I updated my online portfolio, tweaked my résumé, made some LinkedIn connections, and crossed my fingers. To avoid devoting too much time to the job search—thus distracting me from my already busy life in the UK—I did not apply for any jobs before I left. My boss said that was smart. My friends said that was stupid. Regardless, I flew back to the USofA with literally no job prospects.

I arrived home and readjustments hit (see previous post). Then, my study abroad friends visited (see upcoming post). And then I dove into life’s bottomless pit: the job search.

I had watched friends dive in before. Some popped back up with an option quickly. Some swam to the depths before having to come back up for air and then dove again before getting an offer. I was intimidated because, although I can swim, I’m terribly afraid of drowning.

Nevertheless, I started applying. I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t send out many applications because most places wanted one extreme or the other. Some places wanted me to be a student, still getting my feet wet. Therefore, they could pay me in mostly words of affirmation and not so much physical money. Some places required years and years of experience despite advertising entry-level positions. How is one supposed to have experience without getting an entry-level job to gain experience? But I digress.

I formed a couple backup job ideas with a backup to the backups being substitute teaching.

*Shudders

But then, while sitting on my couch and eating a salad that I really wished was something with a lot more fat content, I received a text from a previous colleague. She knew I was looking for work and said someone in the office quit at the drop of a hat to pursue something that was a better suit for her.

One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was walking into the same office where I worked as a student receptionist in college. I interviewed with two of my previous bosses. After the interview, I walked two doors down to say hi to one of my other previous coworkers, but thirty seconds after I walked out of the interview, the boss ran out of her office and motioned for me to come back in. I did, and she offered me the job on the spot.

What do you know? Thanks to a few connections and some previous hard work in college, I swam back to the surface of the job pit.

I’m now an office associate for the study abroad office on my home campus. I’ll be in charge of the upkeep of the office, supervising student workers, billing student accounts, planning travel for staff, budgeting, writing official documents on behalf of the office, and a few other things that I’m really excited about.

This job is the direct effect of a few previous chapters in my book: traveling the world by sea, getting my first professional experience in college, becoming president of a student group, and—most recently—completing a little internship in England that you might have read about. Now, that same office has provided me a new adventure. I’ll still continue to write, take photos, and manage some social media, but I’ll be trading my travel shoes and passport for a button-down and a big desk for a little while.

So once upon a time, a guy started a new job in a chapter that was quite familiar. The ending? Well… we’ll get there eventually.

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