on nests, and leaving them.

So, it’s May. In Atlanta, the magnolias are blooming, the pollen is blocking visibility on my windshield, and it’s almost too hot outside for a cardigan sweater. May also means that people are graduating, renewing or finishing their leases, and things are just … well, changing. This isn’t exactly ground-breaking information, but it seems particularly poignant to me at the moment: I’m on the job hunt.

This time last year, I was a lot less panicked than I should have been, in retrospect. For whatever reason, I wasn’t too worried about WHAT WOULD BECOME OF ME after graduation. This attitude is actually really not like me at all. Usually, I’m a typical Capricorn who needs her five-year plan itemized to the letter, so not having a post-grad plan should have thrown me into a state of apoplexy. Maybe it was thesis completion-related complacency, maybe it was the lull of a newly-signed lease with my friends, or maybe it was just the pollen. In any event, I wasn’t too concerned about what the immediate future would bring. Given that, I guess it was just really good timing that I was offered the Digital Design Fellowship at Agnes Scott, a year-long commitment to full-time employment that would allow me to do what I love (Internet things) on a regular salary, with full benefits. I had a month between graduation and working to go home to Florida and hang out with my horse, my mom, and my dog; basically, to chill out from 4 years of Agnes Scott. It was nice to go to the beach, and relax on porches with my friends until 4 AM like in high school, but it was especially nice to go to work. To start my life as an adult, with a cool job and all the bragging rights that went along with it.

I mention all of this because I was reading the year’s final issue of the Agnes Scott Profile, and got a little misty for the first time since … well, since ever. My fellowship ends officially on June 30, and I’ll be leaving the ASC nest soon enough. I never had a chance to feel nostalgic for my college since I transitioned straight into working for it, and the prospect of applying elsewhere has been both a kind of relief and terror. My current goal is to apply to a job a day, in social and digital media, and hope that something sticks. Hurry up and wait. This, I imagine, should have been my experience last year.

I’ve had a recent bit of luck on the application front, at least; I’ve received one formal offer that I’ve reluctantly had to turn down. Part of me is slightly wistful that I’d known what I wanted to go into my first (even my sophomore) year of college, or that I’d had an opportunity to major in Marketing/Communications like so many of these jobs require. More of me wishes I knew if I wanted to go to graduate school; if so, what I’d want to study. I suppose this is a reiteration of my post about the quarter-life crisis, or at least a lament that everyone else seems to know what their future holds, why can’t I? I know I’d like to continue working in higher education, implementing social media strategy, but I’d also like to work in an actual agency. I know I’m marketable; I can do things, and I learn quickly, but this job search feels a lot like throwing glitter into the wind.

So, what now? More hurry up and wait. Endless submissions of qualifications, of which I seem to have either too many or not enough. Attempts to finish this year’s work, knowing there’s no chance of continuing that programming into another year. It’s not so much empty desperation that I’m feeling, more like being at the end of a single-lane road without a map. It’s time to find the way out of the nest, and my little wings aren’t sure if they’re ready.
Anyway, it’s a lot of listening to Dirty Beaches and trying to find a happy medium, or at least some kind of interesting employment. Figuring out ways to make myself competitive amongst 2011 graduates who have Communications degrees and all the connections inherent. Potentially having a very long vacation. My inner Capricorn is having a field day with this uncertainty.

So if you’d like to hire me for something, do let me know. I can navigate the hell out of WordPress, tell you if your design needs work, theorize about microblogging until the cows come home. Develop your digital strategy, talk about metrics, wax poetic about Google Apps and show you how to maximize your Tumblr. Just please, give me a purpose and a paycheck.

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