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This topic has been on my mind for awhile. I can list a handful of people who have heard an earful of this already. (Thank you, handful of lovely people who I love.)

“Your job is stupid” isn’t something you hear…to your face. But you feel it with a person’s looks, her nonverbal response and if you’re lucky, a sugar-coated version of it. It usually sounds something like this, “Oh…that’s…cool….*awkwardly*”

When I was a kid, I went through life thinking that I had a few options for a career. Everything else beyond these choices amounted to nothing. I had to choose.

  • Doctor
  • Nurse
  • Engineer
  • Teacher
  • Nun

That was it. Everything else didn’t count; it wasn’t realistic or sustainable. These five options.

Then I got to college, I got to spread my wings a little bit more and doors that I didn’t know existed started to open. But then I got tunnel vision, again. Because my school, my peers and my parents brainwashed me into thinking that I’m supposed to get a full-time, well-paying  job after college. Something sustainable. Something “respectable.” That’s the next step. And I internalized it. I became that kid again, and I thought to myself, “I have to get a full-time job after college …or I’m a lazy piece of shit.” It’s sounds a little harsh, but we were all probably thinking it. Especially if you go to a competitive school. Especially if your peers who are getting jobs before they graduate.

I felt pretty shitty. I was one of those grads that didn’t have a job immediately after college. It wasn’t that I wasn’t applying. It wasn’t that I wasn’t getting interviews. I wasn’t getting hired – and that feels pretty shitty. It doesn’t soften the blow when a recruiter says “You’re impressive…but we decided to go with another candidate.”

So, I kept applying, worked for my parents and traveled in between. Then I took a job that I didn’t love because I felt the pressure of not having one. Then I quit that job, and then I took a job that I liked more but might sound less “respectable.” It was a barista job. I made coffee and I served coffee. I cleaned dishes and I counted the till. I collected tips, and did the occasional hair flip for more tips. And I learned so much at this job. Beyond coffee history, the science of espresso, and Square troubleshooting- I learned about people. The people behind the bar, the people in front of the bar, the people outside of the coffee bar. Arguably, I learned more about the art of communicating, service and team work than any of my other internships, combined.

Most importantly, I learned that no one’s job is stupid. Leaving my job, I have so much respect for everyone in the service industry (and any industry). Where we are in life – as long as you’re moving forward, and you kind of like what you do – what else is there? Maybe [health] benefits…I hear those are cool. But people have a sense of entitlement. That we are supposed to have great jobs because we have a 4 year degree, or we put in our time with multiple internships, or we know someone who knows someone.

We’re not guaranteed anything in this life, and that includes a furthering education and a job. Those are privileges and by-products of continuing hard work…and possible trial-and-error.

If you’re at a job that you love, congratulations. Continue to learn and grow, put in the work, remember to be thankful and don’t forget to  share.

If you’re at a job you hate, make moves. I don’t regret for a second for leaving my job as a fresh grad, 4 months into it. Trust your gut, it’s usually right. Remember to move forward, fight for what you want and that it’s okay to try new jobs (whether or not it’s “respectable,” because re: no one’s job is stupid).

 

 

Where to begin?

It still feels unreal, and here’s my forewarning to you: it might get sappy. 

TL;DR: I got offered a pretty perfect position, and I’M STOKED. And I will be returning to Austin, TX…sometime.

LONG READ: Fall 2014. I’m feeling a little mopey, but I’m searching for jobs on full blast. I have an extensive Excel sheet to prove it (thank you Jaime for inspiring that). My Excel sheet had everything: company name, contact info, what industry, when I’ve contacted them, links and status. Down the list, you would see a company called Manes & Co. I found them through ACL. Yes, that’s right, Austin City Limits Music Festival. I had been Twitter stalking, and found the agency because I discovered that one of their clients was one of my favorite brands: Cuvée Coffee.

An email was sent out of curiosity, and I wasn’t expecting anything back…but I received a response from the Mane guy himself. Pro Tip: People will tell you that submitting emails to “info@companyname.com” or submitting a form is futile, but let me tell you- I’ve gotten a job offer/agency tour/contacts from submitting a form. Not all hope should be lost. 

Anyhoo, emails were exchanged, questions were answered, but unfortunately they were not hiring at the time. I was bummed, but the overarching theme: not all hope should be lost. He let me know that 2-3 months down the road, I would have a shot. Excited for the possibility, but continued on my search. If you’ve been keeping up, I’ve experienced a few jobs since then and now.

*Fast forward to July 2015*

Scrolling through my Twitter Feed, as I do, a job posting caught my eye. It was from Manes & Co. Here it was, that shot. It was a long shot, but it was a shot nonetheless. And I kid you not, as I was drafting my email to Manes, the Mane man emailed me. A few revisions to my resume and several drafts of emails later- *airplane e-mail noise.* A phone interview was scheduled and a talk later- I was offered a job.

I was offered THE job.  

I would get the opportunity to represent one of my favorite brands, be a part of building another one and be a Mane team member. (I am already obsessed with making this my Mane pun. Now, I finally understand why people make puns out of my name.) What a feeling. To not only be offered a [pretty perfect job], with an ideal situation, and for your soon-to-be-but-now-is boss to be so confident in you and your abilities.

It’s nice.

For a couple of weeks, I was feeling static, professionally. I love what I do, but I didn’t know where I was going…and I was wondering if I was going anywhere at all. A part of it was feeling directionless, but a part of it was the lack of motivation to pick up a map. You know? But I was 100% aware that no one was going to give me that map, I had to go and direct myself. Hope is not lost, but it’s if you keep that door open, if you keep going toward it, if you still want it. (Whatever “it” is.)

And while some people may believe that this job fell into my lap, I assure you it did not. Feels like it, sometimes…but no job ever does. Nothing ever falls into your lap, but maybe if you knock something over while sitting. *knee slap* (No one? Ok.) So, yes, I will be making my way back to the city of music, the city of breakfast tacos, the city of every festival, the city of ESK, Pieous, ABW and of course, Cuvée Coffee (and Tecovas Boots!). Sooner than I expected, but not too soon! I’m still slinging coffee, so come visit me sometime Houston friends.

What’s the title of this blog post again? Oh yes, not all hope should be lost.

thu texas flag