October 24, 2016

Apply For Jobs You Want

I entitled this article “Apply For Jobs You Want” because we find ourselves settling for jobs that pay little, make us unhappy and unhealthy, and teach us to bring home all our misery. However, for those of you who have no job at all, perhaps having a job you do not like so you can have some source of income is not a bad idea at first. But once you have at least a job, you should only apply for jobs that you believe will bring you happiness. ‘Why?’ I hear you asking in the background after the first few sentences.

Firstly, because your major was not chosen at random; take pride in your major and remember why you chose to do what you truly loved when everyone else wanted you to go a more “practical” route.

Secondly, because taking another job you do not like that may pay a little more money, will not make you any more happy or give you better job satisfaction.

Thirdly, because you deserve to be happy and you should never give up on your dreams. So what if there are no job openings in your chosen career field? Good question, and a question which I find myself trying to answer in this article.

I recently found a website that helps recent college graduates find entry level jobs. This website was founded by a college graduate who could not find a job himself. He is one example of a successful entrepreneur and as I mentioned in my last article, entrepreneurship is one approach for trumping the job market as well as fulfilling personal dreams. Not only is this man a success story, but his website is actually useful, discussing everything from how to make more accurate keyword searches, to spotlighting a new company every day that offers entry level positions.

In fact, recently as I was researching some methods for finding jobs I came across an article on his website that gave me a revelation. Even if a company is not hiring, you can still make your mark. You can call, you can make your voice be heard, you just have to figure out which companies offer the type of work you long to perform. Although this may be a long shot, quite frankly so is entrepreneurship. At the very least, you will have some responses, and yes some companies will blatantly ignore you, but you never know where one e-mail, one phone call, or one connection could lead.

Therefore, I have come to a new conclusion in my personal job search. Why continue applying to jobs I do not like just because they are available? Why not create a job by forging connections with companies and professionals aligned with my field? In my mind, we have just as good a chance of getting a job that does not exist as we do getting a job to which we and a thousand other applicants applied to aimlessly, hoping someone would give us a chance for an interview or at least an acknowledgement of our existence. So you call these companies you love and they scream NO or ignore you, that is the worst that could happen. At least you would be getting farther than most of the available jobs to which you are applying as these companies usually give you no correspondence unless you are exactly what they want for their company and remind you not to call inquiring about the status of your application.

At this point I would like to mention that if you feel any part of the article thus far applies to your situation, you are not alone. When it comes to making a living we all stress about the well being of our family, our value in society and our hopes and dreams. In my case, I consistently heard “What are you going to do with an Art History degree?” Even beginning to explain the options available to Art Historians in life, work, and the pursuit of a deep passion are hard to explain to an average American. There are jobs that will allow you to pursue your passion and your dreams, you just have to create those jobs yourself.

Born and raised in Texas, Andie Scharer still considers herself to be a proud resident who claims no allegiance to the stereotype of the typical Texan. Most people find this very surprising considering Andie grew up in a small town 40 miles from Houston. Her parents are school teachers, so the value of an education was ingrained in her at a very early age. Andie was a successful student throughout grade school, never missing one day in 13 years and participating in many extracurricular activities in sports as well as academics.

When college came around, her dream was to attend the University of Michigan and she was accepted. However, Andie also received a large scholarship, which stipulated that she attend a university in the state of Texas. At this point, she had no choice.  So, she attended the only Texas college she applied for — the University of Texas at Austin.

She knew nothing of the rivalries, the history, or the academics of UT. However, once she arrived and every minute thereafter until she graduated, was the most enlightening time of her life thus far. Andie learned how to bounce back from a failing GPA after a rowing injury put her on bed rest during her freshman year, she navigated the streets of Florence, Italy for her entire junior year, and she found herself through a diverse universe of experiences.

Currently, Andie is out in the workforce, struggling to stay afloat, but gaining strength and still discovering ways to stay happy and feel alive!