Thank You!

I just want to send out a quick thank you to all my new followers, subscribers, readers, etc!  It’s so nice to be hearing from people who discovered this blog through our profile on Emelina Minero yesterday.  If you haven’t had a chance to read it, please do – Emelina has been doing some amazing work since she graduated from college and she shares some very good advice for people trying to juggle freelancing with launching their own projects.  And, if you enjoyed Emelina’s profile, be sure to check out all the other great, inspiring post-collegiates who have been featured in the past!

Finally, if you know someone who you’d like to see featured on the blog (including yourself!), let me know!  Just send a note to postcollegiateblog [at] gmail [dot] com and tell me a little about yourself (or your friend/colleague/idol/bestie/role model).  I would love to expand the scope of whose featured here and share your stories.  So, seriously, what are you waiting for?  Email me!

That’s all I have for today.  Be sure to check back in the next day or two with some resume-writing tips (always relevant!), some thoughts on the post-collegiate characters played by Chris Eigeman (aka Digger Stiles!), and a few other surprises up my sleeve.  Enjoy the day!



Real Life Responses, Part Three

I polled a wide selection of post-graduates to get their feedback on what life after college is like.  Every few weeks, we’ll stop and take a look at what real people are saying about their post-collegiate experiences and what tips they have to share.

One of the best parts of having a chance to do the Profiles in Post-Collegiate Courage series is getting to hear how people have overcome challenges or setbacks in their lives, both professionally and personally.  In light of having a pretty great couple of weeks, especially in terms of the response to this blog, I thought it would be nice to look at how people have been able to turn life’s lemons into lemonade [or life’s limes into tequila shots, if that’s how you roll.]

An example of a “blessing in disguise” in my post-collegiate life is:

  • Having corrective surgery on my leg. I’ve been stuck in bed for three months, but I’ve been able to sit and think about what I want in life.  I have been able to work from my computer on my new business adventures, and see how the business world works behind the scenes.
  • Realizing how great life is by experiencing great losses
  • Being unhappy in my first two post-college jobs led me to drink (a lot) but it’s also how I met the people who are my best friends, at a time when I lived somewhere where I didn’t know a soul
  • I signed up for a playwriting and photography workshop in Prague and managed to gather together enough scholarships and grants to go, but I’ve had to hold off starting at my job to go and it’s proving so far to be a stressful endeavor.  However, what I really want to get into is some form of professional writing or photography, so I’m really hoping I’ll come back with some kind of invaluable connection or experience that’ll help make my goals more attainable.
  • Moving back home after getting fired.  I was dreading it but I bonded with my parents, saved money, and came back stronger and healthier
  • A troublesome student I had this past school year.  Having him in my classroom made me resourceful, creative, and required me to develop confidence that I never thought I could have
  • The first time I interviewed at the company where I currently work, I didn’t get the job. I didn’t think so at the time, but I wasn’t right for the job. Now I know I am the best person for the job I have now—even if they didn’t hire me two years ago.
  • A combination of leaving my job after three years and my grandmother passing away in March 2009.  Both gave me the freedom to explore what it is I really want to do and I think I’m on the right path so far.
  • Mail!  I know it sounds silly but I rarely got mail in college and the people who I became really close with have become pen-pals of a sort.  We all have been trying to write each other regularly and have been getting something other than bills in the mailboxes.  It gives all of us something to do and something to look forward to.

Finally, a great sentiment from my very wise friend Abernathy.  We all recently lost someone who was so special to us and I find Abernathy’s perspective one of the most perfect examples of taking the heart-wrenching challenges of life and challenging that energy into something positive:

This sounds weird, but the whole situation with Halley. Through the last year I’ve become so close to so many of my friends and reconnected with a few I had begun to take for granted and lost touch with.  Also, I stopped being petty and I have a healthier outlook on life, which I think is going to drive me to do more NOW instead of waiting for this or for that, you know?


Your Words: How I Quit My Job That One Time

When I was 27, I had been working at a big media company for three years, focusing on what was then called “online community” and is now known as “social media” because they figured out that “online community” didn’t make any money.  I had my own office on a very high floor.  I had a generous travel and entertainment budget (the mid-90s were awesome) [Ed. note:  Truly unfair for those of us still toiling away at secondary education during such a time.]  I hired some fantastic people.  I had a great relationship with the head of the online division, who told me the company would pay for me to get my MBA.

The leadership of the company changed.  We all got reorganized.  I was dispatched to a new magazine for teens, supposedly working on its online content but really just sending mildly pornographic IMs back and forth with my fellow reorg victim while we waited for something to happen.  The head of the online division wouldn’t return my calls and was never available to meet with me.  I got a new boss, one who didn’t delegate anything and didn’t invite me to meetings and didn’t copy me on status reports: all things that sound trivial, but in a workplace, that kind of behavior can make someone invisible.

I spent two months doing nothing all day, then going home to cry to my roommate.  I didn’t start looking for a new job because obviously I wasn’t the kind of person anyone would want to hire — if I were, then why would the company I’d worked so hard for be freezing me out?  I ate a lot of cheese and drank a lot of beer.

And then one day in January, sitting at my desk in the mostly-empty bullpen, I IMed my fellow reorg victim: I need to get out of here.

Lunch? he sent back.

No, I mean I need to GET OUT.

I got up, walked over to my boss’s desk, waited for her to acknowledge that I was standing there, and said: I don’t think this is working out.  Do you want me to work through my notice period?

Honestly, she looked at me as though she’d never seen me before. After a minute she said no, and I got my bag and walked out.

I spent a week sleeping till ten, pretty much paralyzed with fear.  My roommate, who hated HIS job, told me to shut up and enjoy my freedom while it lasted; he had a point.  The next week I borrowed a car and went on a solo road trip.  The third week I started making some calls to industry acquaintances, some of whom believed I was actually employable.  I was shocked.  The fourth week I got a new job — one that was lucrative and ended up eating my soul, but was a hugely valuable experience anyway.  I switched careers eventually, and then took a few years off to have babies.  I’m not at all sure what I’ll do when I go back to work.  But the benefit of having had a couple of agonizing work experiences is that I know now that nothing is permanent, no job or career should define me, and if I keep an open mind and can psych myself up enough to take some risks, there are a lot of opportunities out there.  Also, I shouldn’t have eaten so much cheese.

Many thanks to the anonymous reader who submitted this real life tale!  Want to share your experience?  Drop us at email at postcollegiateblog [at] gmail [dotcom].  Cheese references not required but encouraged.