20something profile: Natasha
My name is Natasha, and I am a twenty-something living in some semi-rough times. For the majority of my life, I really had no idea what I wanted to do. I always loved writing, but I convinced myself that it was difficult to make a career out of it. So, I looked for other options.
By the time university rolled around, I decided I wanted to study architecture. After a year of trying to draw perfect lines with various leads and cutting cardboard and making horrible plaster models, I realized it was not what I wanted to do. So, I switched to what I knew best my whole life: writing.
In 2011 I graduated from ASU with a B.A. in English Literature (I ended up switching majors junior year from Creative Writing to Literature because the capstone course I needed to graduate on time was full). For two years I told myself that law school was the best option for me, since I knew how to analyze text and to “think critically” (flashback to high school).
It wasn’t until I realized how miserable I was studying for the LSAT (and how miserable I was at the thought of studying law) that I knew law school was not at all for me either. I left university thinking I knew it all and had my life planned out, and I found myself a year later more confused than ever. I decided to start looking for full-time jobs in order to build my résumé.
Even though I loved my major in university, a liberal arts degree is somewhat vague in terms of a future career. You have a wide variety of options, but it’s difficult to narrow it down to doing something you truly enjoy. I bought into the story that the rest of my generation was told: go to college, and you will get a good job and earn more money. I thought my undergraduate degree was the golden ticket to a stable job and that it would just fall into my lap.
I applied for jobs left and right. I didn’t think I would have any trouble finding employment, since I was both educated and professionally qualified for a wide variety of entry-level jobs. However, I wasn’t getting a single call back for an interview. I started doubting my education, my skills and myself.
After talking to friends, reading many articles and following blogs about my generation, I realized it’s not just me going through this. It is much harder to find a job out of college these days, but I stopped being helpless and hopeless — that didn’t get me anywhere. I’ve enrolled in a Corporate Communications graduate certificate program for January 2014, and I finally feel confident in my choice.
I started an internship where I get to use my writing skills, among other things, and I love it. I still don’t know 100% where I will end up in terms of a career (mostly because I’m no longer planning every second of my life and expecting perfection), and I’m fine with not knowing. There’s excitement in the unknown. The important thing is that I’m slowly developing a realistic idea of who I am, what makes me happy, what my limits are, and that I shouldn’t rush into anything.
I do wish I could find that entry-level job tomorrow and begin establishing my career, but I understand that it’s going to take time and patience — and more education. There’s a lot of frustrated millennials out there applying for the same positions. We just have to keep our chin up and be patient.