20something profile: Elizabeth
I graduated from college in the dead of winter. I entered the “real world” with my journalism degree and high expectations. After a few months of sending out hundreds of applications and going on interview after interview with no success, I felt defeated. What happened to the whole “make sure you go to college so you can get a good job” spiel I was told my whole life?
Four months later, when I was about to give up, I finally got a job offer. From a real company with benefits and paid vacation! It was a miracle. It was for an insurance company, and I would be doing nothing related to my ultimate career goals, but I didn’t care! It was a job. I accepted the offer, and for a while, I was content in my position as full-time employee.
After about a year of writing insurance certificates and making policy changes, I felt stifled and completely bored with my “big girl” job. When I spoke to people about my feelings of dissatisfaction, most brushed it off and told me to be happy that I had a job. And a part of me agreed with them. I did have a job, which is a lot more than many twentysomethings in this economy could say.
So I stuck it out for a few more months, but I always felt unfulfilled. I felt trapped in a job that was taking up all my time. Sure, it was paying the bills, but I wasn’t happy. I finally decided that my happiness was more important than anything else. So, in January of 2012, I took a chance and left my secure insurance job.
I was terrified, but I also felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders, and that’s how I knew I made the right decision.
Things weren’t always easy after I quit my job. There were a few times I thought about the money and the stability, and I questioned my decision. But I eventually found my footing. It took a lot faster than it did when I first graduated because I was focused on what I really wanted to do. Sure, a job and money are important, but if you’re not happy, what’s the point?
I started working as the editorial assistant for a small parenting magazine where I live. I’ve been there a little over two years now, and I love it. I work with amazing people and get to do fun, interesting things daily. While I don’t see myself working for the company years from now, I’m happy. I don’t feel stuck the way I did in my first job right out of college.
I may not be where I ultimately want to be, but I am on the right track!