Monday, September 7, 2009

Happily Ever After

Once upon a time there was a girl named Catherine. She had a loving husband, a tiny house, an affectionate dog and a college degree. But Catherine was unhappy because she didn't have a job. When she was a little girl she had been told that someday she'd graduate from college and have a career. But hard times in the land where Catherine lived had changed that lifelong assumption. It seemed that after months and months of searching, employment and relief from the pressures of our world were nowhere in sight. Catherine and her poor husband were floundering, scraping together a living from his toil alone. Hope was alive, but dim.

Now this story may seem familiar to you, either because you or someone you know is in a similar situation. The media tells us that never has a generation since the Great Depression faced such uncertainty in the job market. I believe them. I have read and heard story after story of recent college grads and experienced workers alike that tell me it's true. Circumstances in our nation such as they are make it difficult for workers with experience to find employment, let alone the flood of college graduates who have little more than their education and certification of competency from their recent alma maters to offer.

All of this means that those of us who have zealously pursued our goals of learning in the hope of beginning a productive career will most likely have to put our dreams on hold. Some of us are lucky and find a start quickly. Others of us are forced to make concessions, resigning ourselves to taking any job we can get. Again, some of even these are lucky and manage to find a job that's at least related to their field of study. Over the almost four and a half months since my graduation I have stubbornly clung to the hope that I would be one of the latter. I refused to believe that all the effort I put into earning my degree over my entire life could be in vain, even in the short term.

That is why I applied for every social services job I could find that I qualified for. Every interview I garnered renewed my determination. My latest prospect was a part-time position at Avalon Hills, a treatment facility for women and girls with eating disorders. The job sounded fulfilling, it fell under my umbrella of interest in mental health and the pay was good. I went, I interviewed, I waited. And waited. Though I thought the interview went extremely well I was unpleasantly surprised when I was told they didn't choose me.

Now, by this time you're probably saying to yourself, "I thought the title of this post was 'Happily Ever After'?" Well, you would be right. Life has a funny way of turning when you think you're down and telling you how silly you were to think that way. Directly after I was told they didn't want me for their part-time position their HR guy said they wanted me full-time. Though they didn't have an open position at the time they would find one for me. Find one. As in "we will actively look to create one", not "apply again when one opens".

It is now exactly two weeks later and I have just been informed that I have a job. They guarantee me 30-40 hours a week and not only that, they will pay me a dollar more than normal because I have a degree. A dollar may not seem like much but it definitely is in my opinion. I start my employee paperwork tomorrow morning and they are working on putting together my training schedule now. So it turns out my degree will help me after all. I knew my parents wouldn't put me through 16 years of school for nothing.

And they lived happily ever after...


  1. Yay!!!!! That's so exciting :) What will you be doing?

  2. Why thank you thePatrick! And in answer to your question Chontel, line of site supervision for the clients. Participating in the activities they do, modeling appropriate eating behavior, making sure the clients don't puke in the bathroom. Fun stuff.

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