Some background: I’m 25, and graduated college about 2 years ago. I got a job as a teacher right after graduation, but only did it for a year because 1. I hated it, and 2. they cut the program. I was unemployed for months and am now working as a barista. I have been actively applying for jobs and it just feels hopeless, especially after I didn’t get a second interview for my dream job today. I feel like Im getting old, have no savings and no prospects. If you’ve ever been in my shoes, give me hope?
I graduated during the recession. There were no jobs. If I did find one it was always “you are too qualified”. I volunteered in the field that I wanted and that lead to getting a job that I wanted.
It was hard and I felt down but I had a lot of support from family and friends. Don’t give up sometimes that no now is a yes for something better later.
I feel your pain. I was a social worker for years but didn’t have my degree. I was good at it and changed a lot of lives. Then I had kids and daycare was almost as much as I made so my husband and I decided I would take a few years off with the kids. While I was gone the government decided to make your degree mandatory but people currently employed would be grandfathered in and didn’t have to worry about the degree.
That was a bummer but I picked myself up and went to school for dental hygiene and you’ll never believe what happened! I started losing my vision and could no longer do my job.
I went back to school for marketing then I hated it. I’m 42 now and have no direction. I feel lost without a career but I’m a mom and I get to write. I even get to help out my 96-year-old grandpa. I still have no idea what I’m going to do but just pick myself up again. I’ll think of something but for now I’ll just enjoy my family. Things will work out, I promise.
Wow you’re much more accomplished than me! I’m 24, and quit college on 3 separate occasions. I keep saying I’ll go back but honestly school feels so difficult now. I don’t seem to have the attention span I used to and depression bouts can make me completely unmotivated and lazy. I haven’t even written in years!
I’m also a barista but I love my job. I work at the big corp if you know what I mean; I find it really satisfying. I’ve had several jobs in retail, other coffee shops, a book store, a bank, but nothing has ever been such a good fit before. I’ve only recently realized I’m actually happy doing cafe work and leading my crew. The hard part is seeing amazing people like you have degrees and seem to be close to The American Dream than me. It’s hard feeling so uneducated and having a different drive. BUT I don’t think I could ever do anything else. This job keeps me busy, multitasking, and I’ve never met a barista I didn’t immediately like. Definitely here if you want to talk quarter life crisis
Hi. Was in something approximating your position at age 25 (I’m 38 now), so I feel I can contribute.
First thing I’ll say is this: what you’re experiencing is not unusual. You’re not alone. This kind of ennui is part-and parcel of life as a human being. We all experience it: what matters is how we respond to it.
Second: it’s not hopeless. If you’re sound of body and mind and live in a western democracy you’re statistically one of the luckiest people to ever live. Don’t fall prey to victimhood narratives that try to tell you any different. They’re plain destructive.
Third: you’re not even close to old.
I can only tell you what worked for me. Maybe you’re already doing some of these things, maybe not. I can’t guarantee that they will work for you like they did me, but put it this way: they couldn’t possibly hurt.
Take any opportunity that presents itself, short of criminal ones. You don’t know where it might lead. It may be something you feel you’re unqualified for, or lack the skills to perform. Doesn’t matter. Which is basically my second point:
If something needs to be done, don’t wait for someone else to do it: go and learn how to do it yourself. We’re immensely lucky to live in an age when all the world’s information is at our fingertips, and most things can be learned without going to college.
Don’t limit yourself to wage/salaried type jobs. If you have a skill that someone is willing to pay for (or are willing to learn one), set yourself up as a sole trader and learn how to run a small business. Be your own boss. It might even turn into a permanent position (it did for me).
Set up a productive, healthy routine in your life. You say you have no savings: okay, now it’s time to start putting a percentage of your income (whatever that is) away. DO NOT go into debt. If you’re already in debt, make your number one priority paying it off. Just start small, maintain good habits, and slowly build it up. Get up early and be productive early. Get a consistent good night’s sleep. Regulate your exposure to your phone and social media. Create an achievable exercise routine and maintain it. Set time aside to cook nutritious meals. If your body is a mess you mind will be.
Don’t compare yourself to others. The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday.
I think that’s enough to be going on with. Good luck, and I hope you find a way to navigate your life and find real meaning in it.
Same. When we were finishing college, our lecturers out-and-out told us we weren’t going to get jobs and we should skip country.
My advice would be to do what you need to do for your own finanicial and mental needs. There is nothing tying you to one job forever. My husband recently got a new job after a year of trying and a lot of almost. Just keep skilling up and trying.
Thank you or this response. It’s very helpful.
Yup. This part of life can happen at any time. And many times.
Hello! I know this pain, I got trapped in hospitality management for a year and a half after graduation. I was overworked and underpaid and constantly getting interviews but no work.
If it’s truly hope that you’re after then know that eventually for the past six months I have been the head of Ticketing and Sales at the second biggest Theatre in my city. I would never have thought that possible at my age (23) and certainly lost hope at many points while still on the search.
I’d echo a lot of the advice that @mchawkinsauthor but I have a few tips of my own specifically from my experience being young and on the job hunt in the current climate.
If you’re not already, ask for feedback from every interview, push for detail. Ask a senior manager from your interview directly thanking them for their time, expressing how grateful you were for the opportunity, how much you enjoyed meeting them and your best wishes to the successful candidate and the company. This leads directly into point 2.
Stand out. With the economy as it is right now good jobs are hard to come by and that means that there is a large pool of qualified people going for every post. At 25 you are not the safe bet no matter how great you are so there is no point in trying to be. And don’t be afraid of admitting that you have less experience, as long as you can highlight why they should hire you anyway.
Take what you can, so you’re a barista right now, if it’s a big company can you get them to pay for first aid training? Or an IOSH course or something. If you can’t, then get online courses in other things that are near universally useful like SEO qualifications or microsoft training.
In the end I got my job because I applied to be their marketing assistant and then their deputy bar manager. They loved both of my interviews and applications and at the end of one interview I said that I really wanted to work at that theatre and with that team. When I didn’t get either position I emailed the general manager thanking her and hoping that I might get a chance to work with them in the future. She urged me to apply for my current position because I had really stood out to her at every step and she thought I was perfect for the senior management of the theatre.
Be bold, keep faith and be you!
I know teaching is not where you want to go but for a “in the meantime” type of job look into Teach for America. They are always looking for teachers and they provide a great support system. My sister is alumni for TFA, but they are located all over the US and they will pay for you to be moved. What is your degree in? I struggled with trying to get a job in my field (my undergrad degree is in Biology) when I first graduated. Currently work for a small business in the business field and I just decided maybe this is where I belong and I decided to get my Masters in business.
Maybe try branching out with the skills that are outside of your degree, because I realize a lot of people I graduated with are not using their undergrad degrees, so do not feel bad or discouraged.
Also 25, graduated college 5 years ago and was on my way to becoming a medical professional last year, until I got sick and depressed during my internship. Flunked the last exam (by only 2 points), and then a relative of mine was diagnosed with cancer. At that point in my life, I was faced with two choices: either get things settled at home and work even harder to get that medical degree, or say screw it, get back to family and actually do something that I enjoy instead of working my soul out of my body.
Now after a lot of sacrifices, careful planning and constant learning, I’m doing well in a profession that I enjoy. I know I’m probably not going to make as much money as being a physician, but for the moment the most important thing for me is to reclaim my life. To prove to myself that I can take control of my own life back despite the odds being stacked against me.
I know it’s going to be a long, hard road, but we don’t need to conquer it within a day. Put in some patience and diligence, and it will always work out in the end. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
Wishing you all the good luck in the universe!
You said you got no savings. You got job now right?
Try starting savings account. Even putting away 20 dollars /euro each month helps for future. 40 dollars is huge. In one year it can buy new laptop if old is broken! I have saved years this way. I started this when I studied. I just ate real shit, but I learned when my mother was single parent that there was no other option.
Try cutting from foodbill by buying big bulks of rice/oatmeal and only occasional vegetable/meat/dairy. Grow your own salad in balcony, next to window?
Buy used and repair what is broken. Learn how to repair things.
I hope this helps.
It’s not hopeless.
You have lots of time.
It’s totally normal in our society at this time for people to change careers several times.
I’m 33 and I’m working as a cashier. It’s not my dream job, but it’s getting me to where I want to go.
I recently chose to leave a highly stressful office job (and a very abusive boss), for an easy job in a grocery store because I’m done with struggling. I’m done with chasing after the life that other people think I should want. I want to be a bestselling author. That’s why I’m on Wattpad. For now, I work for minimum wage and I know that if I put in the work and the effort then eventually the life I want will manifest.
Don’t let life get you down. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. The path is unfolding as you take each step.