Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

To All the Recent College Graduates

Posted by Caitie F on May 20, 2015

Some schools are graduating in the next few weeks, but I know a lot of colleges had commencement last week and i have been walking my eager NYU graduates on my way to work this week. I wanted to share some thoughts with recent college grads, including all that want to go into publishing.

Obviously, congratulations! You are awesome. That isn’t my main message though.

My main message is simple. Your self-worth is not tied to your employment status. Right now you might think, well, duh, and laugh that i even said that. But say it out loud right now. “My self-worth is not tied to my employment status” and repeat it every time you start feeling like it is. I hope you don’t feel it, but it can be hard.

It took me over two years to get a paid job in publishing and i majored in Publishing Studies in undergrad, had a great GPA, and had little fun while in college. I had a couple of temp jobs, but they both ended after one contract because of funding issues. I did an unpaid internship and worked with authors for free just to gain experience. But i couldn’t get a job. I just don’t mean a job in my field. I couldn’t get a job at Target or Starbucks. I wanted something, anything. I applied to literally thousands of jobs that had nothing to do with publishing and over 450 that were in the publishing industry.

And I tied my self-worth to the fact that no one wanted to hire me. I was newly married and didn’t get to enjoy it because I was constantly stressed about putting us further and further into debt because I didn’t have a job (we are still under a mountain of debt because of those two years). I tried to push our new friends away (and am so grateful that they didn’t let me!), I didn’t want to talk to anyone, and I felt like the biggest waste of space.

Try not to let this happen to you. Surround yourself with friends who understand. Find ways to make new communities if you are in a new place. Don’t spend al day in your apartment/house/the library applying for jobs. Yes, put in the time, but don’t let it consume your life. Find somewhere to volunteer. You can also let yourself feel like crap sometimes. Binge watch shows on Netflix (Greek was the perfect distraction for me for a few weeks). Eat lots of ice cream. Re-read your favorite books. Just make sure your whole life doesn’t become that.

I hope that you get a job quickly and don’t deal with this, but the economy is tough and it may be longer than you thought it would be.

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