Believe it or not, very few college graduates land the job of their dreams immediately after graduation. Many of us have worked for many years and forked out many thousands of dollars to gain the necessary education to work in a field that we are so passionate about. Such as the case of what happened to me: a dedicated, passionate, hardworking college graduate who was hoping to jump right into the “Field of Dreams” but failed.
After working so very hard for many years and juggling a few majors, I finally graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social and Criminal Justice from Ashford University. In the back of my mind, I thought: “Yes! Let’s go find the nearest police agency, apply, and get into The Academy!” So I did. I filled out an extensive 30-page application for a dispatch officer position. I took background tests, drug tests, mental stability tests, and many other tests which had pointlessly long titles. After learning that all of my test results were satisfactory, I began to get excited. Quite excited. I was told that I would be notified after the Personnel Lieutenant reviewed my application packet, which would take less than a week. Five days go by. Six days go by. Finally on the seventh day, I got the call I was waiting for. It was the Personnel Lieutenant.
“Hello, Jay?” said the Lieutenant.
“Hello, Lieutenant! Yes, this is Jay. How are you today?”
“Quite well, thanks! I have some news for you.” the Lieutenant said, leaving the statement open-ended. “We would like to inform you that you, unfortunately, did not get the position. As it turns out, the Chief doesn’t want to hire so many officers this period.” I immediately felt an overwhelming sense of disappointment wash over me. I struggled to find the words to say, so I just simply said,
“OK, thanks Lieutenant” and hung up. The whole ordeal of filling out endless mountains of paperwork and undergoing a battery of tests, just to be turned away was extremely disheartening. And so begins the job search….. Again.
After scouring through numerous job boards and job classifieds in the newspaper, I was unfortunately not able to find employment in the field of law enforcement. So I took it down a notch, and tried to find a job as a security officer, in hopes that some experience would allow me to get one step closer to becoming an officer. Well, I was wrong again. Most security agencies require some sort of military or law enforcement experience. I began to get desperate, as my student loan interest payments were getting out of hand. Essentially, I had to take what I could get. So I found a full-time position working in a warehouse that specialized in plumbing and irrigation parts. My day-to-day duties included: shipping and receiving, forklift operation, and order selection. Not exactly the job I was looking for.
If there is any insight that I can offer to new graduates, it is to set your goals high, but realistically. It’s not very often that you’ll land your dream job as soon as the graduation ceremony ends. Those that do, are extremely fortunate. So, remember: never give up on your dream job. It might not come tomorrow, next week, or even next year, but with persistence, it will come.