I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I graduated college! I got the terrifying memo on Facebook when it flashes back to old photos. Why does it have to do that! Anyways, at first I was disappointed. It’s been a whole year and I’ve managed to be unemployed for half the time, and stay in different jobs for just a few months (few months being an overstatement) in fields I don’t enjoy.
Let’s see first there was the retail jobs, mainly because I was desperate for any work at all. I worked at Gap and Marshalls. Safe to say retail is not my calling, especially when you get the weirdest customers who don’t understand the concept of shopping. Then there was marketing which I ended up hating as well. Yes it was in a nice office downtown but I felt like my creativity had been stifled to writing about window frames, how to catch mold in your home, and copy and pasting things for no apparent reason. It was soul crushing (ok maybe another overstatement).
Then there was the contract writing job. An interesting story actually! I had gone in for an interview for a receptionist position because again I was desperate for a salary but not desperate enough to go back into retail. But then something awesome happened! The interviewer said I was overqualified and should write for their new website instead! This was by far the greatest writing gig yet. Sure I was writing for a dermatology research clinic and researching skin diseases but I got to work from home. I got to put in as many hours I wanted, whenever I wanted, and basically be my own boss. It was liberating!
Amidst it all I never stopped applying for jobs in the field I wanted-journalism and magazine writing. I must have applied to nearly 500 jobs in the course of a year! I never took a break from it because I knew that’s what I really wanted to do with my life. But eight or nine months in I began to lose hope. Summer passed. Fall passed-a prime hiring season. I wondered if I would ever even reach the first step of being an assistant at a newspaper, news station, or magazine. It is such a competitive field and I didn’t have the experience I realized I needed. And there was also no way for me to get more experience-due to my lack of experience. The catch 22 of job hunting.
Winter came, the joyous holiday season! My contract writing job was just about finished and I spent wonderful time with family over Thanksgiving and into December. Getting a job in journalism had a much lesser sense of urgency than before. To be honest, I became ok with the idea that I could possibly not go into journalism at all. I had applied to graduate schools as that is what so many English majors had done as well.
But then God’s plan is amazing! Isn’t it? I just got my first job in journalism! Hoorah! Woop Woop! Yay! I am now a freelance writer for ATTN: a news and media website with over a million readers!!!!! God really does have a plan for me. Because for so long I had made my dream of a career my idol. It drove me since High School. It was my motivation for so much of my life. But when I didn’t reach my dreams of accomplishments after graduation I just felt lost, like I had lost my identity. I felt worthless and unaccomplished. I felt purposeless.
God surely began showing me that there is more to life than a job. A job is just a job. My true identity is a daughter of God and a follower of Christ. When you put your life’s purpose in something as fickle as a career your life loses so much meaning and substance. But when you trust in God and put your purpose in the weight and magnitude of God’s glory you can always find joy and meaning no matter the circumstance.
It can be easy and even tempting to say that now I’ve finally “made it.” I’ve got the job which leads me to a career of my dreams after a year of trying and failing and trying some more. But the truth is that it wasn’t my merit which earned me a job in journalism. It was God’s divine timing and plan for my life. Only after I had made all of my mistakes and tore down my idol was I able to fully grasp God’s worth and mine in Him. Only after all of this did I get the opportunity.
We can never fully understand God’s plan for us. For months after graduation I spent all my prayers and all of my energy complaining about my unemployment and how none of my plans and my dreams were working out. But then God flipped the switch in my heart. I could be joyful and content with God’s provision no matter what my life looked like or what my societal level of success was at the moment. Life changes so quickly. But the only constant is God.
I am so over the moon that God has blessed me with a job in journalism. When I found out days ago it felt like all of my dreams had suddenly come true. I get to write for a living! Not only that I get to write about things that matter to me! However, I am now striving for this joy and this thankfulness to be constant just as God’s love and provision is constant. I am learning that my job is not my defining characteristic. My job is not my sole purpose in life. The lessons God teaches us is priceless. God’s plans for us are better than our own. Everything that has happened this year has been training me for this moment. I’ve gotten my dream job. But my identity is still and always will be in Christ alone.