I am talking about that silly stage of life between graduation and finding your career job.
You did it! You survived years of high school where you were asked more times than you can count "What are you doing after this?", "What are your plans for next year?", "You want to be a teacher? Isn't there like ZERO jobs right now?", "Are those baby boomers ever going to retire?" I, among you recent teacher graduates, have heard it all. Next, you survived getting your undergraduate degree! Instead of that being enough, we were still plagued with the same questions as above. This time, our future was becoming closer, the real world was looming in and the panicking, for some, ignited. It wasn't until I was done with my placements in teacher's college that I really began to worry about my next step. Since elementary school I seemed to have most of my next steps laid out for me. And here I was, a few graduations later without that next step. Of course, you would think that going into a specific field of study should have made my next step pretty obvious-- get the teaching job. However, for someone like me, an introvert that can fake being extroverted pretty well in professional settings, this task was a hard one.
I don't have the personality that it takes sometimes to be pushy with finding a job, and demanding an interview, or walking into a school and asking for recommendations, and volunteer everyday. So, I decided that if it didn't come to me right away, I would be okay with it. I just endured 19 years of school! I deserve a break, I deserve to relax and have an easy job and be severely overqualified and underpaid at some minimum wage job. So, that is what I did for a whole school year. I am writing this to connect to others in my position for a few reasons. Firstly, when did successfully graduating high school, then university, then a second degree where you are qualified teacher become so mundane? Maybe it was just me, but I felt that our hard work as millennials is so severely under looked. We understand, well most of us, without some sort of post-secondary education we have no chance in the world of successful career people. There is just an expectance now a days that we get into college or university and we finish. HELLO? Thats a big accomplishment! I felt this was so under looked by everyone because it is now expected of us. Give me that damn recognition I deserve! Be proud of every exam I passed, essay I threw together and got a decent mark on, every group project and presentation I dreaded but did anyways. After all my hard work of my undergrad and teachers college the only thing people cared about was that fact I didn't have a teaching job yet, not the fact that I accomplished all that.
I watched as many of my fellow teacher's friends found jobs right away but I just wasn't getting interviews. Then, I finally got an interview and as someone who has pretty much succeeded at everything when it comes to academics, when I did not get that occasional teaching job I was devastated. I learned quickly, do not tell people when you have an interview, because people asking "Did you get the job" is 100x worse than the questioning of my future I had back in high school. The second reason I am writing this is to connect with everyone that is in that limbo between graduation and finding their career job. That time period where so many recent graduates fall back into part time or minimum wage job following graduation until they figure out their next steps. For some, they use it wisely like travelling. For others, it can be the most stressful, depression inducing life crisis to date. What I learned is the wort part about this is not how you feel about yourself, but how you worry how others perceive you for not getting that teaching job right away. Those outgoing, know it all, involved in everything, volunteers so much you have no life, teacher graduates will probably get the jobs first. But, I am here to tell you there will still be jobs leftover for the rest of us. The kind of shy, introverted faking extrovertedness, has potential to be an amazing teacher but finds it hard to display it on paper or through an interview teachers. But, we will surprise the rest of them one day.