Sometimes things suck, but the way forward is together, that’s the message of this short comic by Jackie Roche. As someone who also graduated in the middle of the great recession, this comic hit closer to home than I’d like to admit. I finished my MLIS almost 5 years ago when I was 22. In a month I’ll turn 27, and I will still not have found a full time job in my field. Since graduating, my career has had its ups and downs. I’ve worked minimum wage jobs that had nothing to do with libraries, and I’ve gotten close to the dream by working part time at a public library reference desk.
Sometimes when I think about my career, I feel sad. I didn’t think it would be like this. When I graduated I expected I would spend a few months working as a library assistant, then I would find a “real” job as a reference librarian. The months went by, I had interview after interview, but nothing was a “good fit.”
Knowing how many people out there are in my situation makes me feel lucky. Thanks to the support of my parents and my fiance, I’ve been able to mostly work part time jobs related to my field. Currently, I’m unemployed. I split my time between volunteering at a local historical society, writing, and housewifing. As much as I sometimes feel bitter towards the economy, I can’t let it drag me down. I try to focus on the opportunities I’ve been lucky enough to get. I keep putting myself out there with applications, volunteering, and sending out my stories. Most days, I get a rejection email for one thing or another.
On bad days I feel like a failure. On good days, I know that my career doesn’t have to be a straight line. It’s okay to zig zag, and it’s okay to get rejected. In a month I’ll turn 27, and at least for today, I’m hopeful.