I Graduated… What Now?

Lessons and advice on the job search from one recent graduate to another.

I’m Here. I HAVE To.

With each year of my life comes less and less self-doubt. Maturity is coupled with wisdom and self-acceptance. Still, there are certain situations that unleash those middle-school identity crises.

img_1356_dance[1]One to pride myself on being an open-minded person, willing-to-try-anything-twice, you can imagine my surprise when, upon my arrival at a gay-bar for the very first time, my mind was filled with feelings of inadequacy and out-of-placement.

Cute flowing top- check. Tight black jeans and chunky heels- check. Hair and makeup in agreement with a night out-check. Self doubt- check. WAIT! WHAT?!

I couldn’t cap the worries fast enough: Could they smell my heterosexuality a mile away? Did they think I was a poser, or worse, a mockery? Was I going to be exiled from their community and stoned for attempting to enter? It’s funny how a new situation can be a non-stop ticket back to that awful 6th grade lunch where you found yourself silently begging for an invitation to that weekend’s “popular” party.

I can best identify these anxious feelings to those I had towards social media. Though both worlds intrigued me, I felt they were not places I belonged. My knowledge of social media did not branch far from Facebook and mass-texts, and I was not personally gay. Who did I think I was and what did I have to offer this gay bar, or this social media world?

Ok. Here I am. At the bar. Desiring acceptance by this elite group, and not wanting my insecurity to ruin the night for my friend Michael, who was so ecstatic to finally be somewhere that he was the majority. I HAVE to get comfortable. social-media-people

I’ve found that it’s much easier to realize what you want once you verbalize it. I WANT to be accepted at a gay bar. I WANT to be a member of the public relations professionals.

Ok. Here I am. In the midst of the job search. A desire to be the newest edition to a public/media relations group, and not wanting to limit my abilities. I HAVE to familiarize myself with social media.

Social media, like sexuality, is about being confident, open, experimental and adaptable. People respect you in each group when you are willing to try in spite of the possible failures. In my experiences, they welcome your attempt and help in any way they can. Disregarding my question of what I had to offer either group, I jumped right in. Maybe it wasn’t about what I could do, but rather, what I could gain? I got in the middle of the dance floor sans friends, void of any unease. I couldn’t find Michael. I started my Blog. I didn’t wait for an employer to show me the ropes. I Googled WordPress and taught myself as I went. My blog led into other social media accounts such a Twitter, Brazen Careerist, LinkedIn, Etc. So what if I failed- at least I attempted.

Not surprisingly, through my social media and gay-community endeavors, I’ve gained valuable friendships, knowledge, and experience. I’ve found like-minded people who I can identify with and gain value from. You do not have to change who you are. You don’t have to be a guru, and you don’t have to alter your sexuality. You DO have to put yourself out there, try new things, and be vulnerable. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish when you get past the fear.

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November 16, 2009 Posted by | Advice | , , , , | Leave a comment