I'm not usually one to brag, but I'm on a sort of "holy guacamole, I'm kind of awesome" high, so I'm going to roll with it for a little bit. Indulge me if you will.
Let's rewind for a second and talk about my current status. Fresh(-ish) out of college, in a shitty economy, with not enough jobs, and up until recently, not a clue about what I want to do with my life. Enter unhealthy amounts of coffee, massive online job searches, and sending out bucket loads of resumes and cover letters for positions that I myself was never really convinced I was qualified for.
The repeated phrase "minimum 2 years of prior experience required" was starting to make me twitch and definitely giving me nightmares. Where have all the entry level positions gone?
Am I too late? Have I screwed it all up? Are all the good jobs (and all the good men for that matter) taken? Am I to resort to a life of waiting tables and babysitting spoiled kids until I find myself a sugar daddy/husband? This. Cannot. Be. Happening. Not to me, at least. I had a PLAN. Nay, I had THE plan. How did things get so messed up?
Enter panic mode. Panic mode leads to eventual depression and hiding under the covers until the scary real-life monster either gets bored with me or finally eats me.
About 2 hours ago I woke up in a cold sweat from another nightmare about chasing success, losing control and messing everything up. I'm getting really sick of them. This last one involved catching a pet turtle that had run away on the streets of New York. Sounds easy enough, right? But this was no ordinary turtle. It was a super fast, super tiny turtle that had the ability to scale buildings. Needless to say, I did not catch up with the damn thing in my dream until it was accidentally flattened by a truck. (I have really weird dreams. I know.)
Anyways, I woke up and I literally said out loud "I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE. Enough is enough. Screw you and your damn application rules requiring two years experience and a bachelor's degree in eighteen things and a vial of PURE unicorn tears. I'm applying anyway and I'll kick ass at any job you give me and HERE'S WHY DAMMIT."
And I had a fucking epiphany.
In this EPIC cover letter I started listing out all the things I had done during my college career and my internships that qualified me for the available position. I quickly realized that even though I had never been a full time employee and couldn't claim any experience in that way, these opportunities during my academic career made me just as qualified, if not MORE qualified, than "2 years of prior experience" ever could have.
Here's why: I was an intern. I was a student. I was still learning. I had the freedom to try new things and take big risks without the fear of losing my job. More often than not, those big risks paid off due to my hard work and resilient attitude. If something wasn't working out the way I planned, I'd find another way. Failure was not an option. It still isn't.
I feel like too many times we discredit the experiences we've had because we think they aren't good enough to boast. This is something I am working to actively change about my self-perception. I'm damn proud of all the work I did in my internships. I'm damn proud of the fact that I somehow juggled so many internships with a full course load my senior year. I'm even proud of the mistakes I made along the way, because they taught me my limits. They also taught me the lessons that I am MUCH happier having learned during college than out here in the real world on my own.
I want to start a revolution to love ourselves more and love ALL the experiences that have brought us to where we are today. I want to start a revolution where we all realize just how fan-freaking-tastic we really are. I want to start a revolution where we think we deserve the best, and we get it.
I want to start a revolution with you.