It has been a long six months since my last post; a post that just came from a class assignment at that. A lot has happened since then. For starters, I graduated college in May which led to lots of driving back and forth to Nashville in hopes of finding a job. It was a grueling process, with lots of rejection emails despite interviews seeming to go well. I wasn’t prepared for how tiring it’d be; searching for a job is a full-time job in itself. I started filling applications at the beginning of the year and until two months ago, I couldn’t land anything. It was hard coming home and telling everyone things didn’t work out on that trip. I’d drive down and crash at a friend’s place for the week, each day consisting of a couple interviews and me going downtown handing out business cards to any studio I came across. These are moments that’ll stick with me forever, being they were the foundational blocks to jumpstart my career.

I felt it was insanely difficult to explain or voice my frustrations to others since they weren’t in the current situation. I was often told to just keep trying and not give up, it’ll work itself out. The issue with this advice is it’s very cookie-cutter and doesn’t acknowledge the human condition. I knew it would change for the better eventually, I was pretty optimistic. It was just in that very moment, I just wanted it known that I was annoyed with all the no’s I was getting.

There is always an ongoing battle between generations as to which one was better or how they would do things in your shoes. I personally felt like much of the advice I was getting came from those who’ve had steady jobs or careers for a long time; it’s tough for them to understand what the job search is like nowadays. Having extra resources now like LinkedIn and Indeed are great to apply to positions you’ve never thought of, but there are so many out there, meaning there’s loads of qualified candidates (more than there ever was) which makes it challenging to really stand out. Many of these sites are also social media platforms in their own way, and I think it’s very obvious how people really feel this topic, even if no one openly admits it. Plus, I’m certain older generations received this same advice I was given from their parents, leading to this never-ending cycle of complaints and pride. Hopefully the advice I can provide will be different or at least, broaden perspectives…

Having done many interviews now leading up to my final one, I decided it was time to just be honest with myself and the interviewer. It’s always said to have a good work-life balance, or keep them independent of each other. The problem is, this is nearly impossible since we’re human, a simple yet complex answer to life’s curveballs. They asked me about my story with audio, the knowledge I possess from school, and any other challenges I had in problem solving. Many laughs were exchanged up to this point; I was checking all the boxes in my head! Then they asked where I see myself within five years. I paused and told them I’d be very upfront to brace themselves. “Not here,” I said. “Live sound isn’t in my long-term plan.” At that point, I knew I didn’t get the position.

After exchanging handshakes, I went back to the car but felt as though a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I easily could’ve lied and had a much better chance at getting hired, yet I learned being honest with yourself and those around you is a trait that is invaluable; one that is shown through action as opposed to a piece of paper. Frustration was mounting but in hindsight I’m glad I made that decision. That very moment was the catalyst for the unexpected, yet most fulfilling job I’ve had in my young career.

Moral of the story: Have a path but be flexible in the changes.

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