Confessions of a Law School Grad LOOKING FOR A JOB

I am seriously beginning to feel like a machine.  At least in law school I knew that I was working tremendously hard.  I may have hated it, but at least that means I still managed to maintain my feelings and emotions during law school.  I suppose that's a plus.

Who knew that the process of applying for jobs would be the part of my life that would make me feel like I'm losing a small piece of my humanity daily?  Law school sounds so prestigious when people hear about it.  It's EXPECTED (or at least it used to be) that when students graduate from law school, they get jobs somewhat easily.

I spend so much time searching for law firms, trying to find law firms that are actually hiring, perfecting my resume for the 8,000th time, and writing personal cover letters that will likely go unread.  At the beginning, I didn't mind it and I still felt like a human.  However, a few months have passed now and my take on this has dramatically changed.

Unfortunately, the job search process is unbelievably unrewarding.  When I applied to law school, I knew I was getting myself into a painfully difficult three years.  I felt wholeheartedly, that the benefits would outweigh the difficulties.  I never imagined that when I received my diploma in the mail, that my sentiments would be similar to those felt upon receiving coupons to stores where I never shop.

That might sound like an exaggeration, but it is truly the most honest comparison I can put into words right now.  Every day I go through the same monotonous routine of searching for jobs everywhere that jobs can be found.  When I started this routine, I was excited about applying for jobs.  I wanted the jobs that I was applying to, and I wanted to get responses.  I wasn't unrealistic about it; I knew that I would not receive responses from a vast majority of the jobs for which I applied.  I wasn't expecting this harsh reality, though.

I actually am grateful for junk mail, because without those emails, I might believe that something was wrong with my email address.  Nobody responds.  Not only does nobody respond, but my audience has changed.  My audience used to be employers at jobs that I had a genuine interest in obtaining.  Now, I apply to nearly every job that I can find that has some sort of relevance in the legal field.  I apply to jobs that I know I would hate, and I actually find myself wishing I would get a offer at one of those jobs that I know I would hate.

My cover letters used to only consist of honest statements.  Now, they consist of honest statements regarding my credentials, but other than that, I'm fabricating when I dream up reasons why I'd make a good candidate for the job.  I'm fabricating, because I am applying to jobs that I don't want and I am simultaneously trying to force myself to want these positions that don't interest me.  It makes me feel like a hypocrite.

I have never considered myself the type of person to settle for something in life that is inferior to what I really want.  Now, I'm encouraged to do just that.  I'm encouraged by nearly anyone who has ever given me advice regarding finding a job, to send my resume everywhere.  Who cares if I don't want the job?  "A job is a job," is a sentence that I hear constantly.  On days that I send out a lot of job applications, I no longer feel accomplished and productive like I used to.  I now feel like I am wasting time.  I feel like I'm applying for a life I don't want and begging someone to give it to me.

I remember a day when I promised myself that I would find a way to use talent and passion for writing to further my career in some way.  This is a promise I would love to keep.  I would be so happy if I could use my writing for my career one day.  The problem is, throughout this grueling, still unsuccessful, job search, I've completely lost sight of my actual hopes and dreams for a career.  I've trained myself to believe that those goals and dreams are no longer relevant and that if I get a job that I despise one day, I should consider myself lucky.

So, I figured I'd confess the way I really feel about finding a job.  People ask me about it all of the time, so I'm putting it all out there.  This is what's going on in my mind, and I know that it's a major problem.  I'd look for unique ways to solve it, but that's not what I'm supposed to be doing.  I'm not supposed to care about this.  I'm not supposed to be looking for a job that I've worked for, a job where I'd actually thrive.  I'm supposed to just find ANY job.  I don't know how I can produce my best work if I'm not working towards something that interests me.  I know if that's what I wind up doing, I'll always feel like a machine that just performs the same function every day.  People always joke around that one day they won't be needed at the workplace anymore because a computer or a machine will be able to do their jobs.  I feel like I'm going to BE a machine doing my job one day.  I also know that at least one person will tell me that I should take this down because it will hinder my job search, but I'm not going to do that.  My feelings and goals still matter to me and I should not be judged negatively for that.


Loved this post as it is what I'm going through looking for PR/communications jobs after graduating from UT Austin.
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