I’m not sure about you, but I grew up being worried about how my decisions and actions in school would affect my future. I was always wary of what I could put in my resume and how things I participated in would help me. That said though, I think I have to disclose that I didn’t do everything just because it would be “beneficial” to me, nor did I skip out on things just because it technically wouldn’t.
Anyway, I think this was because of the illusion of the pedestal that excellence is put on, and in connection to that the more concrete things that tend to constitute excellence, especially in the educational setting–awards, classes, degrees, certificates, and the like. In this sense, your resume is your greatest trophy, a one page declaration of your concrete achievements.
This, unfortunately just made entering into the real world a bit more pressure-filled for me. As I was applying for jobs, I made sure that my resume was the best I could make it. I was more or less confident about the experiences that I wrote about. I was a fresh graduate and given that, I assumed that my resume would at least suffice for consideration. When I barely got any responses, I was crushed, and I started to think more and more that I didn’t amount to much.
I started to spiral into a loop of self-questioning and self-belittling. I was sinking pretty deep into a depressive state and I was just unsure of myself, my capabilities, and my worth. Then one day, I decided that enough was enough. I was talking to a few friends who helped me through this tough situation. I forced the negative thoughts away, and just reflected.
I realized that my worth is not defined by those things that I put on that piece of paper. There is so much more in this world to learn and experience, a lot of which will probably never end up on a resume. That doesn’t make those experiences irrelevant though, some of them might even be more substantial than a previous job or certification.
I realized that, yes, I needed to start to stand on my own two feet. Yes I needed to get a job, which I would only be considered for if employers are impressed by my resume. This is not meant to set aside the importance of this document. It’s really more about what we are beyond this piece of paper and the words written there. We dictate what’s written, but the reverse is not true.
This was the realization that I needed to get out of my funk. My mistake was focusing too much on the approval of complete strangers and thereby letting their feedback, or lack thereof, stick to me like super glue. I should have focused on putting my best foot forward looking for a job, whilst still remembering that that’s not all that I’m about. Since then, this has been my constant reminder to myself: Those things are not anything against you. It does not diminish your worth at all. Just keep going. You’ll find something soon.
I decided to put this here as a reminder to myself, as well as whoever is reading this. If you ever feel like you’re in the position I was in, perhaps this could serve as a little nudge. You are worth so much more than you think you are, and you’re strong enough to push forward. So yeah. That’s it from me right now. 😄
’til next time,