Blogust 2018: The Series

Day 13: What Job Searching is *Really* Like with a Master’s Degree.

Screenshot 2018-08-06 at 9.55.18 PM

Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!

With the college school year coming in a couple of weeks, it feels immensely weird not getting ready to go back and start a brand new school year at my college. For the last 6 years, I’ve been returning to my college and two degrees later, it’s now my time to say good-bye being a student, which is frightening.

Over the summer, I gave myself the well-needed break that I was yearning for back when I was wrapping up grad school, and I did, but now that the summer season is almost over and people start returning back to their lives within the next month, it was about time I got myself together and start making moves looking forward.

Although I told myself I was going to let myself take a break, I knew it wasn’t going to last long. I found myself looking for jobs as early as the middle of June, and since then I’ve been applying to different types of jobs left and right.

One thing the majority of the people have a misconception of (even actual grad students pursuing their master’s degrees) is that you’re automatically going to get hired to any job you apply for because you have a master’s degree. While it heightens your chances because it makes you “stand out”, the reality of applying for jobs while having a master’s degree is pretty much the same as having a regular degree: it’s pretty much the same. 

Being a person who’s never had a real job before yet has the education credentials needed is literally a blessing and a curse. That “must need a bachelor’s/masters degree” requirement is never an issue for me, but that “and [blank] years of experience” is what pretty much either makes or breaks the deal. I chose to focus on my studies than get a job while getting my degrees, but it sometimes feels like a lost opportunity that I didn’t take advantage of at the time. So, finding jobs is even harder if you don’t have the work experience: while you need that shitty job to get work experience, your degree makes you over-qualified for the job, and most of the time, companies will let you go or not even consider you because they don’t want to pay you the money you actually deserve.

Also, the reality of the job hunting process is exactly what it is: a process. You’re not going to get hired at the first job you apply for, you’re not going to get an immediate interview once you send out your resume, and you’re most likely going to get rejected even if you make it as far as the interview stages of your process. Having a master’s degree doesn’t save you or make the process easier for you, it only does that in the long run, years after you got that damn degree.

Having a master’s degree is an accomplishment that I still sometimes forget to celebrate and acknowledge. You work extremely hard to get that piece of paper, so you best to believe that whatever jobs you’re looking for, they recognize hard work when they see it. But, that not always the scenario and in reality, more people are getting master’s degrees than ever. Millions of other people are on the same page as you. That, honestly, shouldn’t even matter and it shouldn’t discourage you. Take every opportunity for what it is, and take every experience as a learning lesson. You’re not going to be unemployed for the rest of your lives, not unless you allow yourself to give up. Yeah, I’m still searching and hope that my process progresses sooner rather than later, but I know when that one job hits, it will land, not because I have my master’s, but because I’m hard-working and driven.

As my partner’s been telling me: you gotta get your feet wet!

 

-Liz. (:

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