Last time I talked about summer jobs that I had during college. I had three jobs and they were like they were handed to me. I would agree that Dr. Liu gave me the job, but the other two jobs I had to apply. They accepted me quickly so during my last semester of college, I thought I would have an easy time finding a full-time job when I graduate.

U of I Career Center

Was it easy as I thought it would be? No, just the opposite occurred. U of I had a huge career center and they had many companies every day come in and interview students for full-time positions. I thought it would be easy finding a job. Why would I have a problem in finding a job since I had great references? So my friend helped me to enhance my resume with my three summer jobs, and we went to have the resume printed on white crisp sheets of paper. It fitted on one sheet of paper.

For every interview that I had, I wore a suit with a white shirt and a tie. I was dressed for success. Before every interview, I researched the company at the career center so I would look like I was knowledgeable about the company during the interviews. After every interview, I sent a thank you letter to the recruiters.

Interviews

One, three, ten, twenty interviews had gone by and I only received letters from the companies that said the same thing. They didn’t feel that I was not fit for them. I was starting to panic because half of the semester was gone and I had no job yet. Well, what would I do? I had a brilliant idea. I would schedule more interviews. If I had three interviews per week, I would schedule five or six interviews per week.

Was I dumb by doing this? Of course! I wanted a job more than getting good grades. I think my fear was sitting at home doing nothing. That was a valid fear I thought. Final exams came and went. It was time to pack up and go home. During the semester, I had over 100 interviews. That was a huge let down for me. So what would I do? Getting a job now would be impossible. I had a few interviews here and there.

A Disaster Interview

I remember one interview that I had. It was a total disaster, to say the least. I had a cold during the week and I was sneezing a lot. Dad drove me to the interview and I went into the interview alone. That was a really stupid thing on my part because I couldn’t wipe my nose by myself. During the interview, I sneezed and it went everywhere. Basically, they ended the interview immediately because God forbid, if they helped me, they would get Cerebral Palsy or even die. I felt like I was not a human being who just needed help. Life is what it is.

Reconnect With an Old Therapist

In July, I went to a party and saw a therapist from Easter Seals and his wife. We started to talk and he asked me how was the job hunting going? I said that it was not going so good. His wife knew that I was a computer programmer and she said why don’t you get your resume to Jim. She would get it to the technology department at work. I said OK and the following week I got it to him.

After over 100 interviews, you start to lose hope in people because you have heard that you were not qualified for the job. You tell yourself that you are not getting a job. This is normal for our minds to do and we convince ourselves that we are useless.

Household International

Household International logo

Actually, this is not true at all. If we have faith in God, in ourselves, and in other people, something will happen. A few weeks later, I received a call from Household International, where Rose worked for. They wanted to set up an interview with me. I said sure – tell me a day and a time, and I would be there.

The day came and dad took me. Rather going in the interview alone, dad went in with me. That helped a lot. The interview was really hard to tell how well the interview was going. They talked about part-time work and I said I would want a full-time position. They said I would still have benefits if I work part-time. I again said that I was interested in having a full-time job.

After the interview, I was confused more than ever. I didn’t know what to think and so wrote my thank you letter as usual. I waited and tried to not think about this job. A few weeks have gone by and no answer yet. One day out of the blue, the phone rang, and it was Household International. My mom got me to the phone and I said hi. The HR person was very cheerful. After chit-chatting for a few minutes, she asked me if I was still looking for a job. I said yes, I was. The next thing that she said was welcome aboard. I didn’t quite understand what she was saying. She said that I was hired. I couldn’t believe it. It was like I was dreaming it, but I wasn’t.

Reflections

Sometimes when you lose hope in something and it turns right around, you gain a sense of self-worth inside. Trust me, I wanted to give up trying to get a job, but I didn’t. Young people who were born in the 90’s have the feeling that they deserve to be handed things to them. Some of you are saying how is it different with me getting a job. Well, they could have let me go after some time if I was not doing good, but they didn’t. Why? I proved them that I could do the job. For fourteen years, I asked my managers that I wanted more work and they would give me it.

Looking back on a full year of searching for a job, it made me a stronger person. The year had many disappointments, but at the end, God gave me a job that was good for me. Yes, I miss the job, but I feel what I am doing now is really helping people with disabilities and I will see rewards in the future hopefully. Rewards are not very important to me as hearing how I am helping people.

If you are in a rot where nothing is going your way, don’t give up. I know it is hard, but you have to press through. When you see the light at the end of the tunnel, you will be glad you did. My mom always said don’t ever give up and I still have that philosophy. You can have it too.

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