Last week my uncle called to talk to my dad and I answered the phone. He was surprised that I was home at 11 am on a weekday (I guess he doesn’t know that I’ve been home at 11 am on most weekdays for the last couple of years… wowthatsoundsreallybad), and when he asked why I was at home and not at work I said that I wasn’t working, currently, but was looking for work. I made the same (admittedly flippant) remark I make to just about anyone* who questions my job status: “Honestly at this point I’d take just about anything. I can’t really afford to be picky, haha.”
*I really do mean anyone—the other day I got in a ten minute discussion with some random guy in line at the grocery store about not settling for the first thing that comes my way
And that’s when the lecture began. At first it focused on my language: that I’m “hoping” to get a job, that I’m “trying” to figure out what I want to do. Basically the idea was that unless I am more proactive and clear about what I want, I’m never going to get anywhere. I can’t just sit around complaining about wanting to do things; I have to actually go out and do them. I can’t just say that I want to get a job; I have to actually go out and get one.
This is by no means an earth-shattering revelation. I’ve said as much to myself, before, that I can’t just apply to shitty jobs I’m not even interested in and expect opportunities to fall in my lap. But for someone else to say it to me…. man. My initial response (internally, anyway. I definitely didn’t say anything to him out loud) was anger. I immediately thought that he wasn’t being fair, that he didn’t understand my situation, and that, well yeah, it would be easy to go after what I wanted… that is, if I knew what the hell it was that I wanted to do, and isn’t that what I’ve been struggling with since I started college? But then I thought—he was still talking, by the way, being all motivational and what not—if my immediate response was to get angry and defensive and to make excuses for myself, it probably meant that there was a grain of truth to his words, and that dumb grain of truth was like a pebble that gets stuck in your shoe: for such a small thing, it sure has the power to make you very, very uncomfortable. So I listened more attentively to my uncle, and when he had finished speaking, I thanked him sincerely for his words (meanwhile my dad, who knows that it’s my uncle on the phone, is waiting in the background a little impatiently for me to just give him the phone hahah).
As annoying as it was to hear, I ultimately am really grateful for my uncle’s tough love. This is real life and not a book/movie/tv show, so it’s not like I heard a motivational speech and immediately all my problems went away. But I have thought a lot in that last week about what he said. A friend put a link on Facebook to an HR assistant position the other day and I’m planning on applying. I think at this point it might be a long shot (the post said they were looking for someone immediately and it’s been a few days), but I’m going to try anyway. I spent most of the weekend completely reworking my resume, which was one of those things that I’d acknowledged that I needed to do and had said over and over that I was going to do… and yet never got around to actually doing (Look, Uncle! Progress! I even changed the color and layout! It has yellow accents instead of blue, now! ☺). So even if nothing else comes from this, I’ve got an improved resume (and attitude! …is that cheesy? haha), and hopefully applying to this job will hopefully make me less anxious about applying to other jobs (because this is totally a thing). Whoooo. 🎉♥