September 2009

I was at quite an unusual crossroads 10 years ago. Yours truly was not too far away from 30 and just attained my undergrad degree from the prestigious Mission College. Because I hadn’t really planned very well for graduation I just wasn’t sure what was next.

It could’ve been military, I hadn’t planned to return to school yet. If I did then I really needed a viable plan for that (incidentally I was considering going into teaching as one idea however that was later). Whatever money I had was beginning to run out and since I came back home, my mother was beginning to worry me with ideas.

So I hit up the jobs I’ve had success with at that time such as college bookstores. No bites until maybe in November of that year. Also I got a lead from a real estate blog which enabled me to send a cold e-mail to a company which would later open The Show and it’s funny that actually got me somewhere. Otherwise my first job out of school was still months away.

Otherwise, I still had to figure out what’s next. Had some opportunities within my chosen major, however, those didn’t work out. It didn’t help that my GPA after so many self-created trials and tribulations wasn’t that great. So all I could do to exist as an ex-career student is plug away trying to get my life jump started. I stayed on course for that degree when it was probably easier to just switch gears and move on to something else.

Also I liked to talk about over the years on this blog my teeth. They weren’t yet in bad shape but at this point I already got diagnosed with a gun disease, however, this was the time to really take care of it. I got my last cleanings that fall until I was ready with some dental insurance (“dennal plan”) just about five years later to really get started treating my condition. As far as the relationship goes my mother who largely took care of my dental expenses at the time wasn’t having a great relationship with the dentist (who incidentally went to Hillman College that sister college I’ve told you all about). It wasn’t long before she no longer used them.

So at this point in time I had the optimism of being a recent college graduate, however, it went up and down. There was not a lot of optimism and it almost matched the year when I was actually out of school and my mother began to worry me about finding a job. Just anything and her only excuse was because her elders did it to her.

Man, I’m still learning even now that making plans are hard.

Still by the end of that year things would somewhat begin to stabilize.

Dream

accomplishment ceremony education graduation

I’ve been talking about promotions, making six-figures, and jobs I’m interested in perhaps yours truly has lost sight of what’s his dream. Since graduating from Mission College years ago, I’m still trying to figure out my dream. The opportunities to realize my dream will begin to dwindle.

I remember the year before I graduatedp my uncle stopped me near the end of yet another family reunion and he asked me point blank “What is taking you so long?” Of course this is the moment where he’s giving me some tough love although he made a few mistakes in doing so going after rather irrelevant observations. He was ready to dismiss what I’m currently trying to do at that point because in his words “you’re losing”.

It was taking me a minute to finish college and I will admit my share of mistakes during that time and even lost focus a few times but I was regaining focus to move on. His toughness, when I think about it now didn’t really add anything. After his pledge to “stay on my @$$” I never really heard from him again  – even after getting my direct cell phone number – aside from an e-mail of congrats stating “You’re going to need us pretty soon”. Suggesting I need the family’s charity which I never asked for to be honest.

Aside from that the reason I chose my major at Mission was because I had a dream career in mind. The problem is that well I had no real idea how to achieve it. I never really approached my professors about potential opportunities which was a huge mistake now. I never really approached the career counselors at least for liberal arts majors. I tried to do just about everything on my own, and had a hard time because where does one start when they do it on their own. For me, it was truly a daunting task however the reason I was at Mission College was for the prestige nothing should be daunting for a future “Mission Man”.

Regardless what’s my dream right now? Well when I finally graduated I was depressed by one thing, I had very little work history meaning not much experience with flipping burgers or frying chicken (and I had no desire to). Yeah I got a few shifts in at different periods working at college bookstores or even took part in a research project as part of my major at Mission. Otherwise all I knew to do was just stuff you expect college students do to studying for tests, do research papers, etc.

Once it was time to get out there and find a job all I had was a very prestigious and expensive piece of paper a liberal arts degree. And that piece of paper I had to learn carried no guarantees of gainful employment. I had to prove myself before getting the job and had nothing to present. I was woefully unprepared…

I may have expressed frustration over my time at The Show it was OK that worked there for close to five years. It’s also OK that I have my current job at Fresh Foods, perhaps both are “beneath me” at the same time I’ve finally learned something valuable. One lead to the other and hopefully will allow me to eventually find my dream job. All I can to is continue learning as I go, but I need not wing it as I had college.

Since starting my working life one goal that I had was to for lack of a better term “run something”. I wanted to be a manager at The Show, however, it never happened for me and I suspect I made a few key mistakes with them there. Perhaps nothing I did would allow it to happen for me during that period. I’m glad that based upon how I would’ve gotten compensated and the mgmt team up there that it never happened. I still have a what if in my mind about being a theater manager, but for me to do that it was time to seek out other opportunities. I just wasn’t going to adequately grow there.

Perhaps I can truly grow at a grocery store. Move up in the ranks (I did interview to become an associate buyer earlier this year) and perhaps even go corporate since I do have a college degree :P. However who says I got to make my career in either movie theaters/entertainment or grocery/retail?

Perhaps eventually my long term dream job is to work for myself. Scariest part with this is, how does yours truly finally achieve that dream? What ways can I truly make an impact in the world as a Mission alum is expected to make one? All I have to do is make a move no matter where I am now.