Made my mark

I graduated from TAFE with a Dual Diploma in Conservation and Land Management/Sustainability and university with a Bachelor in Environmental Science with Distinction. I graduated into a world where there are no jobs in my field unless you have at least two years working experience or know someone.

I volunteer, I gain the experience I need in order to be a competitor for jobs, but I still don’t get jobs. Why? Because I’m hopeless at making contacts.

Throughout university, I watched people walk up to the lecturers and researchers and have good old chats with them. How do they do that? I would wonder, and try to come up with any plausible reason to talk to the lecturers. I never quite got the courage to try and engage with them in my three years of study.

When it came time to look at doing an Honours project I found a couple of lecturers whose projects I was interested in. I went and had a meeting with them, they were very friendly but I never heard back from them about participating in their projects. Then I saw who got into the Honours projects. All the people who had had the guts to go up and talk to the lecturers. The people who could talk about anything and everything.ย  They got in because they made the connections early on. To the lecturers, I was someone who had just appeared out of the blue.

This is my fault, of course. If I had of sucked it up, I could be doing an Honours project right now. Instead, I’m scanning through listings of jobs that require everything that I don’t have and can’t get unless I make contacts.

If you put me in front of these lecturers now, they probably would have no idea who I was, just another face that didn’t stand out amongst the thousands of students they get through their doors. Except for one small thing.

The other day, The Partner went into my university and sent me a picture. It was of me, during one of my research projects. It was framed and placed up in the Science building. So I may not have been able to connect with the denizens of the university, but I’m going to haunt them for as long as that picture is up. And I hope one of them stops and sees that picture and thinks, ‘I remember that girl.’

I'm even giving a thumbs up.  Who would ever forget the thumbs up girl?

I’m even giving a thumbs up. Who would ever forget the thumbs up girl?

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8 thoughts on “Made my mark

  1. Thumbs up to this post as well! I feel for you in your situation…and I hope you won’t get discouraged before the place you’re supposed to be reveals itself. It will come! I can relate to this post as a blogger. There are certain blogs I read that are fascinating, but I shy away from hitting that ‘follow’ or even sometimes the ‘like’ buttons. The author sounds so intelligent and yes, intimidating – even though there’s nothing in the blog that makes them come across as such. It’s just me feeling like I would have nothing of worth to offer someone with such experience and wisdom. But we’re wrong. We all have our unique perspectives and experiences with much to offer – we put it out there, keep pursuing our dreams, and the connections will happen. You hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I’m not too worried when it comes to blogs, mostly because they’ll never be able to find me in real life and insult me to my face ๐Ÿ™‚ I try not to get discouraged, just constantly look for ways to make myself more appealing as an employee and make contacts. I believe everyone has at least one thing to offer every other person in the world, and this is what keeps me going when I’m feeling a bit dejected about the whole job front.

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  2. I go through the same exact thing with my writing. Well, let’s rewind, when I was in college I couldn’t talk to any of my professors because I felt like nothing more than another pesky brain to try and tolerate until they get that check at the end of the week. I went through this a lot when I was in a band. i felt like I couldn’t talk to any venues because I thought I needed a record label or agent to represent me just to gain interest, but it’s funny as soon as we got that first gig, our name spread like wildfire here in my hometown. We played at some nice venues bringing in decent crowds and it was all because I was finally able to build the confidence to talk to people. I think after that, it really hit me that if you really do want to achieve something, you can’t sit and wait for it, you have to go get it. I know right now, I’m trying to pull as many connections as I can for my book, but ti seems like I just end up at step one every day.
    You’ll get there Kate. Keep volunteering and build those connections. I mean, all of us have to put our pants on one leg at a time. We’re all human and we all enjoy meeting new people. It definitely helps to build better relationships with each other to get where we want to be.

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    • That’s exactly how I felt! Like there was nothing I could offer these oh so superior minds to mine. I agree, you don’t get anywhere if you just sit at home hoping something is going to happen.
      Well, if you hadn’t started a blog I wouldn’t have read your book, so I reckon you must at least be at step two ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I just like good conversations with people. Especially people who enjoy the same things as me. If they decide to check out my material, that is just a plus. Really appreciate it Kate, thanks for that review too. It made me smile ear to ear. Hope everything is alright with you today!

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  3. Getting a job in science is a lot harder than people expect. My boyfriend got a degree in Biology and Toxicology from Clemson. He had the same situation – classes of 400 people, and he never went up to the professors and made his face familiar. He didn’t get any research experiance until his senior year. Still, his degree wasn’t very marketable and he took five months to find any job. It was a temp position. It just turned full-hire last month, 14 months after graduation.

    I was pretty successful in my own job hunt, but I had classes of 20 people. My shyness was overcome by the tiny environment. Teachers recognized me because there was no crowd to get lost in.

    But it really did turn out well for both of us. Even though we both had to apply for over 50 positions (for him, it was closer to 100), in a city where science jobs are not in high demand, we both found our niches. Just keep hunting, darling!

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    • I was aware of how hard it would be, especially with such a specialised field. The problem is a lot of people actually pay to be volunteers for the work available, so most people with degrees get supervising jobs or higher level jobs. Also huge cuts to the environment budget means a whole lot of experienced workers got laid off. That’s what I’m competing with at the moment. In a few years the tide will probably turn, but for now I really only have hope for graduate positions.
      That’s excellent for your boyfriend, probably feels a lot more stable now that he’s got a job in the industry. During TAFE, I had smaller class sizes too so it was easier to get to know the teachers. I still talk to one occasionally. One of my only contacts! Thanks! I will keep hunting. I’ll get there eventually.

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