Hamilton, New Jersey USA
"My name is Kyle, and I graduated college in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in Public Relations. After four fun years in college, I had graduated on-time, with very little student loan debt and a degree that left me open to several different job opportunities. However, no matter what job I took or industry I entered, I felt lost and incomplete. I felt as if I was living a life I never chose to live.
When I graduated college, I took a job in retail. My thought process was that I should try to make some money while I was interviewing for my first entry-level position. Finding that 'foot in the door' was harder than I thought. I bounced around a few low-paying jobs for the next few years, while I tried to break into this 'corporate America' that I had heard so much about. I was unhappy, but I rationalized it by thinking that the reason I was unhappy was that I was not doing what I went to school for. This was the beginning of nearly seven years of 'moving the goal posts' on myself.
In 2013, I accepted a marketing role with a tech company on Long Island. 'Now, I will finally be happy', I thought. The problem was, I was not. I did not enjoy any aspect of my job and felt as if my life had become nothing but pointless work. Again, I knew I was unhappy, but blamed it on not having 'an exciting job.' The following year, I took a marketing position with a different company and the unhappiness went away for a few months. However, as you may have guessed, that feeling of incompleteness returned. Again, instead of taking an in-depth look at the issue, I made another excuse. This time, I decided the reason for this feeling was that I was not working in New York City. In 2015, I accepted a position with a very exciting and successful advertising agency in NYC. Now, finally, I will be happy and complete.
To be honest, for the first year or so, I did feel this way. Yet, sure enough, that feeling of having something missing in my life was back and worse than ever. Even taking a better, higher paying job at a different NYC agency did nothing to erase this feeling of emptiness and a severe lack of satisfaction. Finally, I stopped looking for quick fixes. I decided I was going to do some serious soul-searching and adequately diagnose this problem. This was when I had the most significant breakthrough in my life.
At first, I looked at the common denominator of each job. It was here I realized that all my jobs were set in an office, at one desk, for eight hours a day. I have never been the type of person to do the same thing or to stay quiet and still. If this was true, then why on earth did I think another office job was going to cure what ails me? It was here that I realized I must pursue a different type of career. The kind that allows me to move, explore, and create. Something, anything, that lets me be myself on a regular basis. I began to think about what I was passionate about. I realized there were two topics above all else. And, I have always been looking for a job or career that will allow me to help people on a regular basis.
I spent years applying to non-profits, with no luck. If I was going to pursue something new, it had to be centered around helping people to some degree. In addition, I have always felt strongly about how unprepared I was for the real world. I also felt as if everyone I worked with seemed to hate their jobs. Was it possible that there was a connection between being unprepared for post-college life and the widespread dissatisfaction that exists concerning people’s chosen professions? I had to look into this more.
After surveying over 100 college graduates, I made the discovery. I realized the reason so many people are so disconnected and dissatisfied with their jobs is that they were not prepared for the next steps in their life. They did not realize what being an adult and working full-time was all about. Therefore, they were thrown into a world that they knew nothing about, forced to take a job they didn’t understand, and ended up living a life they never intended. At last, I had found my calling. The thing that was going to complete me. And, this time, it stuck.
In January of 2018, I launched my public speaking business. I currently speak to high school and college students about the importance of being prepared for the next steps in your life. In May 2019, my first book 'To The Next Step' will be published. While I still work a desk job in marketing, I have found that calling that now completes me. It is my calling in life to help students prepare themselves for the real world and help them build lives that they will be happy to live.
My advice to any college graduate who feels incomplete would be this: You are the one who has to live this life every day. You are going to spend the majority of your time focused on your job. If you feel like you could be doing more, then do it. Don’t settle. Don’t think that you have to hate your job. Your soul is crying out. You can have what you really want, but you have to try. You have to take that leap and try. That is what makes all the difference."