Today, we’re unveiling the SALT blog’s latest contributor: Amanda Abella, from GradMeetsWorld.org!
Amanda discusses finding her way after graduating into a tough economy. Keep reading to see how she did it.
I graduated with my Bachelor’s in May of 2010 and moved back home. Thankfully, I grew up in the beautiful and vibrant city of Miami so that part wasn’t so bad; but I wasn’t met with a great party scene and Cuban coffee—instead I was met with one of the worst unemployment rates in the country.
I ended up spending about 6 months looking for any kind of employment and finally got hired teaching English and Spanish as a part-time gig. In fact, it wasn’t until a year after moving back home that I got my first real full-time job.
Given the local economy at the time, I considered this to be a stroke of luck. Far too often I would run into college grads that were pounding the pavement or working in non-paying internships. The fact that I had found a job that actually paid (though not very well) within 6 months seemed like a miracle.
MY AHA MOMENT
There’s nothing quite like unemployment to push your buttons. In a society where we’re raised to go to school so you can get a good job, unemployment seems like an abysmal way to spend your post-grad life. In fact, the media has taken full advantage of this and has made it seem like there’s no end in sight for Gen Y troubles.
I was fortunate enough to realize the media was full of it.
Yes, I was having a hard time finding a traditional job, but who said making money had to be traditional anyway? I then read two books that really got me thinking. The first was The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau, and the second was The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama. Combined, these two books gave me the tools I needed to start thinking outside of the box while taking the pressure off of myself to fit the traditional mold.
As a result, I started learning everything I could about how to make some extra money freelance writing. Easier said than done, of course, but eventually the skills I learned helped me land that part-time job teaching English, which in turn catapulted me into the great job I have now.
Honestly, if it wasn’t for the time I spent unemployed, I never would have learned how to get creative or be resourceful. I also never would have created an extra source of income that I still use to supplement my regular paychecks.
WHAT I’M DOING NOW
I currently work at privately owned career consulting and placement agency in Miami. Our primary job is to teach candidates how to market themselves to Fortune 500 companies—so we do anything from résumé revamping to interview coaching. We also go the extra mile and find them a good job within these companies.
I mostly spend my days interviewing candidates for open positions and learning everything I can about career development. This, coupled with a blog I’ve been writing since 2010, helped me realize my love for personal development and helping people within my generation. So, in 2012, I enrolled in a life coaching certification course through the fully accredited International Coach Academy. I use my experience in career development, my own experience as a millennial, and what I’ve learned from running a successful blog to help my clients reach their own personal goals and create the lives they want.