True Life: I Quit My First Big-Girl Job After Only Six Months
And other stories from a recent alumna who is venturing through the early stages of adulthood.
In October of my senior year at Cal Poly, I received an incredible opportunity to attend the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit in New Orleans. Besides being over the moon excited to explore a new city, I was really looking forward to all of the opportunities I would have networking with professionals in the produce industry. What I really didn’t expect was to come home with a potential job offer on the table.
I couldn’t believe my luck! After only a month into my senior year, I already had the security of employment come graduation time. To guarantee the job was actually mine, I even went as far as agreeing to start the position remotely January of my senior year. Mistake #1 of many more to come in my adult life. Balancing a full schedule of classes, a part time job as an Ag Circle editor, a part time job as a nanny, a senior project AND a position as a social media director for over 15 clients was not an easy task. All this, while simultaneously trying to enjoy my last few months in San Luis Obispo. But I held on knowing it would all pay off in the end.
What I didn’t take into account, however, was what the job was going to look like after graduation. Mistake #2. I knew when going in that I would be working from home…that should have raised a red flag immediately. Although the idea of working from home may appeal to some, I grew anxious just thinking about it. I knew I would begin to long for communication and relationships with coworkers and I knew I would become restless being stuck at home all day. These are important qualities about myself I should have taken into account, but that’s what mistakes are for, right?
And so, six months after I began my first big-girl job, I quit. Believe me when I say I was absolutely mortified. I never let others down and I certainly never quit! But the idea of being completely happy in something I had to do for 40 hours every week was too important to not fight for.
However, don’t believe for a minute that I was brave, no, I was being arrogant. Mistake #3. I thought the first job I applied to next, I would interview for and begin working within a couple weeks’ time. That thought, I know now, was incredibly naïve.
The next months were filled with resumes, cover letters, phone calls, interviews and rejection emails. The whole process left me second guessing my skills, my value, even my intelligence. As Cal Poly students, we’re told over and over again the Learn by Doing model will set us apart from any other graduate of our kind. My intent is not to scare you, but rather to just give you an honest example. I am so thankful for the education I received at Cal Poly, and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. But graduating from Cal Poly doesn’t guarantee you a job; hard work, drive, passion and courage do.
People would tell me over and over again during that time there was a reason why I kept hearing “no” and “every rejection was leading me to the perfect ‘yes.’” I thought they were full of it. Fortunately, they were right.
After three months of unemployment and a month of substitute teaching, I was offered a position with Paramount Citrus to be their first Tour Coordinator of the Halos plant. I am so thankful and humbled to come to work each day with a group of people who are passionate, generous and proud of the work they do. I personally think I have one of the more exciting positions, because every day I get to share with others how incredible of a company Paramount Citrus is and the amazing work that has already been done to share Halos with the world. In just three short months I have given tours to folks from all over California, Canada, Spain, South Africa and so much more.
So in the end, everything worked out. And that has probably been the greatest lesson I’ve learned since graduating… “It’s all going to be okay.”
Maybe not right at first, but someday.