How Interviewing for Jobs Helped Me Gain Confidence

It’s hard out there, guys. I mean I’ve read articles and studies and a bunch of other stuff about how hard it is to get a job out there in the “real world”, especially for Millennials just graduating from college. (I mean, a graduate needs a four-year degree and five years of experience for an entry level job now… Literally impossible.) It’s pretty brutal. It’s less brutal if you know what you want to do with your life and you have the ability to relocate, but still very tough to beat out people for a job and not just huddle in a corner and cry. #realLife

It’s been nine months since I graduated with my BS degree and for about four months I was actively looking for a job.Β I now have a job that I am really enjoying, but the job search took a bit of a toll on my self-esteem and confidence there for a bit. However, this experience has been enlightening and encouraging in many different ways.

Now, in November of last year I talked about some of the fears I hadΒ and that I was still working on overcoming them. This experience has helped speed along that process in a major way, really getting down to the grit of specific fears I have.

Fear of Judgement

I hate knowing that people are constantly making first impressions of others and the idea of taking tests to determine my knowledge or skill at something makes my stomach hurt. I hate being judged. I hate being put on a number scale to determine my worth, because to me I don’t believe it is an accurate depiction of who I am.

Imperfection

I want to be good at everything; and by that I mean that I want to do everything perfectly. If I am doing something I want every detail to be aligned and displayed in a creative and fun way, and if it isn’t I tend to beat myself up about it.

Not Being Enough

It was hard going into job interviews and not getting a job. Β I had flaws that the future employer could not overcome, so they choose someone else. Mostly those flaws were experience related, but it’s very hard not to take each rejection personally.

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After each rejection, I noticed that my fears began to shrink. After each rejection I would grieve for a moment but then I would try to prepare for the next interview. Then, I started to list out good qualities about my professional self and memorizing them for interviews. I even carried them around on a piece of paper at one point so I could add more when I thought of them. I also started asking others what good qualities they saw in me so that I could add them to the list to tell future employers. This strategy helped me not just get a job, but be confident in my new stage of adulting. The career stage.

So, if you are out there searching and trying and maybe crying a little during a job search, just know you have many qualities to offer. So many, that I bet you could make a long list of them. πŸ˜‰

Much love. Much grace.

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4 Things Student Teaching Taught Me

In honor of graduating next Saturday (AH!) and havingΒ officially finished my Student Teaching portion of my Undergrad,Β I wanted to share some of the the many things I learned through this clinical experience.

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Here is what I learned while student teaching this year:

1.) Teaching is the MOST selfless thing on this planet.

Honestly. I had the opportunity to work with some stellar teachers, and they work so hard for their students. Not only are they taking care of the day-to-day lessons, but these teachers also go to pep rallies, sporting events, and choir events to support the students. Teaching takes so much planning and after “work hours”… way more than I ever imagined. There are teachers who work so hard, not just so the students know the material, but so that these students can be successful, contributing citizens in the future. Many people see teachers as just educating students in necessary material for college or career paths, but teachers are also filling roles of missing parents, mentors, or just someone to talk to. This is what makes a teacher so selfless; the compassion and unconditional love shown to the students… no matter what.

 

2.) When you have teachableΒ moments, they are awesome.

Sometimes my lessons go exactly as I plan, but usually the lessons turn into a loose interpretation of how I intended them to be. This is mostly because the class I mostly taught was Psychology, so there is wiggle room for discussions and questions from the students. There are so many teachable moments the students brought up with questions about real-life situations that I never could have planned. These were my favorite moments in the classroom.

3.) You will love the kids, all of them.

Yes, even the ones who test you and test you. The ones who you have to repeatedly tell to get off Instagram or shush during a lecture. All of these students are something else, something special. After I finished my student teaching I seriously missed those kids (still do) I want to see each of them grow and succeed. I didn’t think it was possible to come into a class for just a few months and really feel such a compassion for these students, but I learned every student’s name and I genuinely cared about each one.

 

4.) The kids will change you more than you think.

For real. These kiddos changed me so much. This quarter of my undergrad was the most stressful yet, but the students were very understanding and so encouraging. I learned so much from them. I learned how to be compassionate and patient no matter what is happening in my life; because they need me. I learned that kids are always looking for mentors and need them dearly. They make me want to be a better person, and strive to always be compassionate to everyone I meet. They taught me so much… and they can teach us all some of these things.

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Obviously, these are only a few things I learned while Student Teaching… other things were far harder lessons than anticipated. There are some things I regret… like leaving in such a rush and not being able to have a proper good-bye with the kids, but the highlights definitely made this process worthwhile.

Also, shout-out to my mentor teacher; without him, I wouldn’t have made it as far as I did!

Β Much love. Much grace.

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If you are interested in giving to your local school system, here are some great organizations to help with various needs of the school-age students in your area.

Schoola

Teach for America

Stand for Children (Louisiana Based)