A two hundred thousand dollar education, and no secure job. That is my latest dilemma. I am a recent graduate of Skidmore College, with a degree in Studio Art. Not the most “practical” major. I stayed in Saratoga for the summer, in part because I did not know what I wanted to do post graduation. Remaining in the town, along with half of my class, seemed like the best way to drag out our college careers just a little bit longer. Now, as summer draws to a close, it is hard to imagine not returning to Skidmore in the fall.
Deciding what to do in the real world has finally become a reality. It seemed like something that I could just push off until the bitter end. A few months ago, I decided that come September I would move to Boston with friends. The thought of moving back home, while the most economical choice, was not a possibility in our minds. Happily, all parents agreed that this was a good decision. Prior to apartment hunting, the question continually arose, should one find the job and then move, or choose a city and then find the job? My roommates and I all opted for the latter. We now have the apartment, but still, no jobs.
This has not been for lack of trying. After several career counseling meetings, creating a resume and composing numerous cover letters, the job hunt is in full swing. Mainly, my method of searching has been via the Internet. Sites such as Idealist and Craigslist have presented some “worthwhile” jobs, and I am familiar with some larger art and academic institutions in the Boston area. I have come to terms with the fact that for the first year or so I will most likely be the glorified secretary. Now, I wait, and hope for a response. Though searching online is an entirely reasonable way to find a job, it seems that having some sort of connection would be incredibly beneficial in the current job market.
Throughout this process I have contemplated expanding my job search from the art realm. I feel that I could be happy doing a multitude of things. But my real interest lies in the arts, and I don’t necessarily want to forsake that. After some deliberation, I became a Studio Art major because it was what I enjoyed doing the most. Painting, in my mind, clearly trumped writing a twenty-page essay. I did not become an art major with the intent of becoming an artist. That is far from what I see myself doing. Rather, I would like to be the one to work with other people’s art. My internships and jobs to this point have combined the more marketable office skills with art and design, which I want to continue to do. Before contemplating graduate school, I want to learn by doing, something that is particular to the arts.
Searching for a job can seem an endless quest. I think that part of the reason I have yet to “freak out” about my soon to be unemployment is that I know there will always be some sort of job available, and that my first job will not be forever. It is merely a starting off point. I am young and unencumbered, and as such, I have accepted the possibility of low pay, and meager benefits. Though, having given it more consideration, I would always settle for less pay if full benefits were on the table.
I have been fortunate enough to have a lot of parental assistance, both emotionally and fiscally. I was always told that one should go to school for an education, not for a job. Additionally, I am lucky to have no school loans and hence have less pressure than some, allowing me to pursue my interests. While I want to be an independent, I know (and they know), that it is not fully possible until I have a secure job with a consistent salary. That to me seems to be the biggest difference between my parents generation and my own. While my mother and father were able to go off into the world directly after college with relatively no assistance from their parents, I, for the time being, am dependent on their monetary aid.
After writing this entry I feel compelled to apply to some more jobs! And, should anyone reading this know someone in the Boston area who is looking to hire, I dare say, I’m their girl!