There’s a reason blind people aren’t flying commercial airliners. You cannot be anything you want to be. Dreaming big is wonderful, as a child. But you later learn that teaching music is more within reach than becoming a rock star. What most people weren’t told before college was to think practically. Where do you live? Are you staying there and if so, what jobs are available in your area?
So now you’re thousands in the hole, over-educated in an unavailable field, underpaid and not interested in moving states away for success. What should you do?
You are not alone. But you will need to stop self-pitying and start self-prioritizing. These are the things you need to find in a job: health insurance (your wellness always comes first, without it, you’re useless), tuition reimbursement (you may not be going back right now, but it’s ALWAYS a possibility) and paid time off (think ahead-interviews, personal time).
You will notice most of these perks in human services or insurance agencies. Other benefits include promotions and management training, employee appreciation events, discounts on car insurance, and you may even find they’ll pay you to get a degree in that area of study.
The drawbacks? The pay isn’t going to afford you the Sex in the City lifestyle you dreamt you’d have, but you can be sure it’ll get you by with bills and rent.
Once you’ve built up a professional resumé, it’s time to start getting your name out there. Use sites such as LinkedIn. Wait, don’t bury that Bachelor of Science. You may not be a forensic anthropologist, but earning that paper took time and dedication. That shows you were committed to expanding your knowledge and it may well land you a position.
Now this is all fine, but you’re still wondering if you’ll ever be able to afford things like a home. Are you married and living like the Ricardo’s? Look for opportunities like first homeowner’s clubs with grants adding up to almost $20,000. Plus, the monthly mortgage payments often include homeowner’s insurance and property taxes.
The truth is, quarter-life crisis is not just Buffalo-related; it’s everywhere. But one way we can make a difference is to look at how hard our ancestors worked to make a life for their family here in the Queen City, and keep their optimistic attitude alive in us. There is no shame in working hard. Dream big, but dream practically.