With graduation looming ahead in May, the time has come for me to scramble into the job search process. I never would have expected that the effort to secure a career would require such a significant commitment and concentrated effort.
I started working at the age of 15 and have never encountered an obstacle that has prevented my being hired since then. I have been very successful at securing every job I have applied and interviewed for. I should mention here that I’ve also never worked at a job that paid me much more than minimum wage. I suppose it’s not difficult to secure employment when applying for jobs that are in low demand within the labor pool. Now that I’m no longer looking for a work-study or student hourly position, my Ramweb search days are over.
I’ve learned a few very important lessons with the commencement of my job search. The most important is that it is essential that I know who I am before I attempt to sell myself to any potential employer. I’ve had to engage in a great deal of self-evaluation and introspection to discover how my core values will affect the type of employment I will seek. I have come to terms with the fact that the work I envision myself doing will not lead me to a lucrative monetary fortune. Instead, the work I desire will allow me to live in peace with myself, knowing that I’ve done what I could to effect change in this world.
I’ve been called an idealist, muttered in disgust, as though this were the ultimate insult. And if to be an idealist means to advocate behavior that runs counter to the self-serving, dog-eat-dog, inequality promoting, oppressive and repressive tradition of this society’s capitalistic hunger for wealth, then I stand with pride in my idealism.
In a world full of ironies, where military spending for weapons of mass destruction takes priority over the global cultivation of nutritional resources to sustain life and teachers go unacknowledged while we bicker over which actor deserves a little gold statue in addition to the millions he was paid for smiling at the camera, I don’t feel justified in aspiring to recognition by Forbes magazine as one of the richest people on Earth.
Instead, I aspire to a career in which I can live (read as: keep myself and my family fed, clothed and sheltered) by being of assistance to those who would aspire to the same, simply to live. And so I continue my search for a position with a modest non-profit organization motivated by the desire to impart some good on this world.
I’m told by some who humor my idealistic musings that this is all just a phase, that I’ll grow out of this un-American (not to mention unpatriotic) paradigm. Someday, I, too, will yearn for a dream house, a summer home, a winter cabin and a cottage on the beach. I’ve been told more than once that today’s rebel is tomorrow’s conservative.
I hope so, because I must admit that I often find it challenging to aspire to what, in my world of idealism, is right and just.
Veronica Garcia is graduating this May with a major in sociology.