From Unhappy Girl to Hungry Girl

From Unhappy Girl to Hungry Girl
A life lesson in growing up.

Written by: Racheal A. Ball

Recently The Ladders reached out to me and give my take on what employment and my life was life after graduating and how I got there! Of course I was beyond honored to share my story. The Ladders is a GREAT resource when it comes to job hunting especially if you have a desired income of $40,000 per year and up. They make the process extremely easy and cuts out getting all those random emails regarding an 'open position' for a mystery company that pays 100% commission! Here's my life lesson in growing up...

College graduation was the day I’d been waiting for since pre-school. It wasn’t easy getting there either, I mean 5 years of studying, sleepless nights, crying, professors that refused to use technology, chicken flavored ramen noodles, turning 21, a million part time jobs that equaled 40 hours a week, internships, and buying completely over priced and under utilized text books that all led to May 13, 2011.  Turns out this was also one of the most boring days of my life, nothing about a paid keynote speaker screams FREEDOM!!

Then all of a sudden it came time for me to get a real job! I mean what does it really mean to have a ‘real job’ in today’s world? Does this mean making a $50k salary, having health benefits, making enough to pay your student loans, 401k? For today’s college graduates it totally varies, there are no more comfy cookie cutter jobs anymore and what you spent on college may not reflect what you’ll be earning and that’s a tough pill to swallow.

I’ll use myself for example; coming out of college I knew exactly what I wanted to do, where I was going to do it, and how much I was going to make.  Well, that’s where I had the game messed up!! I worked my butt off in college doing tons of internships, working in my field, winning scholarships, etc. but none of it prepared me to make $10 an hour with no benefits and terrible hours in my so-called dream career. I was so let down, my pride was assaulted and the worst part was that job was all I had.  I was crushed.

New grads have to prepare themselves for the real workforce, which means wearing a suit to work and packing your lunch everyday because bills come before Buffalo wings and beer now. It means maybe taking a job because pays student loans and rent, working patiently perfecting your craft, becoming the best employee you can become, making sure to treat every experience as an opportunity to learn something new and develop and new skill that can be beneficial in your next job. Although working, as a fitness club manager for less that a Starbucks Barista made was tough financially I was able to develop skills outside of my major particularly marketing and sales.

Fast-forward 3 years, I now have a full time position working as a Social Media Specialist with a bachelors in Health and Wellness Promotion, sounds crazy right? My degree afforded me the opportunity to manage a fitness club, the skills I learned as a marketing and sales manager opened the door to peak my interest in social media. I worked on that craft for many years hustlin’, I volunteered to help others out with their websites, taught people how to use hash tags, learned how to use e-marketing and some graphic design until I got to this point. Mind you I still had a full time job in orthopedics, it paid the bills so I could start my food blog ‘A Few Hungry Girls’.  My blog started out as a hobby, a release from work and life, I used everything I learned while creating my blog to add to my list of skills to prepare me for a career in social media. Now I average 500-900 views each month on my blog, and people want to pay me to do what I love.

The person that graduated 4 years ago has changed everything she once knew about herself. That person is me, I knew I wanted to be a nurse or PA coming out of college and you couldn’t tell me anything different! I knew I was going to go to grad school, make a ton of money, and not worry about anything else. But life has a funny way of changing you, it gives you hurdles to jump over, twists and turns to make, it will even knock you down flat on your butt and may even make you cry. Eventually life comes back around and teaches you that things change and it’s OK to change with it.

Take every opportunity life gives you, it may suck now, but it’ll reward you later (you have to have faith). The point of hard work is that it’s hard but so is your resolve to conquer it. 

Stay hungry my friends...

Ray B. 


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