Monday, October 12, 2009

Confidence in the Real World

For most kids, especially in the developmental years, our parents are our greatest supporters; they tell us to chase after our dreams and become whatever we want to be. They are our greatest confidence boosters. However, once we reach certain academic levels and professional heights, we find ourselves constantly challenging ourselves and our self-worth. Low confidence is a major obstacle we must all overcome at some point in our lives. Boosting confidence is not an easy task, and we all cope with this differently. It’s the results that matters the most—incredible confidence to face challenges and keep rising to new heights.

For me, rising to new heights was getting a great job once I graduated from Wesley College in 2007. It is no secret that most college graduates have a hard time finding jobs in the field in which they received their degree. One reason for this trend is that millions of students graduate every year and compete in the same job market that holds few entry level positions. Only the lucky few are granted their dream jobs, while others have to take smaller irrelevant jobs while they wait for something to open up. I was one of the lucky few to find a job within 5 weeks of graduating (and currently employed with the company) with great pay. However, during those 5 weeks I was a nervous wreck and I started to doubt my talents, skills and worth.

I went on countless interviews and was only called back for a second interview twice. I started to doubt all that I learned in college and lost my confidence. I started to think I would never be good as a Media Arts professional or I would never be able to accomplish success like so many other professionals. Some of the job interviewers told me I was under qualified for the position and I needed more experience and I kept saying to myself, “How am I going to get experience if no one will hire me?” Colleges don’t prepare students for rejection, or the ones that do, aren’t doing such a great job.

Though the colleges didn’t prepare me for failure and rejection, I had a great support system of friends and family that helped me realize it is okay to be rejected and fail sometimes. They taught me to take all the negative energy and turn it into something positive. I understood what they were telling me but I was still jobless. Eventually I was hired by Odyssey Networks and some of my confidence was restored. I got the job as a Marketing & Public Relations assistant at a faith-based non-profit media production company. I became part of a team of seasoned professionals hailing from the broadcast industry. Once I learned about the background of the management team, I was once again intimidated and my confidence took a nosedive. I felt intimidated because I didn’t know at the time if I was capable of living up to their standards. I questioned whether I could perform the work without fail. I also worried if I could keep up with their pace and if they chose the right employee for their team.

Once again my support system saved my confidence by teaching me I can never be anyone else but myself and I can only achieve what I want to and be successful at it. They also taught me that the journey would not be easy but I have to be convinced of my worth. My supporters reinforced the idea that trying to live the life of others would only set me back; I needed to find my own identity and capitalize on that to be just as successful.

Today, I still face many obstacles in making myself a marketable employee and constantly proving I am the right person for the job. I am proud and confident to say I achieved a lot in the last 2 years and those around me see it too. For those people who don’t have a strong support system, it is vital to seek to build one. Be open to sincerely connecting with people not merely for a one-way exchange. You may meet truly amazing people along the way that will support and strengthen you on your journey.

You can read more of Desiree's thoughts on books, movies, television series, social media and much more on her blog Desi's Random Thoughts: http://www.desireefrieson.com/
"I have a lot of thoughts and ideas fluttering around in my head and this blog serves as my release!"


  1. 'I kept saying to myself, “How am I going to get experience if no one will hire me?”'

    YES! I think we have all asked ourselves that question at least once. At that point it feels like an awful cycle with no way out. It's great to see that you stuck it through and got a job you are happy with. Congratulations.

    This was a great post! I think it summed up the thoughts of sooo many college graduates.

  2. I think this blog is very relevant to today's hard times for college graduates. I'm a recent graduate, back at my old job where I did not expect to be, and kind of regretting that I wasn't more proactive on the internship search at least 2 semesters before I graduated.
    Most of the desirable internships I see now require that one still be enrolled...and I keep thinking to myself.."I'm willing to work for free and still nobody will hire!"

    I am still thankful for having a job period, so I can't complain too loud. I'm just worried about a lot of time passing, and eventually feeling bullied into either getting back to grad school or seeking for employment in another field.