Believe In Yourself
While I was pretty relieved and happy to have found a job in the entertainment industry that matches my skills, there were still some people who were able to criticize my decision of taking an unpaid internship. After submitting more than 60 applications, you really loosen your standards and take whatever you can get. Somehow, I did believe in myself and that I will be able to make it work.
But when I talked to members of my family about this recent step, I didn’t expect to hear what they were about to say. They knew about my ordeal and how much effort it took me to finally land a job after college. They were aware of why I turned the other job down and decided to work in LA again. So when I informed them about the most recent event in my life, my father had nothing less to say than: We do not sell ourselves under worth.
At first, his words didn’t hit me that hard. I tried to explain that I am working in a position where I actually get to use a lot of the skills I was taught in school, and that I am enjoying where I am at. But he seemed to only think of the unpaid part. Yes, of course I’d rather have a paid position. Of course I don’t want to have four occupations (as I currently do), two of them unpaid, but I have to start at the bottom and work my way up.
Nobody who just got out of college is going to start off in an executive position. And my dad even admitted that in Germany the situation for recent college graduates doesn’t necessarily look much better when trying to find a job. Many of them, apparently, also start out as interns, trying to get the foot in the professional door.
I don’t want to go to deep into it, but while the conversation with my family continued, I felt a lot of negativity rising in myself. Negativity I don’t need nor want in my life. Before that Skype call, I was perfectly happy. I am beyond grateful to be able to live where I do; I landed a job; I am enjoying life to the fullest. But there were still people who I felt were trying to put me down.
From their side, they would probably argue that they were just being realistic. Trust me, I am aware that my life is not a fairy tale, and that I won’t be able to sustain my life forever with an unpaid position. But I do believe that good things will come to those who hustle, and I am not afraid to accept the challenge and pull my sleeves up.
As for now, I decided to cut all negativity and unnecessary pressure out of my life and focus on my career. I don’t need people to worry for me about what will happen next year, or why I don’t have a paid position. I am the happiest I have ever been, and that is what my family and my surroundings should focus on.
Anne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.
If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.