hi, whether you do or don’t know me, i will say my name again, i am Paul.
originally i was going to name this rant: ‘why i hate interning‘, but i felt that title was too unambiguous.
with that said, i wanted to zoom-out and speak somewhat more generally….about something i feel like is a mutual pang for young adults.
so… today i will
complain about discuss work/interning and why my life is so decidedly frustrating and could be described as one deep long sigh.
to get you up to speed, while contextualizing my life…a little:
i graduated in 2016…and have essentially worked since around september 2016-present. however, as of now, i have been unemployed for around… 2.5 months. you see, i left my job working at an international school, (for a lot of reasons)…but this could all politely be summarized as being a result of poor management. unfortunately, due to other circumstances that presented themselves abruptly, i wasn’t able to secure a ‘fall-back’ job. so now i am actively seeking a grown-up job.
rewinding a little:
back in 2016, after i graduated, i snagged a gig interning with a celebrity stylist; which was a
shit-show learning experience. it was a whimsical application that i didn’t expect to hear back from. anyway, i did hear back and accepted. sadly, this was almost everything one would be afraid to expect from working with a high profile person/stylist; i was treated poorly, i was unpaid, and WORST of all, i was unappreciated, (tbh i already feel under-appreciated in most aspects of life, so this was just a cherry on top). aside from this work-negativity, i was also dealing with an immense amount of personal/family-life trauma; (which i had to learn to compartmentalize). anyway, all of this culminated in me constantly feeling like squidward on his day off.
anyway, after about 6 months of
hell interning, i decided to pull the plug, as i had just received a job offer from the international school i had mentioned above.
of course, there were some silver-linings to my ‘experiential learning’… i did learn some valuable skills, most notably: comprehending a good deal of the processes involved with fashion consulting and styling as an independent entity; for this reason my suffering was
n’t worth it, (at least that’s what my dad has proclaimed).
on the super plus side, on very rare occasions, i was permitted to try my hand at styling real human beings. i included a screen cap from my portfolio, (with the text removed, so ignore the awkward center/bottom right negative space, please). learning about lighting, framing, and overall composing were all really cool aspects. *sadly, i wasn’t able to do this often*
my real takeaway in hindsight and where i’m at now-ish:
like many other fashion-aspirants before me, from my awful internship experience i realized that i probably don’t want to work with another independent stylist, but i did identify that i was more drawn to the notion of working as a styling assistant with an established company; where things would ideally be less micro-manage-y and more organized. sadly, none of my applications to a venture of this sort have worked out yet, thus far. i believe this is mostly because there is a certain line of demarcation that i cannot overcome, as i’m simply not qualified enough from a résumé standpoint. (who knew holding a degree in political science wouldn’t really hold a lot of water to other prospective styling assistants?). anyway, yeah this is an unfortunate truth, since many of my competitors/fellow applicants are likely graduating/graduated from competitive fashion/art schools.
now, i’m not too beat-up about this reality, since it’s totally reasonable. consequently, i’ve decided to refocus my applications to be geared more towards a ‘relatable’ field, still within fashion. for this reason i’ve begun applying to assistant buyer positions. and even though my applications have yet to prove fruitful, i’ve remained
faintly hopeful. to clarify: i don’t mean by relying on blind-hope. as a way of (sort of) attempting to offset my inexperiences (aka my lack of formal fashion education); i’m just trying to pivot my marketability, in hopes of being carried by my analytical/economics-based acumen.
maybe this is a naive way of thinking, but i’m willing to keep trying until my options have completely run dry. as naruto said (many times in the english dub), “believe it!“.
**also in my defense, the fashion industry is having a pretty severe moment of job-drought. not to say this is the case everywhere, but i think it’s important to note that fashion is oversaturated with applicants, with too few openings for everyone to fill.
of course, this has added to my job-hunt becoming more frenzied. i’ve even reconsidered interning again… but, this would be under the context that the gig is PAID and on a more singular/personal level. such as being a direct assistant to a vip or some figure that i could actually… learn from..???
me during the last two months and my average day(s):
i’ve probably applied to… a few hundred jobs/internships. which is, by most standards, a pretty reasonable amount. i’ve had some interviews and leads, but nothing has really panned out, (i will note that there were some offers, but all i’ve chosen to decline). needless to say, this has been pretty rough on my
already waning emotional fortitude. especially considering that i’ve (naturally) become less selective and more desperate to find relevant employment as time passes.
lets be honest, the process of repeatedly applying to jobs is kind of like skill-grinding in runescape, a painful and monotonous malaise that really fragments your soul.
it’s tough being in that cliched ‘pit’ that millennials tend to sink into. especially when, like many other people, i’m a person that comes from a very american-style, “work equals your value” household, so it’s not something i actively divulge or feel good about. (i mean i haven’t even told my dad i quit my job,
but that’s also bc he’s so out of touch with my life, that i didn’t even feel it was necessary to mention lol).
anyway. yeah, i’m in a mini-rut, but whatever, i’m still reselling and consigning clothes and frankly, that alone has been enough to keep my bank account afloat (i’m actually UP???) for now, at least. ((it also really helps that i eat very little and have basically resigned myself to being a temporary pseudo-vegetarian until my mood/lack of work-life changes)).
as my title suggests, i non-quirkily feel like my life is bleak. (also why is it trendy to be depressed? this really pisses me off). does anyone else (regularly) feel like the void is closing in upon them? the more i emptily apply to jobs, the less i am actually interested in the contents of what these opportunities would even be like. it’s cyclical and frustrating and i’m not afraid to admit that i currently have no aim or joie de vivre.
but i suppose i’m working on it… ?
okay friends, with that i am done ranting, i hope that wasn’t too whiny or ‘woe-is-me’-y, i’m doing OK. i’m just tackling the topic of finding work, while simultaneously venting.
i think my point for other people like me, is that it’s important to try to reap the ‘good’ out of anything that you do, (job-wise, but also in your personal life). i am grateful to have the hindsight that i have (tried) to reflect upon in the rant above. these are good and ugly experiences that are formative to molding us into honest-to-goodness humans.
until next time, pals. ( ` ω ´ )