Being a fresher, a recent graduate from college is tougher than it seems, especially if you’re an engineering graduate and have backlogs. I graduated in 2017 and had 17 backlogs if I remember correctly. And every engineering graduate knows that you don’t get a job if you’ve written supplementary papers. Hundreds like me have suffered due to this, even I did. As a result, I couldn’t find a job.
I’m not saying education is not important or that I was too lazy to study. I had always had the zest in me to learn but engineering wasn’t my passion, writing was. Something that my engineer parents never understood. It took me two years of going to college and writing those “back” papers (yet not being able to clear most of them), coupled with a lot of begging and crying to make my parents understand that I can’t do this anymore.
But that’s not the only thing I did in two years. I found myself a freelance job that paid me Rs. 60 for writing a 1000-word long article. That time, being my naive self, I didn’t realise it was exploitation. I mostly didn’t even get paid. Eventually, they stopped giving projects after a few months. I wouldn’t even make Rs.100 by writing articles.
After months of applying for jobs, I found a job; a proper office job as a content creator. It was a start-up. There were just three staff members, but I didn’t mind. I was happy that I got a job.
The boss of the company was an arrogant new entrepreneur who did not respect any of his three, female employees. He would abuse, shout and even demotivate us about our writing.
He fired me and another employee for, well I don’t know. He shut the company the very next month, so I guess he simply wanted to fire us. Naturally, that brought down my confidence level a little. Losing your first job is hard. Getting fired from your first job is harder to handle.
But, I didn’t fully give up. I joined as a contributor to a website where I’d write articles about shows and movies. I also started writing book reviews for free; created enough sample content to send to potential companies. After six months, I found another job. I was terrified to join. I wasn’t a tech person, but this job as a content writer showed me that I may not have a degree but I do understand enough technical stuff.
Did being a bright, attentive, student; a first-bencher student in class, pay off? Nah! I realised that those things were never going to be put to use. I worked there for six months and was paid 10,000 throughout, despite being promised around 20,000. Every employee there, other than me, earned more than that, but I stayed mum. I kept believing that they’ll fulfil their promise next month.
I was judged for being an introvert and was constantly told that I had an attitude. I would often go to the balcony and cry. But these comments never affected my work. I took two buses and a train daily to reach work, as I couldn’t afford to rent a place with such a low salary. I ate and ran back to the office during lunch breaks to keep up with my office hours. Honestly, it was tiring but I loved the hustle; I liked travelling and I was completing my work daily.
I was happy, but people weren’t. I never had the time to interact much. I only talked when needed and it would mostly be about work. They told me I’m task-oriented, a good writer, very punctual but an introvert, and hence they didn’t see their future with someone like me.
They fired me when I was on sick leave suffering from chicken-pox. The news was unexpected and hit me hard. What did I work so hard for? I was fired because I don’t chit-chat? It took me some time to get over it. Getting fired for a second time is devastating. You start doubting yourself and your capabilities.
It has been six months since then. I’m still unemployed. But I haven’t given up yet. I’m keeping myself busy by building skills, acquiring knowledge from any free online content that I can find. It’s like my friend Nas, from Nas Daily videos said, “education is important, not how you get it”. I’m sure there are companies out there who value skills and not a mere piece of paper.
My parents, friends, no one believed in me and my dreams. No one really saw my struggle. That’s when I understood that everyone has their own journey and this is mine. Even if no one believes in you, you have to keep believing in yourself. Life is all about finding yourself and only you can find yourself.
I recently self-published a book on Amazon. For me, that’s the greatest achievement as a writer. Even if no one understands my dreams, even if they try to put as many hurdles before me, I’ll never stop chasing them.