In what kind of world am I too poor to work to support societal economic opportunity?

At age 24, not even two years out of college yet, and I never would’ve predicted how internally exhausted I feel. I feel like I’m 64, not 24. Tired of this horribly structured, devoid-of-opportunity world. At this point, I think I’m allowed to be.

Not sure at what point in these past two years I did something to murder my career, but it sure seems dead to me. All I did was work hard. I mean,

  • I graduated from my university’s honors program with a double degree: majors in English and international studies, minors in philosophy and film studies. Sure, STEM is the only gig hiring entry level, but this wasn’t a walk in the park either, nor are my fields useless today. If you don’t believe this, I have three words for you: Trump is president.
  • I interned for Disney, one of the world’s largest corporations, directly after graduation. During this time I networked and solidified what I saw myself doing long-term.
  • I moved to San Diego, CA and landed a job at a startup not even three weeks after my move.
  • I did have to move 6 months later due to my boyfriend’s Navy ship changing home ports. Yes, I did move for the sake of my partner and not for a job. Did I have to choose between eventual marriage and a career? Most older adults I know have both. Please explain.
  • After months of applications, networking, informational interviews, career research, research to confirm I can’t afford grad school and multiple job interviews per opening, I was offered a position I loved at an IT software startup, only to be laid off at the end of my first week due to a logistical error by the executive team.
  • Despite this, I pressed on and was hired by a digital ad agency. Sales and marketing aren’t in my career plan but operations, logistics and learning about leadership are. I stuck with it and tried to be their best, most productive employee. I was let go yesterday because I wasn’t a “good match” for the office. I suppose faking it till I made it did not work.

I realize I can’t pretend to be passionate about an industry while working in it just like I can’t pretend that passion during an interview for it. I’m not saying I refuse to — I’ve done it numerous times — I’m saying that somehow I literally cannot pretend.

Despite every effort on my part, people can tell where my true drive lies, perhaps because that passion is so incredibly strong (and/or because I’m on the autism spectrum, but I refuse to say that as the only reason since most employers prefer to pretend autism doesn’t exist personnel-wise, so I suppose I have to also). Too bad organizations and firms working in those realms have no idea I exist, since for one reason or another, my resume or application got put aside or I was forgotten about after a conversation with me in an informational interview. Yes, I know these people are busy. I also know if I worked for them they could easily be less busy. However, I just don’t have enough experience, honey.

Ironically enough, the industries/causes that profess to support and understand the economically disadvantaged, whether due to lack of money for education, debt from loans for that education and/or some facet of their humanity that makes it difficult for them to be hired by employers (looking at you, Asperger’s) never seem to be hiring. I mean, I could volunteer for them after a few interviews first. I know. I just have bills to pay, you know, to stay alive. I can’t come in to volunteer if I’m dead.

I just wish I knew of another way to find a job. It seems like everything I’ve ever read or learned about job searching and networking hasn’t worked for me. Perhaps in a future post I may have an idea as I can feel it growing even now.

P. S. A lot more ideas where that one comes from. In my recent experience it seems like the last thing today’s employers want is employees with new, positive ideas. If there’s anyone out there who feels differently, I’ve got an idea for you.

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