Day 275: How I Went from Waitressing to Manager

Okay, prep yourself for some unsolicited career advice… I want to kick this whole thing off by saying, I completely failed at finding a job directly out of college. When I graduated college (cum laude dual-major, triple-minor) I applied to about 30 jobs. I heard back from less than half. I landed none. Following graduation, I packed up my college stuff, threw my pride out the window and drove back to my parent’s house. I told people that my mom needed help with her horse farm after breaking her foot (half true) and settled into my childhood bedroom.

I started waitressing at a local pub, where I had the distinct pleasure of waiting on high school acquaintances’ snobby moms. They loved to tell me how their daughter lived ‘in the city’ working for some prestigious company. My only consolation was that I probably made more money than them by waiting tables. Still, I’m not going to lie, it completely sucked. A few months later, I finally found a job that would utilize my college degree. I shifted into a part-time position at an MIT start-up, which turned into a full-time gig about three months in.

One year later, L landed his dream job in Atlanta, so I started looking for a job down in the south. I prepared myself for a repeat of my first post-collegiate job search and applied to over 10 jobs in a week. To my surprise, I landed around six job interviews. I received job offers from every job I interviewed for. I remember grabbing a beer with my cousin – he hadn’t gotten into any of his target undergraduate schools and ended up starting out his collegiate career at a community college before transferring to a state school. Now one year after graduating, he was debating between some of the top law schools in the country. We figured it was better to fail earlier and were so excited for our next big adventures.

Today I work for a Fortune 50 company as a strategic manager of direct and digital marketing tactics. I manage a multi-million dollar budget and have contributed to year-over-year growth. So any seniors out there freaking out, I promise it will be okay. Not getting a conventional job right out of college challenged me and prepared me to be one of the youngest managers in my company currently. I learned to be scrappy and humble and it’s made all the difference.

Sound off: what was your biggest failure turned success?

Outfit Details
Top: J. Crew purchased second-hand three years ago for $20 (similar, similar)
Skirt: J. Crew Factory purchased two years ago for $30 (similar, similar)
Shoes: Nordstrom Rack (Sam Edelman) purchased three years ago for $90 (similar, similar)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *