Job-Searching Postgrad Amidst a Pandemic

Author: Marieli Valencia

Anyone who graduated during the year 2020 would most likely agree with me when I tell you this pandemic threw me into a postgrad situation I would have never imagined. When I was younger, I would always fantasize about the day I graduated college and finally move on to bigger and better things in the world. I would walk across a stage and receive a diploma in a ceremony representative of my transition into a life free from the stress of school and into the excitement of the real world. Little did I know my reality would look something like sitting in my living room watching a virtual commencement through a computer screen, isolated from all the close friendships I had fostered throughout my college experience.

I initially did not even begin my job search straight after graduation. The world felt like it was turning upside down, and I instinctively went into survival mode as discouraging stories of job losses were constantly at the beginning of most conversations. I took a serving job at a local restaurant that was operating under strict COVID-19 guidelines, and found this to be a silver lining amidst the chaos that was happening in the world around me. I will be eternally grateful for this job because I found a sense of stability and structure for which I was desperately searching. I had never thought I would be in this situation straight out of college. After working there for several months, while simultaneously working on my design portfolio, I finally mustered up the courage to begin my search for a design job.

When I finally began my job searching journey, the first thing I knew I had to do was tune out all the noise. I heard so many voices around saying that this was a terrible time to get a corporate job, or that I wouldn’t be successful in finding anything till the pandemic passed. I simply decided none of this was true. I sat in front of my LinkedIn profile for hours at a time, saving job ads and perfecting my resume before hitting that “submit application” button for what felt like a hundred times. I realized the resiliency of a lot of companies. I was actually pleasantly surprised at the amount of job ads I ran into that were seeking to hire a fresh-out-of-school designer. They sought to preserve their companies and keep the show running despite what was happening in the world around us all.

After finally coming to Proximyl Health, albeit virtually, I have a newfound appreciation for how far technology has been able to compensate. In the most unexpected way, the pandemic brought me to a job in a location that I could have never guessed for myself. The unique experience of working from home and getting to be in a location so geographically far from Proximyl has brought me connections and experiences that would have not been possible before remote work became normalized. I feel extremely fortunate to be in a job situation where I do not feel limited within the confines of my geographic location. The pandemic thrust me into the lifestyle of remote work; and strangely enough, I am actually very grateful. COVID-19 also exposed those companies that were unafraid to restructure and fearlessly tread into the sometimes-rocky waters that characterize virtual interactions. I found that companies that were willing to adapt and change represented a work force that aligned more with resiliency and innovation. I know now that Proximyl Health falls within this category. I’m excited to see where the future takes me as I continue to navigate remote work in the post-pandemic world.

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