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Up in the Air in 15 hours: thoughts on job hunting.

Current time: 9pm, Pacific Time, October 17

Tonight’s post is about you. By you, I mean every college student who is unsure of employment prospects in the near future. By you, I mean every recent college graduate still looking for work.

But before I talk about you, I want to talk about me.

In 15 hours, I’ll be taking off from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) en route to the Netherlands. I’ll be landing in Amsterdam at 9am, October 18, and leaving on November 2. Business trip with four colleagues.

Here’s the location we are staying at for the duration of the trip. Four bedroom house with the beach as the backyard.

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I’ll be back in the Bay Area for a few days, then off to Denver, Colorado from November 6-8 (est).

Back in San Francisco again for two weeks, then I say goodbye (again) to the Bay Area.

Off to Orange County for two days before going to McComb, Michigan from November 24-26 (est).

Fly home to Orange County for Thanksgiving.

And then the big move: I’m relocating to Taiwan in the second or third week of December, 2013. The company gave me the choice of working in San Francisco or in Taipei, and my heart chose the latter.

Up in the air.

I went to Washington D.C. for a summer job while looking for work in international relations, particularly with China or Taiwan. I left with a job lined up that allows me to travel the world and live in two of the best places on earth (San Francisco and Taipei, duh).

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First of all, I’m lucky. I don’t deserve what I do now more than anyone else. If anything, you [college student/recent graduate/unemployed person] can find exactly what you want to do as well.

What are the caveats? Let me tell you what I think.

I think we’re all Edisons. I think each of us has infinite potential waiting to be unleashed. Remember how many times Edison didn’t light up the room with that bulb, numbering in the thousands? Or Jordan, who was told by every one that he wouldn’t make the NBA? Well, do it. You are able to do anything when you set your heart and mind to it.

I think that we’re all human. In this culture, we’re told to hide all of our weaknesses and showcase all of our strengths. This has made it seem as if everyone is great. I saw this in Berkeley, where everyone talked about their achievements. I saw that in Washington D.C., where everyone talked about their job titles and college degrees. But guess what? You have failed a million times. I know this because I have failed just as many times. And that’s okay, as long as you get back up and try again.

I think that the quality of work matters more than quantity. Find something you are very passionate about and give it your all. See how far it can take you. Rather than jump around from activity to activity every month or semester, see how much impact you can make with one or two things. What matters if what you have done given the allotted time and resources: what magic did you conjure?

In the end, once again, we’re all Edisons. We all sound like inventors and hall of famers, because we’ve been taught to showcase all of our strengths while hiding all of our weaknesses. And in the end, we’re all passionate about something, and that passion gets lit up in the interview process. So, how the hell do you get that job?

I think that timing matters a lot. This includes having some luck. Of having friends who inform you of that window of opportunity. Of actively looking for opportunities that present itself. And of course, you’ll never know when the right timing is unless you keep trying.

So keep trying. Be the Edison, the Jordan. Get back up when you fall. Remain passionate. And you’ll find that timing.

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