Shout out to the young, black, educated and unemployed superstars out there…this post is dedicated to you! I know how it can be and after conversations with many of my friends, they know, too! Last night on the phone, one friend said “young.black.educated and unemployed…what’s that acronym for that, “YBEU”… is that what it’s called?!” It’s crazy that with all the stories we read online and all the images of “ourselves” we see on tv, no one really represents this group of survivors. I mean, in scripted tv, the “Tommy ain’t got no job” character from Martin doesn’t quite do it, and most aren’t quite like the “Lynn with 5 masters degrees and different career goal each episode” character from Girlfriends…well then again, maybe every couple weeks there may be a lil’ shift in the career goal, but that’s not like too cray cray and out the ordinary. In reality tv, we can’t quite relate to the Jen and Evelyn’s of bball wives, are not exactly married to the famed and fortuned boo’s with private jets like Tay Tay “get yo life” Braxton on BFV. Actually, there may be a few more commonalities with Asani, Mello’s fly and educated assistant on La La’s Full Court Life than..well…yea…Anyway, just wanted you to know you are in welcomed company here!
Some days may be tough as you feel a lil’ isolated in no man’s land when you see the successes of those around you, especially on facebook and twitter. And while you’re totally happy, supportive and excited to see all the greatness going on with your friends and acquaintances, sometimes it makes you wanna hide a lil’ deeper in the new comfortzone of your futon & m-i-a’ness (as you cross fingers, hoping no one asks to catch up or the latest going on with you). Some may be single, and so you really feel the “what in the world is going on with my life” syndrome, especially when you go home and people at church ask when you’re tying the knot and having kids since you’re “getting up there” or remind you how them books ain’t gonna keep you warm at night. Just know you’re a part of a group of superfly superstars that simply get to live life as if you’re a teenager on summer vacay…well, an extended summer vacay…with no definite end in site…and a tight budget…as you apply for jobs…go on interviews…and experience no one biting the bait.
Instead of focusing on the negatives during this time, count up the positives! Think about it, you wake up each day without anybody telling you what to do, when to be somewhere, how to do something or what your deadline will be for the latest assignment they gave you at the last minute. You get to be your own manager! You may have even despised your last job and co-workers anyway, so look at this as a blessing! Take this time to focus on YOU! Do the things you love, explore the things you’ve always been interested in. Got a business idea? Do some googling and figure out ways you can start it online. Reach out to movers and shakers in whatever the industry is and tell them you admire their work and would like to take them to coffee or a few moments of their time. See someone working your dream job? Maybe you can connect with them on Linkedin and see what happens from there…you have NOTHING to loose at this point in your life. Next thing you know, they may offer you a job, connect you with other colleagues they want you to meet, or invite you to some industry events!
During this time, it’s so easy to think about all the reasons why you WON’T succeed, but try taking a few seconds to think about all the possibilities WHEN you WILL succeed! Maybe you start your business online, market through your facebook and twitter statuses, next thing you know, you’ll be partnering with other superstars with your vision and on the cover of Black Enterprise…BOOM (and/or Entrepreneur magazine-shout out to the non-Black but can still relate to this plight readers out there)! Replace thoughts of your last job, reasons they prolly let you go, the way they strived to made you feel incompetent/worthless, or the injustices of the system there and COMBAT them with strategies you’ll use to positively lead others in your future company or ways you can be an effective employee, working smarter and not harder at your next job.
If you’ve been getting interviews, but can’t land the job, dust off every “you’re great but overqualified for the position” and “we’d love to hire you, but right now xyz..,” or straight generic thanks but no thanks e-mail and know each interview and/or application is one closer to the perfect job with your name on it. Those people who are turning you down just have no idea what they are denying. And that’s okay, you wouldn’t want to work with anyone who doesn’t know how AWESOME and AMAZING you are, anyway! Right now you’re in a star-cation…a time to hustle and grind FOR yourself, be your own A &R rep, brand the mess out of your skills and abilities and try out all the things you know you can do…especially to help others (ie, volunteering with a non-profit or community organization). Put your skills and abilities into practice any way you can (via hitting up your friends with their own businesses or side hustle to collab/flex your talents, etc.) and market that on your resume! Next thing you know, heavy hitters will be calling YOU to share your expertise with THEM!
So keep your head up superstars! Each day is a day closer to living your passion and dream…it just starts right now at this second! Make a to do list, filled with new activities each day..check out a museum or visit your local library. Google free events in your city. Go for a neighborhood walk…well, you know..if it’s safe. Put on some imaginary shades, like the lil’ boy in Big Daddy, and let them be your fly future focusers, the stunna shades that serve as lens to see only great things in store for your life. Let faith lead and remind you with each blink and step you take, you’re closer to living your destiny!
Anybody feel me? And to those who have been there and are now out of your starcation chapter, what was your journey like? What were the keys that helped you navigate throughout those pages of your book??? Shed a lil light on those who are still shining while on their star-cation.