On May 12 I entered life as an optimistic college graduate. I was ready to take on the real world. By the time my student loan grace period was over, I had merely become a talented networker who realized that the post-graduation life I once thought of as exciting was painstakingly tough.
Throughout my job search, I dealt with my fair share of curveballs. In fact, my first full time-position after college was in a restaurant (of all places) despite the promise I made when I entered the work force at age sixteen: I vowed to never work in a restaurant. Ever. Period. Six years later, with student loan debt piling and my post-college resume on standstill, I had no other choice. I put my picky eating values aside and worked in a restaurant, a task that was much easier said than done. During my ten months at the restaurant I had enough contact with chefs to last me a lifetime, I mistakenly expressed my honest opinion towards menu items one too many times and even faked sick for an entire week to avoid taste testing the seasonal menu changes with the entire restaurant staff. Working in the restaurant was quite an experience, to say the least.
When it came to my job search, I had a specific vision in mind and developed strategies to meet my goals. In many ways, I was as persistent as a picky eater who does not want to eat her mashed potatoes when she asked for French Fries.
For picky eaters, dining out is sometimes like swimming upstream. We know it will be a difficult task and we approach any opposition and obstacles with all the confidence we have. Picky eaters have a specific routine when ordering at restaurants – we know the questions to ask, the details to emphasize and the comments to leave out so that the experience is smooth. In the case that the order is too much for the server (or cook, or chef, whomever it may be) to handle, we politely request that our meal be replaced with what we asked for and settle for nothing less. Picky eaters don’t like being high maintenance, but we will always choose to be persistent over being hungry.
At the end of the day, whether it is picky eating or searching for a job, the real world is tough – and landing the job you dream of or receiving the correct meal without sending it back is even tougher.