“Do You Consider Yourself a ‘Happy Person?'”

ATTENTION: This is my 100th post on the Barefoot Aya! Wahoo!

An interview for a job I was perfectly qualified for that I thought I would enjoy came up and I had the answers to every single interview question but one:

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The Internal Productivity Struggle

How do you stop constantly assessing if you’re doing “enough” work?

Society plugged us into this capitalistic machine of wanting to do work and feeling satisfied when we do more work, or the most work. When have you truly done “enough?”

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“What Is Wrong With Me?”

Unemployment and feeling stuck makes you think some pretty weird things. Lately, it’s been giving me a bunch of anxiety and I am not a fan. I’m usually more of a “Woe is me, everything is corrupt and the world is only getting worse” kind of a person, but this time it’s different.

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There’s a Major Problem Recent Graduates Face That No One is Talking About

When I graduated college last May, I had a lot to be proud of. As the first person in my immediate family to graduate from college, I not only graduated Cum Laude, but with two degrees. I made a few films, including a documentary about the Natives who lived in the town I grew up in, a mixed-media animated art installation, I contributed to a projection mapping event, and had my work shown in a few galleries. I wrote stories, poems, and screenplays. I lead a group of honor students as President of my transfer honor society, wrote blog posts about really important things such as CCD and helping people learn how to reduce their carbon footprint. These blog posts convinced eight of my friends to try menstrual cups, about twenty of my friends to get rid of their chemical shampoos and try the no-poo method, and way more than twenty of my friends to switch to a natural deodorant. Even now, after posting some of those articles about a year or two ago, I still get texts or snaps from people telling me that I inspired them to try something new and make a positive change in their lives. I had a lot to be proud of.

Since January, I had been applying to jobs nonstop betwixt shooting and editing my senior thesis documentary, learning about globalization through literature, and freaking out about graduation. Despite a few responses from people who said they needed me to start the next week or that I could contact them once I moved to LA (which was the only thing I knew I was definitely going to do post-grad), I heard back from almost no one. I went to the Career Center and they helped me perfect my resume. I constantly updated my LinkedIn profile to no avail. By the time it hit August, after moving all of my stuff to Los Angeles, I had applied to about one hundred and fifty jobs – maybe more. I had written about a hundred unique cover letters for each position I applied for. I heard back from maybe five or six of those applications. So, that’s about a 3.3% response rate. This does not include any interviews or anything like that (because sometimes, I would have an interview and not receive a response either). This 3.3% response rate is just that – the amount of people who have responded to my job applications.

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