Ask a Recruiter: How Can I Figure Out a Career Path When I've Had So Many Jobs?

Dear Recruiter,

I’ve been job searching on and off ever since I graduated six years ago with a degree in studio art and a minor in Spanish.

I’ve had a lot of different jobs; at the moment, I’m working as a cashier at a greenhouse.

This embarrasses me: I have a college degree, but the only position I can land is as a seasonal worker for ten dollars an hour. I feel like a complete failure.

I have some thoughts of what I want to do, and am extremely self-motivated, but I have no idea how that translates into a job. I can’t seem to convince any potential employers of my own potential.

What can I do to find my direction?

Signed,

Directionless

Hi Directionless,

Thanks for writing in. It’s hard grappling with feelings of embarrassment, especially when it feels like everyone around you is crushing it. At least once a week, I get anxious thinking of how young Mark Zuckerberg was when he founded Facebook. What have I been doing the past 10+ years!

First, I recommend buoying your spirits by reading about people who weren’t “successful” until later in life. For example: Did you know Ina Garten didn’t become Ina Garten until she was 51. Or, have you ever read this list of people who failed before they made it big.

Don’t look at the past six years as a waste. You’ve gained perspective along with valuable work experience that’ll help you secure your next position.

As a job seeker with a diverse background, you should focus on two things. First, explore what you’ve learned from your previous roles. This includes skills, but also insights into yourself and what roles and environments you thrive in. This will inform what positions you should pursue moving forward. I suggest getting started by reading these two articles:

With so many experiences under your belt you’ll likely see themes start to emerge—dive into those until you fully understand how they inform your next step.