Big girl job, big girl life

This past year has been a difficult one. In many ways I think the time between graduating from college or university and finding your place in the world can be the scariest time of all. Some are lucky and find careers or husbands or amazing opportunities right away, but for the majority things don’t come as easily. Some would say, “You’re young! You’re free to do whatever you choose! The world is your oyster!” but what happens when choosing just one oyster could mean leaving all the other unopened ones behind.

That is where I found myself. Lost. Stuck between knowing which avenue to pursue, what would be best to suit the kind of life I want to lead. Do I travel? Do I save my money? Do I buy a house? Do I move cities just to get a change of perspective? – So many options with the pros and cons list long for each. All the while what I really wanted was to get a foot in the door with doing what I had studied and love.

I had gone to university for the country’s most prestigious journalism program. I had completed internships. I went to class and worked hard on assignments. I networked. I had done everything right but why was I having so much trouble finding anything, and why did it seem like everyone around me had a clear direction they were heading in while I was stuck shuffling my feet at the starting line?

Now I don’t mean to sound negative and act like I had a terrible, miserable year. I worked hard at the jobs I had. I bartended, I waitressed, I taught dance lessons and took up writing a blog you may have heard of. I made money and could spend money. I paid off my school debt. I had no reason not to have cocktails until two in the morning on a Tuesday night. Furthermore, throughout my time of confusion I had the two most important things going for me – a supportive family and group of amazing friends. At the end of the day, what else matters right?

But this post is to serve as inspiration for some of our readers that may find themselves in the same boat I did. Getting a job in your field is not the easiest thing in the world, and made even harder coming out of a recent economic downturn where tonnes of entry level jobs were abolished (especially in media outlets). Many of my fellow classmates struggled or are still struggling to get a foot into the iron-clad door. My message for anyone feeling a little panicked is that there is hope; you just have to keep trying and trying.

After a year of spending countless hours scouring job postings, updating my resume and re-writing my cover letter I had my very first interview – and I aced it.

A true stepping stone in what I hope will be a long career in journalism I landed myself a spot as a reporter writing for a community newspaper. Instead of spending my days staring out the window of the restaurant I worked at thinking… “I have a degree and I’m passionate about what I studied… What. Am. I. Doing.?” I now write between 10 – 14 articles a week. I have a desk, I’m buying a car and I know what my schedule is going to be before the week starts. I refuse to let myself become 40 at the age of 23 and forget what it’s like to have a little fun, but I have purpose and an excuse not to make every month a series of week-long benders. 

I look at this opportunity as a new beginning and recently made a few life changes to fix the things that were making me unhappy. The best part is that I no longer cringe when people ask, “So what’re you up to these days?” – a question I used to be embarassed to answer. This job is not where I envision myself working for the rest of my life but when I submitted that first story and my boss told me it was written expertly I beamed knowing that within the past year I didn’t forget everything I’d learned. In fact, I probably learned some of life’s most important lessons without evening realizing it… In a nutshell.

My desk :)

Stay tuned on my  “big girl job” mini series: Buying a car for someone who knows nothing about cars, and re-vamping my wardrobe with business appropriate attire!

This entry was posted in Lifestyle, Thoughts and tagged , , , by Catherine Kitts. Bookmark the permalink.

About Catherine Kitts

Catherine (@catkitts) has been known to put her party dress on at the drop of a hat and will rarely say no to a new adventure. After completing her Bachelor of Journalism at Carleton University, she worked at the editor of a local newspaper for three years before trading hard news for the world of communications, marketing and advertising. Constantly juggling hectic work and social schedules, she always makes time for some of her biggest passions: news, sports, pop culture, cuisine, literature and many others. You can expect her to cover a wide variety of topics, keeping her finger on the pulse of Ottawa, her hometown - a city she's grown to love. *Bad Habit: never wanting to miss out *Favourite Food: pickles *Favourite Restaurant: El Camino *Wine of Choice: whatever Kate is drinking *Favourite Band: (solo artist?) Justin Timberlake *Favourite Song: Dancing in the Dark - Springsteen *Fashion Icon: Lauren Conrad *Political Affiliation: none *Favourite Movie: Back to the Future, Kindergarden Cop, Jurassic Park, Drive. *TV Series: Seinfeld *Sport: Hockey / Football *Team: Ottawa Senators / Seattle Seahawks *Favorite Book: Great Expectations - Charles Dickens, Freedom - Jonathan Franzen. ** To contact Catherine write her at :

2 thoughts on “Big girl job, big girl life

  1. This blog makes me think a lot about my own life, and the things i’ve done in these last six months to fill my time (as a recent graduate of Carleton U). I don’t think that you should have been embarrassed when answering ‘what you’re doing now’, but you can’t help how you feel. I think i’ve learned to embrace the unknown and relax more. I’ve enjoyed every job i’ve had during school, or jobs i’ve had during my time off after graduating. BUT of course they are not in the field I wish to be. I think as long as you’re content in the end, and like you said we’re lucky to have good friends and family supporting us. ON A LIGHTER NOTE: Congrats!! And it’s nice to know if you work hard at finding the right job the outcome is immense joy!

    • So glad you read and relate to our blog Daniela! I should have made it clear that I in no way look down on people that work in the service industry or any other for that matter. All the nuts have spent a stint or two waitressing and actually I’m not even quitting my bar job because a) it’s fun and b) it’s AMAZING money. I also have met some of my very best friends working in these jobs and wouldn’t ever want to replace the memories I have made with them. I was embarassed only because I personally wasn’t happy with what I was doing with my time and felt I didn’t have many exciting life updates to share. The hospitality industry can be wearing and after such a long time of working sooo many hours I was simply worn out. Like I said the past year of my life has been such a learning experience and I think it’s definitely due to those months “off” that got me where I am today. I’m just thrilled to be thinking creatively again and to now be doing what I love, writing. (…in a nutshell ;))

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