Did anyone have a difficult career journey after college like mine?

Hi everyone! I just wanted to share my difficult career journey after I graduated from college (Spring 2021, which is not too long).

Buckle up; it’s venting time!

Since my first semester in college, I have always been confused about what to pursue as a major and career (like most students). But I still didn’t know what to do even in the last semester of my senior year. My background is in math/stats. Though I didn’t choose my major based on interest, as an international student, contemplating on what I like or not like is not an option; I had to pursue something that has a high demand and will eventually help me get a job/get into grad school (which would allow me to extend my stay in the U.S.) I know the job prospect is lucrative in this field. Still, I couldn’t see myself in a career involving stats/data/analysis. So, I slacked off for most of my college years, especially in my major courses.

Ironically, though I chose a major with a nice job prospect, I had difficulty finding a job after I graduated; I had to learn/relearn the technical skills needed for my field. I couldn’t accept the fact that my major was my whole life since my visa depended on it. I loathed everything about it; I struggled to show enthusiasm in job interviews (getting an interview is challenging per se, and when I would get one miraculously, my lack of motivation held me back from making a good impression). I had a rough time; at some point, I completely stopped socializing, especially dreading the question, “what do you do?”

I got a job in my field six months after graduating (it started as an internship, and I continued afterward). But it’s not a career I would talk about in detail (considering I’m working for a small startup that’s also struggling). My current job gives me a good experience in my field, but the pay is not good; it’s basically a stepping stone until I find a better opportunity. However, I’m grateful that it helped me extend my visa.

Now that I have accepted the fact that I’m stuck in this loophole, I’m trying my best to improve my technical/interview skills. Though it always hurts thinking that I have not landed a good job since graduation (or got into grad school). I’m in this situation primarily because I’m very stubborn; I hate going with the flow. If the majority pursues something (such as a career in tech), I automatically loathe it. I would lose all motivation even though my life depended on it (like having a good-paying job). I don’t know if I can change that part of me. Any thoughts, comments, or advice? Thanks for reading this far 🙂

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