The Experience

When I was seventeen, I believed in the world ahead of me.  In possibilities, and opportunities.  In grand romance, and wild freedom.

Three and a half years later, I’ve moved back home.  Things didn’t all pan out the way I planned.  The collegiate experience will forever be the life I only got a taste of.  I went into that life a girl, and in the summer, all those boxes I never unpacked when I came back will be transferred to the house I share with my husband now that I’m a woman.  All of the experience from the past year: my 9-5, The Budget, this sparkly ring on my left hand, the “real world” — none of it can be undone.  It can’t be un-experienced.  Possibilities were narrowed.  Opportunities came and went.  Some were taken; others were not.  And more still will be decided.

I know what people think when they see me as a representation for my company.  I know what marketing blogs and infographics say about companies who hire 20-somethings to fill the rapidly-spreading need to manage social media.  They say we can’t possibly know where to start on a social media marketing initiative; we don’t have the experience.  They say we’re fickle and restless.  But to be fair, those articles and statistics are referring to recent graduates.

I refer to myself as a young professional.  According to the Chamber of Commerce we belong to, their Young Professionals organization is intended for professionals in the area ranging in age from 21-40.  But I guess you can just rule me out of that one.  I don’t qualify.

Yes, I am 20 years old.  I work at an insurance agency managing social media, small marketing projects, web development, answering phones, and the coffee.  I am getting married in 6 months.  I dropped out of college over a year ago because I couldn’t afford it, and I didn’t qualify for any more aid.  I am paying back the loans, as I simultaneously even out the balance I left on my school account.  My parents have agreed to cohabiting while my fiance and I pay for our modest wedding and plan for our first year of marriage.

I’ve had people look at me strangely when I tell them I work at an insurance agency.  I’ve had them make the “were you even born when…” jokes.  People still call me “sweetie” or “hon” when I answer the phone.  I actually had a man at a chamber event tell me getting married was a mistake.  Because I lacked experience.

What exactly does it look like I’m doing, sir?

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One thought on “The Experience

  1. It is a funny world we’re fighting to get into. We, the young professionals, try to fight out way in with our fresh energy and open mind, but we’re fighting into a world that has rules and who are stuck in their ways. I think social media is an amazing tools that has literally grown up with our generation. The 20-somethings know social media. It was invented during our “era”. I think its hard for the veterans to understand sometimes. I think they know its needed but sometimes I wonder if they think its just another trend. There’s so many possibilities and new doors that open when your company starts using social media. I’ve been reading articles all week on LinkedIn about the great advantageous and misuse of social media.

    Keep fighting the good fight! My dad actually sells insurance so I know the world can be a little dry. It does sounds like an awesome opportunity though, where you can start a whole new PR advantage for them and show them how important you are! Good luck!

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