The Island of Lost is Real, and I Work There!

The Island of Lost has a problem letting go

It’s a tough economy, and being an ’09 graduate, I have come to fully understand and experience the frustrating job market out there. May marked my one year anniversary of graduating from Temple University. I’m very aware of this anniversary, because I’ve now been unemployed for over a year. I’ve applied to over 40 jobs without even a whiff of employment. The other day I was denied from two employment opportunities. The first rejection e-mail came at the start of my afternoon, and the second at the end of my day.

So, in honor of my latest failure to land a job, and Lost’s departure from our television lives, I’ve decided to talk about what I call the Island Effect.

Lost centered around the lives of Oceanic flight 815 passengers who fatefully crashed onto a mysterious island they just couldn’t escape. No matter what their efforts, they found themselves on the coastline, staring out into an endless blue. Even when a few of them managed to get back to civilization (with beard and all), they inevitably found themselves back on the island, held by its unrelenting grasp.

Welcome to Angelino’s Restaurantmy island.

Angelino's Restaurant has a problem letting go, too.

I crash landed into Angelino’s in November 2006 as a counter boy. I had to masquerade as both student and employee. I stood behind my counter for three years, answering phones, serving customers and doing homework. My class and work schedules often conflicted, and in my last year of school, I often had to choose between showing up to class and getting fired, or showing up to work and failing tests.

Angelino’s wasn’t somewhere I wanted to be, but as long as I needed cash, it was where I was fated to be.

And just like the survivors of Oceanic flight 815 in the first few episodes of Lost, I knew without a doubt that I would eventually be saved.

My “Someone will come for us!” was “Graduation will set me free!”

Well, it’s been over a year now, and that endless blue hasn’t gone anywhere.

I was supposed to fly away from Angelino’s on the wings of my bachelor’s degree. I, like any naive, recent graduate, told myself that I wouldn’t be at Angelino’s come that September.

That restaurant was my college job. It represented being stuck at the point in my life where I was still a kid able to use learning as an excuse to not yet have the job. It symbolized my inability to access the “real world.” But I need the money, right? Car payments…insurance…life. This, of course, doesn’t mean I have to stay at Angelino’s. I could go work at another restaurant, or in retail like I did at Borders for a few months. But, fundamentally, it wouldn’t make a difference. No matter if I’m at Borders, or restaurant B or C, they are all Angelino’s. They are all the same job. When the castaways reached Hydra Island, they were still trapped. It was still the island.

This is the Island Effect. No matter how many jobs I apply for, no matter the opportunities I take up, I end up back behind that counter, the paper and plastic bags the island’s grass beneath my feet.

Angelino’s does whatever it can to prevent me from leaving. A few weeks ago, my boss prohibited us all from reading and writing during work. This is a big dent to me, because having my books on the counter have lead to some great networking with customers. I’ve even gotten writing opportunities because of this.

So, like a true Jacob, my boss puts in measures that gravitates me to the counter, and has even told me that I’m wasting my time trying to have a life off the shores of Angelino’s.

I’m obviously not the only one feeling the Island Effect. When the economy went down, massive layoffs ensued. People who have worked 15-20 years in their profession are now applying for entry level jobs or selling coffee at Starbucks.

One of my co-workers had a job in his field, and his company was even going to pay for him to get his masters degree. Right before he was to start his classes, though, he was laid off, the sands of Angelino’s refusing to let him go.

Often, I find myself working with John Lockes on the island. They are the ones who have nested and adapted. Some of them even start to believe in the island, and refuse to leave, no matter how many master degrees they have. They have bought into the un-fullfilling safety that the island offers. Especially in this economy, those who may be stuck at that retail job, look at it as, “Well, I have a job. And that’s good enough.”

But I mustn’t buy into that.

I just don’t believe. I don’t believe I’ll forever be the steward of the counter. No matter how hard Angelino’s tries to convince me otherwise. I have to believe that somehow, someway the sideways notion that I will have an actual career is real.

“Pick up or delivery?” and the constant ringing phone are my button. I must keep answering that phone, must keep asking that question in belief that it’s all for a reason…that this job is all part of some cosmic master plan to land me my career.

My great fear is to have my career die on the counter of Angelino’s, and, instead of a dog, have it die next to my loyal- but usually not full- tip jar. Like on Lost, the Island Effect leads to desperation. But it does teach you about faith. It forces you to believe in yourself as long as you hold on to the desire to leave the island. You have to believe in yourself, and keep fighting, and keep paying your dues if you’re going to survive.

The moment you give in to the Island Effect, your career is truly lost.


152 thoughts on “The Island of Lost is Real, and I Work There!

    • Thanks! I sincerely hope it doesn’t take you as long as it’s taken me so far to land somewhere. I actually got a little more scared once I realized there’s a whole new graduating class out there. Congrats on graduating.

    • Thanks! I’ve been trying real hard to hold on. The key I’m finding so far is to take a lot of work for free in hopes to pretty up the resume and eventually impress someone. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  1. It is hard out there. I have someone close to me that couldn’t even find a job in retail for almost a year after her graduation from college. Alot of times it is all in who you know. People can get lucky and start a conversation with someone and find a good job. It is how I moved into the job I am in.

    • Yes, networking I’ve heard, and come to realize, is the most important thing to do right now. Some times, though, it’s frustrating, because you start to think, “Well, it’s not like I know any one important enough to get me some places,” but it’s all about getting out there and meeting new people, and making new contacts whenever possible. Never throw away business cards. Thanks for reading!

  2. Well said. There are lots of little islands out there. Mine is the freelance job that I’ve had for the last 2 years. It pays the bills and the island breezes are pleasant but I’m still working at building an escape raft.

    • the escape raft thing. I’ve done a little freelancing. Just had an article come out in Pennsylvania Magazine, but am no where close to making “real” money off of the freelance thing. I hope freelancing really takes off for you. It’s certainty the dream to be a freelance writer, essentially being your own boss. Thanks for reading!

  3. I am having the same problems, it really is quite frustrating knowing that you could do so much for a company, but due to absolutely no experience you are always turned down.

    • Yes, it’s the experience thing that always kicks my butt. I come across a ton of entry level jobs that I feel like I’m qualified for, because I’m a recent graduate, but then those entry level jobs want at least 2 years of experience…but how am I supposed to gain experience if the entry level jobs want experience!? Sorry…felt myself start to rant a little. Hopefully your problems let up. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

  4. Don’t give up! A degree doesn’t always guarantee you success. It just opens more doors for you as you gain experience. Persevere, you’ll eventually find something in your field! Great post!

    • Thanks! Yes…I’ve been hearing, and noticing, that a bachelors degree has basically become the equivalent of a high school degree, and a masters degree has become the same as a bachelors. Frustrating! I’ve definitely come to realize that networking is worth more than any degree. Thanks for reading!

  5. Do not miss the boat! Your answer is right before you. Write a tv script about a guy who works in a greasy spoon to make ends meet while he is going to Unv and/or trying to get work (any work) as a writer…sitcom stuff. Lots of opportunity for adventures. Stage it in New York. Hope my two cents help. I struggle, too. On my contest blog there is a chance to win an iPod Nano…just until June 16. Not put on by me, though. Twitter and DOVE.

    • I would totally watch that show! Film and video is actually a huge part of my degree, and I’ve been trying to find the time to film a web series that is very close to that idea. Hopefully at some point. Thanks for reading and your two cents!

  6. Like this site ;p ! I’m really like your Lost analogy. Made me thinking of my future…hope you’ll get your dream job asap!

  7. Wow I feel like this post hits home. I love the show Lost and this was a great way to bring two worlds together as they also did in the show. I feel your pain but I have also seen the brighter side now. I graduated from college as a male with an early childhood degree. Everyone that I crossed paths with told me how easy it would be to land a job teaching as a male. Well in my first year in “the real world” I was at two schools, cut from both, and ended up living off of a think income from substitute teaching. I had recently gotten married and added a number of new financial responsibilities under the assumption that ” of course I will find a job.” Man was that first year hard. However, I am now at a school that has me locked in for a while and it has been a huge blessing to be there. If things had worked out in my timing then I probably would be somewhere that I really didn’t want to be. You don’t see it when its happening but be patient and something better than you would have planned will show its face and you will be blessed for your patience. Take one day at a time and give that day the best of yourself.

    • That’s exactly what I keep telling myself. To view every missed opportunity as a gateway to another. It’s just hard a lot of the time to keep that view when you’re in the middle of dealing with it all. Every time I get rejected from something, I wallow for a little while, but then do realize that I just have to keep on going, because what else am I going to do? Keep saying pick up or delivery all my life? No. So, I’m trying the one day at a time thing. Congrats on things working out for you. I’m happy to hear you got your job, and got married and all of that great stuff. Anyone who goes through this sort of frustrating time period deserves to get the life they’re working toward. Thanks for reading and the advice!

  8. Do not give in, man. You are a seriously kickass writer. My advice, just look at Angelin’s as a means to an end, take advantage of all your time off The Island to pursue writing, blogging or whatever it is you’re passionate about in your free time that will eventually keep you off The Island even if it’s not landing you a career right now. It’s what I do, and I’ve got my own Island at work, and even though it’s not a reality just yet, it will be. You are not The Man in Black.

    • I seriously hope I’m not the Man in Black (I would never want to have those sort of mommy issues)! But, yes, seriously, I am trying to look at Angelino’s as a means to an end. I look at it like…this is something I have to keep doing…the due I have to continuously pay for the moment until something great happens. I’m certainty trying my hardest to keep up the dream while I’m not physically behind that counter. Although, I will admit it gets depressing when I’m working on a piece, and then realize I have to go behind that counter in a couple of hours. But just gotta keep moving! Good luck with what you yourself are pursuing! I hope it works out, and becomes a successful reality. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  9. If I were in your shoes, I would use this as an opportunity to study further.

    A lot of my friends have studied further due to recession (not the present one but the one before this a few years back). Give it a thought.

    • I have definitely giving going back to school a thought. If it were up to me, and if I had the money, I would seriously get 3 master degrees. For now, though, I feel like I’m at the point where I want to work, and contribute to the world and my industry. But that is great advice, and something I just may end up doing somewhere down the line. I know a couple of people that have just started taking online classes for their masters. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • thanks! I’ve been meeting people who’ve had to go through everything I’m going through, and they’ve survived. That gives me hope. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  10. Great analogy! I too worked at Angelino’s for many years and with 3 kids decided to finally finish my bachelor’s degree. The dream that I would be truly free was realized when I graduated in 2008, couldn’t get a job, and now needed to start paying off all those student loans! Woohoo a BS degree in Psych is the perfect “undergrad” degree, but thought of going for a graduate degree makes me feel like sticking hot pokers in my eyes!! Don’t even get me started about the cost…I’ll just keep plugging along, reading my self-help career books, working and writing. I know I’ll be off the island someday, I have to.

    • I sincerely hope you get off of your island! The whole going to graduate school thing and spending even more money makes me feel not well, too. I had been considering it, but really would just like to work. Congratulations on graduating! I can’t even begin to imagine going to school..taking classes…and at the same time have to take care of 3 children. That’s definitely something special. I have nothing but respect for you. With all of that hard work and dedication you put in, I’m sure you’ll get the greatness that the universe is waiting to give you. Good luck! And thanks for reading!

  11. You’re a very good writer, don’t give up. I tell my friend Vanessa to do something everyday in terms of finding a job – to put out the positive energy on a daily basis, this world we live in currently is not forever, it’s in the meantime.

    Just submit your work to various magazines – flood the internet with your work – you need the right person to see it.

    I enjoyed your blog/article – I miss Lost!

    • Yes, I think the most important thing is to simply just keep at it…to keep plugging away and try to not let it all get you down…even though at times that just seems impossible. Thanks for the advice. I’m definitely trying to do just that…just getting stuff out there and crossing my fingers. Thanks for reading! And good luck to your friend!

  12. I graduated in 2009 as well, I was a journalism, sociology, communications triple major…I love to write. I am employed but not in my field and I am resenting every minute of it. My suggestion to get your foot in the door check out communication departments at corporations and non profit associations.

    • I always appreciate a fellow ’09 grad and writer. Sorry to hear you’re having resentments right now. Journalism right now is so hard to get into (that’s what I’m aiming for). I have been trying to do the whole non-profit thing, and am apart of one, but on a volunteer basis. I keep being told that it takes a year..and maybe a little more for you to get a job in your hopefully that becomes true for both of us. Thanks for reading!

  13. I agree with the TV Show idea… I’d watch it too. I’m on the island as well… only I don’t have a degree… and I have tons of experience. 22 years of sales and marketing. I live in a very small town so the opportunities are limited here… but I know that feeling so well. Wishing for an escape raft. The boss that creates situations to keep you from advancing because that would be inconvenient for them. I think a lot of people feel trapped in their situation… my greatest fear also … is dying at this desk.

    • Thanks for reading! I totally believe that actual experience is worth more than ANY degree. So, the 22 years sounds so impressive to me (can I borrow some of your experience?). Sorry to hear about your boss. It saddens me so much when others get in the way of a person reaching their goals. No one should have to feel trapped. I sincerely hope you one day find a way to get off that desk. Maybe even go off to another town (if there are no attachments that is)?

  14. UGH. You and me both. Only thing is? I was a John Locke. Adapting, becoming faithful.. and a Ben came along and killed me. Yup. Got fired. And now, there is nothing to move on to, but I see my ex coworkers all scrambling to do something that I now see is pointless….

    • In a way are you happy that you got fired, or are you desperately hurting for money? I hate that we have to ask this question between being happy with what one does for a living, and money. I liked that you compared getting fired to Ben killing you (although I don’t like the firing part..sorry to hear about that). Thanks for giving the time to read this!

  15. I love the Island Effect….my job is ending after 8 years and I’m a little inured, I hate to say, and nothing else is quite good enough…pretty soon everything will be good enough, at least I hope.
    Thanks for the good read.

    • If the Island Effect is good for you, then the more power to ya. There is definitely nothing wrong with those who choose or like to do the jobs that aren’t in their field. I hope whatever you find works out great for you! And thanks for reading!

  16. This was an absolutely excellent blog post and one that hit me to the core. I’ll be graduating with a bachelor’s in 18 months and am desperate to leave my life as a slave to the restaurant business behind. While our situations are slightly different, I know the looming fear of being ever sucked back into the island, but I know that you and I will prevail!

    Keep at it, brother.

    • First off, congratulations on graduating in 18 months. I seriously hope the job search goes a lot better for you than it has for me after you’re done school. I have a special place in my heart for those who go to school and work at a restaurant at the same time, because I did it for three years, and it wasn’t pretty at all. Hopefully it all pays off for you rather quickly. I too believe we’ll both find what we’re looking for! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  17. I feel ya man! I feel like I am on an Island ! I feel more like Ben Linus though! I grew up in a small town called Indian Trail,NC and its like a Dharma Camp! I grew up in it yet the others were always calling my name to come! When I finally left my Dharma Camp and joined the others my reality changed! I wasn’t always good but I wasn’t always bad! Now I am more like Jack and I like it that way! Keep Lost Alive :]

    -Jonathan Weaver

    • haha…I like your transformation from Ben to Jack. I’m happy to hear you’re happy with where you’re at! That’s great. Some times, a change in reality is exactly what one needs to get things right. Thanks for the read, Ben…i mean Jack!

  18. This is a great blog post! I’m also a 09 graduate and I’ve been doing internships and contract work since and it’s been frustrating to say the least! But you’re right, having faith is important and as long as you avoid all those news articles that tell us we’re the screwed ‘Lost Generation’ I think we’ll be ok…

    • I try to block out those “you’re screwed” articles as best I can. There’s no need to hear or read about it when you’re living through it! Keep up the internships though. I just got two internships..unpaid..but hey, whatever looks good on the resume, right? Good luck with your search! I’m sure we’ll eventually be okay.

  19. Written very well, however long. As you mention “believing in your self” is the key. Gathering of resources is another. Building your own empire (e.g., a sole-proprietorship) is engaging and can begin as a vision to a part-time committment until. Mmm, mm, mm. Do not become forlorn, dependent upon others’ gratuities. Be a leader, wherein others will depend upon you.
    Food for thought……….

    • Thanks for the advice. I’m keeping at the whole gathering of resources thing with volunteer work and internships…anything I can do to keep on networking. Networking is probably worth more than my actual degree ever can be. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  20. Good to know! I’m studying for my last finals as a graduating senior and already freakin’ out about my future! I’m an English Literature student and would LOVE to become a writer, but of course, everybody is warning me about nojobville for a future starving artist! Hope things get better 🙂

  21. This is definitely… reassuring! I’m studying for my last finals before I graduate and I’m thinking of my future and what to do later on. I’m an English Literature major and would LOVE to be a writer, but of course, everybody around me makes it their job to tell me aalll about the “nojobville” that waits for a starving artist! I’m sure things will get better though 🙂

    • Please don’t listen to those who tell you your degree will lead to nowhere. I’m so tired of people putting others down for the degree that they want. Keep pursuing your goals! What kind of writer would you like to be? I used to be an English major, and wanted to do a lot of creative writing..and write my novel one day, but my school lacked any real number of creative writing classes, so I switched to communications where I could get into script writing and journalism. Keep on writing, and good luck with graduation! Thanks for reading!

  22. I applied to 40 jobs per month until I got the one I wanted. I spent hours researching the kinds of companies I might want to work for then I made a list, dressed to impress, grabbed a fresh stack of resumes, references, and work samples, and started dropping-by every week or so. I would not ask for a job; instead I would tell them I am looking for a job and asked for their advice or referral. Several of them said they had nothing permanent but offered me part-time work. The part-time job I loved the most turned into a full-time job. You only fail if you fail to give it your best effort.

    • I definitely respect the amount of dedication and work you put into getting a job. Right now I’m really working at it with volunteering and taking on internships in hopes of bulking up that resume and doing works in my field. Thanks for reading and the motivation.

  23. Wow! That was amazing! I hope you will find your career soon – though, it looks like you have one here. You are an amazing writer! I hope some awesome opportunity opens up for you. Good luck, Sam!

    • Thanks so much for the vote of confidence. I appreciate you even taking the time to read my post. Thanks for reading and thanks for the wishes of luck!

  24. Hey, great post. I work with international students and trying to get a companies to sponsor an international work permit has been terrible the last two years. But my students have applied for literally hundreds of jobs each. You mustn’t give up hope, turn those 40 aps into 100 or more, you never know.

    Good luck.

    • Thanks so much for the luck. I’m keeping at it with volunteering and internships…and the resumes will be going out even more in bulk. I hope so much that your students have great luck getting the jobs they want. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  25. Wow! I simply love this post. Thank you so much for sharing. I really loved how you pulled Lost references with your situation at work, and I can totally identify with how you are feeling. I haven’t graduated college yet, but I’m scared I won’t be able to find a job when I graduate as I am going into print journalism – a dying industry I’m told. Nevertheless, I am very passionate about it and I try to stay optimistic that I will be able to do something I love. Every summer or vacation period, I return to my high school job at a movie theater. It’s fairly easy, but – like you said – I can’t wait to get off the island and start my real life!

    • I love that you are going into print journalism! Print journalism is what I have also been trying to get into for some time now. I am saddened whenever I hear anyone speak about newspapers and magazines as though they are dead. These type of media offer a personal touch that the internet simply cannot offer. I wish you all the luck in the world with getting a job in print journalism. This is something I truly believe in, and hope never truly dies off. I will have my fingers crossed for you that it doesn’t take as long for you to get a job as it has for me. I’m sure we’ll both leave our islands behind! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  26. Don’t lose heart, no matter what you do. I, too, graduated with a bachelor’s degree and went for about a year unemployed – and this was some (ok- mid-to late 1990s…) years ago when there even wasn’t a recession!! I have to say- I was completely unemployed- now THAT is soul-destroying.. at least you do have Angelo’s to go to and money coming in- so don’t look gift horse in the mouth as they say… (ok bad analogy but hopefully you know what I mean..) and a place to go to and see people every day etc. My “advice” is start volunteering, take internships, try to score freelance opportunities…network onlin (through your blog) etc… when you cast the net out there- it will come to you. As so many times in life, maybe not in the shape or form or timing that you envisioned… but it will. You are not defined by your “day” job. Remember that!

    • Hey, thanks for the advice. That’s exactly what I’ve been hearing..that it takes one about a year and maybe a little more to land a job in their field. With car payments that seem to decide to show up every month, I don’t think I could of survived having no money coming in at all. I have much respect for what you went through. I am already volunteering and now have two internships….hopefully they all lead to some sort of income in the future as they pretty up the resume. Thanks for the advice! And thanks for reading in the first place, of course.

  27. Great post and I enjoyed your writing. It’s hard when you can’t see the end in sight but you’ll look back on it when you’re in a job you want to be in and it will seem like it was a flash in time (like Lost).

    • That is exactly the problem. I feel like I do have the determination to keep at it, but it’s frustrating when you don’t see an end in sight…when you’re in the middle of paying your dues. I would certainty love to leave Angelino’s in the flashes of time. Hopefully soon! Thanks for reading!

    • Hey, thank you for taking the time to read this. I really appreciate it. Thanks for sending me the link to your friend’s blog, too. Definitely looks like I can relate, and I can see that the latest post is about Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along, so I’m already sold. Thanks!

  28. This is beautifully and entertainingly written — there is a temptation, when reading blogs, to flip skip your way through to the end, but your essay kept me riveted. Very wry, very funny, focused, tight.

    Wherever your future takes you, writing will be a part of it.

    • The greatest compliment one can give a writer is to simply read his/her piece. So, thanks for just taking a look, and for the compliment! Definitely appreciate the vote of confidence.

  29. This is a brilliant piece of writing and I love the Lost Analogy.

    I know exactly how you feel, the 30th July will be my one year anniversary of graduation and my one year anniversary of unemployment. During this time I have traveled a little, applied for 5 places for work experience, waited for a Canadian work permit and applied to a whole bunch of jobs but to no result.

    I have worked in a couple of shops during high school, one being a busy supermarket where you were always on the go so no time for milling around, the other was a corner shop – very quiet – and without being allowed to write and read whilst on the job I would have lost my mind.

    Wishing you luck and success, as well as to other graduates who are having a hard time.

    • I really hope you find some luck soon. I told this to someone else on here..but I do keep hearing that it’s supposed to take at least a year and maybe some more to find a job in one’s field. Hopefully us..and all of the grads…don’t have to wait much longer. I used to be able to read and write at work, and that helped me keep some sanity and get some writing done..but now that’s been taken away, and it hurts. Hopefully things work out for us!

  30. Wow, I’m so glad I stopped watching that never ending series to nowhere! I mean really, that series is designed just to suck you in and waste your time. I have to admit though, I watched three freakin seasons!

    • ahhhh..but you missed the great surprises of the next seasons! I actually didn’t watch a single episode of Lost until this very year. I sat down at my computer, got onto hulu, and watched 90 something episodes of Lost. I admit it sucked me right in, and I became a believer in its greatness. Thanks for reading!

  31. When you start out, it’s such a “catch 22”. Need experience, but how do ya get it if no one will give you a chance. … This is the time to struggle, if you must, …no family responsibilities yet…those “Huggies” are expensive! Keep focused. All the best!

    • Yes, that is exactly the problem. I apply to all of these entry level jobs like I should, because I have the degree now, but I don’t have much experience. So, I apply to these entry level jobs to get experience, only to find out that these jobs want like 2 years of experience…but how am I to get those years of experience if the entry level job won’t hire me?! It is certainly a frustrating time out there. And you’re completely right. I’m lucky that I don’t have those family responsibilities right now. Although, it’s frustrating because I’m working toward at least get started on that…but have no money! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  32. hehe, nice, but,,, I was expecting something more like, I dunno, did any of the cast members stop by your restaurant or.. did you meet them? did you at least see them in the shoot of Lost????
    do you live in Hawaii?
    you are so lucky to be there in the same island.

  33. Awesome post. I was on this island for about 7 months… my dad was laid off as well and got called back 9 months later. Keep your head up and don’t give in. It will get better. (I live in Cali where the unemployment rate keeps rising)

    • I have heard just how horrible it is out there in Cali. I wish all the luck to you! Glad to hear that your dad got his job back. And I assume things are going well for you since you said you were only on the island for 7 months? I hope so. Thanks for reading!

    • Thanks! I am trying to keep the determination. I am going to keep the determination (that sounded more determined). I realize that giving up is the option that I will never take. Thanks for reading!

  34. There’s plenty of us in the same boat so don’t lose hope! I just recently graduated but I’ve been job hunting since the beginning of my last year and so far still no luck. I guess there’s no other way but just to keep on trying heh?

    Just like most of the characters in lost, if we keep fighting the island maybe someday we’ll all break free.

    • Yes, there’s nothing to do but keep trying. The dues must keep getting paid until it all finally works out. Just gotta keep the hope going is all. I hope you find something very soon. Good luck to us all! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  35. You know what Sam, you are right. You can’t get too comfortable, or too unhappy. I think life is all about balance. And we’re all trying to find it I suppose.
    You never know where life is going to lead you, but more often than not, it is not where you expected. 😉
    I enjoyed your post, and your LOST comparisons. Good read!

    • Yes…that’s how I keep trying to keep myself optimistic. Life is extremely unexpected..and every missed or neglected opportunity opens up a path to a new, and hopefully, better one. That’s the hope, anyway! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

  36. It’s interesting with me because I was one of those few kids who didn’t dream of really doing anything when they “grew up.” I had hobbies I loved to do, and I love to write and do it in my free time, but besides that I wasn’t sure and my first job was being a dog groomer, which I did for 2 years. I didn’t like dogs, so don’t ask me why I went for it, except I’d rather work with dogs than people. Now I’m a massage therapist working professionally for 2 years, but I know when I got out of massage school it was hard getting a job. No one wanted a therapist just out of school tha they had to train and had 0 experience. So, I know what you mean with the rejection, it’s frustrating but you can’t let it keep you down. Good luck with finding your perfect job and getting off the island!

    • It’s certainly true that one never knows where he/she’s gonna end up…no matter how many dreams he/she has. And after working retail, and service, I think a part of me rather work with dogs than humans, too. Thanks for the encouragement..and for reading!

  37. Great analogy of Lost and your life experience. Lost has been my favorite show and by reading this post, somewhat I can relate to it as well. I guess for my case, I’d be “John Locke” ? haha…I’ve been stuck working at this one place which I knew it’s a dead end career but in this hard economy, it pays my bills etc. Also I am scared to jump to another place and start all over again, and who knows if it might end up same thing as where I am now. OH well sorry for the rant. Great post btw.

    • Yes, with this economy, it certainly is important to have some sort of income coming in. I’m barely surviving with the money from the restaurant right now. And it’s certainty scary out there…no doubt about that. Good luck with things in the future! Thanks for reading and the rant.

    • I hope you get off that island again one day. There are a lot of dangerous things off of it..but that’s the fun, and point of it, right? Good luck with everything! Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • I was actually supposed to graduate in May 07..but transferred schools…changed Majors…picked up a Minor… I really hope things start to look up for you. At one point I was doing the retail thing and the restaurant thing at the same time…and people should only have to do retail for a limited amount of time…because it will drive you crazy… Good luck getting out! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  38. I find it ironic that I’m responding to your post as I sit in a hotel lobby located in O’ahu. Eight years ago, I was exactly where you were, trying to break free from a job I despised but couldn’t leave since; one,it was a means to be financially stable, and two, no one would give me the chance to show them what I could do. Cliff notes version: I abandoned my “career” and found myself in a field that I didn’t much care for. Yes, it paid the bills, but there was this sense of not belonging, of not seeing where I was going five, ten years from now. Let me tell you, it’s an empty feeling that compromise, that knowledge that you short changed yourself. So, here I am, after eight years, chasing my dream again, armed with the fire in my gut and a steely resolve. As cheesy as it sounds, don’t compromise. Don’t settle for less and keep on going down that road. Don’t stop believing in yourself and in your dreams. Best of luck to you!

    • It’s sad how much “pay the bills” can take over one’s entire life. It sucks that you had to spend so much time in a job that you didn’t much care for. I’m glad to hear that you’re chasing your dream again, though. I certainly won’t compromise if you don’t. Hopefully we all do have that fire to carry on, and make our dreams come true. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  39. A career is much more important than a job. Recent grads need to know this fact and engage in as much school work as possible to truly have a career and not a “lost” job all their lives. Some extra cash is a bonus and may be necessary for some, but teachers should stress to their students how important it is not to get sucked into the job market to early, and focus on something that they truly are interested in for the future.

    • Exactly. What’s the point of going to school….getting into debt…getting a degree..if you’re never going to attempt to actually use it. Hopefully those stuck will get out. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  40. It will work out for you…it may take more years at the restaurant and /or schooling with an adventure in “regentrifying yourself” to another state and or city. What happened is you needed a job job…while you went to school. Unfortunately you chose a job/job in a service industry that doesn’t let you go. Have you ever considered moving up in the industry your in…you have a good chance of making it in the service industry because of your experience.

    • Nah..I’ll never want to move up in the restaurant business. Well, it wasn’t easy finding a job job while in school. I barely made it out alive with the part time restaurant job because of schedule conflicts. I’ve searched in other cities and states..I may have covered just about the entire East coast. And I’ll keep looking. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  41. Best of Luck Sam and same to all the new Graduates out there.
    I’m retired after 20 years with the seafood industry in Alaska so I am not any competition.
    One place to look for work to put some bucks in your pockets is to look into getting a job with a seafood plant in Alaska. Free housing, 3 squares a day isn’t bad. Lots of hours and they don’t just process in the summer. Quite a few of them run year ’round. Just a thought …

    • Alaska! Excuse the excitement…I’ve been wanting to visit Alaska for a little while now. Maybe I’ll write about the seafood industry up there some time. Thanks for the thought, and for reading!

  42. Anon…your employer probably would not like to let you go. You make the front of the house look good the minute people walk through the front door.

  43. The Island Effect .. how beautifully put Sam .. I can sense your pain. I was laid off here in India and had no job for 15 months, was at home, would paint, oversleep, tried an entrance exam for a Design school which didn’t culminate, but oh well .. plain existence you know ! Im in a new job now, it’s been a month, it’s a little 2 stairs down to start again but liking it for now though I feel the same restlessness for betterment all the time. Good Luck Sam, you have a soul that’ll get you through no matter what. Cheers ! :o)

    • glad to hear you landed somewhere. It’s hard to go that long, and nothing seems to be working out. Hopefully, things get even better for you..for me..for all of us. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  44. Wow! This is an excellent post, and you’re an amazing writer! I totally loved Lost, though I missed the last season (have to get online and watch it, though I’m not sure Hulu works in India!), and your analogies here are wonderful. You definately have what it takes to be a great writer, so hang in there! I’m sure with the economy heading north, things will surely look up and you’ll be able to land your dream job sooner rather than later. All the best! 🙂

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to read this! Hulu saved my Lost life. I watched 90 something episodes on Hulu earlier this year to catch up on Lost, because I had never watched it before this year. Hopefully Hulu will work out for you over there, too! Thanks for the compliments! I hope all is well with you.

  45. Good comparison between Lost and people struggles in find jobs of their dreams. Don,t give up in imroving on advance of a career. I am non-tradtional college student majoring Historial Preservation , and I can understand the frustration . Good luck on achieveing your goals.Be strong and continue creative writing. God bless .
    By creativemind37

    • Oh wow…I would definitely call an Historical Preservation Major non-traditional. I was at one point even considering Majoring in Classical Studies, but feared the massive frustration that might cause (although, it looks like, massive frustration was inevitable.) I wish you all the luck in finding the job of your dreams and your field! Thanks for reading!

    • I was actually supposed to be a ’07 graduate! I transferred schools..switched Majors…and picked up a Minor…all of that equals a late graduation apparently. Sorry to hear you’re still on your island. Hopefully we both get off them very, very soon!

  46. sometimes… one has to keep aside the worldly thoughts that holds one back… Like say for instance, who’s gonna pay the bills, where am I supposed to get my daily bread from etc.
    But that should under no circumstances kill the drive(read:passion)… I like the way you drew the analogy from LOST… although I’ve never quite followed it… I know about it as I am in similar circumstances.. something I’ve been looking forward to break away from… but, alas!!! i’m trapped too…

    May the forces be with you to realise your true calling… till then keep it real mate \m/

    • You’re completely right. Money..bills..all of it shouldn’t hold any one back from their passion…and it’s a tragedy when it does, because it keeps us back from who we truly are. I sincerely hope you get off your island as well! Thanks for reading, and all the luck to you!

    • I’m glad it’s inspiring… Thanks for taking the time to read this. I certainly won’t give up, and I hope no one else does either.

  47. Great article and very well written. Hope you’ll be able to find the job you are looking for and your writing really shows your passion for it.

  48. Greetings! Excellent literary expression.Your description fits into the reality of island geopolities, that have many brilliant and academically achieved persons but who are unable to land themselves jobs. They are often supported by the generosity of friends and family members for a while and after they are tolerated and then finally ignored. So welcome to the world of everyday life for small territories in a world where power is still might and might is still right.

  49. Hey Sam, I’m sure you do something creative. What is the most creative thing you love to do? Do it. Money will follow. I read it somewhere. And maybe, you’ll end up wanting to hire people! I read it somewhere.

    • I am most definitely holding on to the hope that doing what I love will eventually lead to some income…I’m sure everyone else would love to do that too! Thanks for taking the time to read!

  50. First of all thank you for your English. It is so straight forward and very easy to understand what you want to express.

    This post and added comments make me realize that the world economy is still down at a serious level. In the life there would be anyway time for most of people that it seems to be in a never ending tunnel. I’m at a certain age so you can imagine that I had it more than once. … and they seem to last really for long time.

    I tried to have Matthew 6 kind of mind when I was in there… or even when we are fed enough we might need this mindset.
    we humans are so greedy and usually tend to want more and more.
    Or I watched war films… I’m in a far better position than people in a war.

    “25.Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26.Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27.Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

    By the way it seems there are places making money regardless this economic downturn… or This downturn is on the contrary making new opportunities.

    I believe I know how you feel every single day and every single night so from the practical perspective I just wish you good luck as there should be an exit. It might not be time yet for it but it should happen also to you soon or later as historically it has been usually happening to people. The condition looks, however, trying to keep positive mind… well, maybe being persistent to keep it… and at the level of replacing it with “obstinate”.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the writing style, and that it was easy to understand. The world economy is still way down…and I make no illusion of my situation being worse than in other countries and with people here that are sadly in poverty. It’s a tough time the world is in right now (just look at Greece). Hopefully the situation turns around for everyone, because it really is a global problem. Thanks a lot for reading, and the positive out look..I really appreciate it! I wish you luck with all things as well.

  51. My work is my “Lost Island,” too. Except I just quit… and I don’t have a new job…. Now, just like those 6 Lost survivors, I haven’t even left my job yet and am already (SECRETLY) regretting my decision… wanting to stay. Sometimes its just more comfortable to stay where you are… Hopefully I’ll be able to find another job but… If not, I’ll probably just find myself a new island. Good luck!

    • Every single day that I find myself behind the counter, I am an no more than an inch away from quitting…but I know I need the money. Definitely takes guts to just up and quit. I hope you find another job soon…and one that you enjoy! Thanks for reading.

  52. Good insight here! I have felt that way a very long time. I don’t have my degree but I have gained a lot of excellent experience. Been laid off twice so I am unemployed now, it is horrible, I spend a good portion of every day applying to jobs and even the ones I don’t want aren’t calling. It is all just a waiting game, feels completely out of my hands. I don’t have any answers except that knowing what you want is the first place to start. I want to write too! But for many years I just floated along taking whatever came at me. NOW I see that you have to go after what you WANT. Be patient, you are heading in the right direction.

    • Sorry to hear about you being laid off. It sucks a lot to be unemployed…I may work at the restaurant right now, but barely have any money coming in. I sincerely hope someone gets back to you! Never stop writing…whatever you do…even if it’s taking a crappy side job…just don’t stop writing and trying to get your work out there…that’s the most important thing you can do if you want to get somewhere with writing. Thanks for reading..and I hope things turn around for you!

  53. Great post! Have you considered (and hear me out, before you write this idea off)… temping?

    It gets such a bad rap in the world, but it is a really awesome way to get the experience you need at the kind of company you want to work at. And you can tell people “I work at [insert company name here]” (although you don’t officially work FOR them. That’s an important distinction.

    In the past 20+ years, I have only been unemployed against my will for 2 weeks, total. I have temping to thank for that. If you can get over your parents (and everyone else) rolling their eyes when you tell them you’re “contracting”, you can get some seriously good professional experience AND be paid for it.

    Give it a try. If you’re really determined to get off that island, you’ll do whatever it takes.

    Be well

    • I will definitely look into temping. I have nothing against it at all. I actually just picked up two internships (unpaid) to get some more experience in my field. Must never stop moving forward… A friend of mine is actually looking to temp right now for about 6 months with the hope of getting hired full time afterward. That’s definitely a great way to get somewhere. Thanks for the advice and reading!

  54. Thanks for the appreciation Sam. Organized activity by many people willing to throw of all ways of seeing, and genuinely have compassion for the poor and dispossessed will lead to a start in the turn around process.

  55. Saw your post on freshly pressed, just wanted to say that I am, well, a lot, lot older than you are, and was, actually, pushed onto the raft which took me away from the island this year. In other words, roughly two years from retirement I got fired, and now I’m doing all sorts of stuff I never had the courage to do before, and I cannot tell you how much I wished I’d escaped before now! Just keep pushing, keep believing, and above all, follow your gut instincts. It’s a bad time for everyone, but it will pass, and the strong ones will survive, when you do your cv after this crisis is all over, it’s going to be about you survived that will impress future employers.

    Lots of luck – you deserve it, and your writing is top class.

    • Hey, thanks so much. That sounds so incredibly rough…getting fired, and only two years from retirement. I obviously can’t even imagine what that must have felt like at the time. I am, however, so glad to hear that you’re doing some great stuff right now! I’m not sure exactly what you’re doing, of course, but if it’s making you happy, then it’s great. I’m trying to stay strong, and I’m starting to believe that it will all pass. Thanks for the advice, and for reading!

  56. Pingback: Correct The Biggest Mistake Of Your Unemployed Career « The No Niche

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