Trust the Process

Trust the Process | 2014 In Review

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.... Is it 2015 already?

Here I am at the precipice of a new year so excited for what it has to offer.

As I think about 2014, I must admit, it's been quite a whirlwind. Graduation, relocation, hesitation and frustration are all words that probably best sum it up. However this isn’t a something I'm looking down on. This year taught me much about God, faith, timing, and redirection. And that’s one story I just have to tell.

I can recall it like it was yesterday. Early in the month of January of 2014, I was preparing heavily to apply to several of the top Ph.D. programs and seminaries in the country in my grand elaborate plan to become the next Cornel West. Lol.

As I was preparing to work on one of my personal statements that particular morning, I stopped immediately when I overheard a voice tell me to  “rest”. Looking around to see who or what it could have been, I saw that no one else was in the room. “Rest" the voice said again. “But rest from what?" I thought. Knowing that this voice was probably God giving me direction for a transition this year, I ran to my Bible.

"And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”- Exodus 33:14

Still out of shock, I was confused. Why would the man up stairs tell me to discontinue the next step in my academic career for no plan at all – especially one with an interest in studying the Christian Faith and the Black Church more closely? But then it became clear to me that I would have no say in the matter.

Soon after, as I was preparing my Doctoral applications,my laptop (out of nowhere) got a serious virus that completely shut down the entire computer. (Yes, this virus was that bad).This was the exact laptop that had every one of the supplemental materials the Ph.D. programs on its hard drive, which prevented me from getting my applications in anywhere on time.

Taking this as a divine sign, I knew God was yet again trying to get my attention, so I forewent applying to programs, and decided to begin resting in what God had told me. Frankly, the hardest decision ever. It was soon after that  was when things started to get interesting

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way..”- Psalm 37

As I began to rest (both spiritually and naturally) from working to sort out the future, my radio show, The Corner, was on the rise and became one of the most successful new student radio shows at Temple. So much to the point, the one-hour entertainment radio show was invited by the White House to cover President Barack Obama in NYC.

Dumbfounded as to the timing of the events and The White House knowing who I was, I still found myself worrying about the future – What about my career? Where am I going to live? etc. As I hit a few bumps trying to rest,  it was then when one of my mentors gave me some of the best advice I would've gotten that year.

"Tyree, simply trust the process".

After revealing to her my frustration about the uncertainty of the future, she dropped a bombshell: "Tyree, simply trust the process."  “What’s trusting the process?", I asked. "Trusting the process is having an unwavering confidence in the positive outcome that God has destined for you", she said. "It’s resting in what God's already told you."

Taking this as another affirmation, I used it to steam roll my comprehensive exams, an academic Journal I edited for, and finally to arrive to my Graduation and to receive my Master's. However, after leaving Philadelphia and going back to Los Angeles, I would soon learn that this ‘trusting the process’ thing was going to be a lot more difficult than what I'd anticipated for...

Post-Grad Chronicles : Trusting the Process..

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This is an encouragement to all the post-grads eagerly searching to put their majors to use, who are still in limbo due to the economy, family pressure, and loan deadlines.

Scenario:

You are a recent grad who’s out of a job. After receiving your first telephone call from Sallie Mae and Mr. Perkins, you did the following:

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  1. Updated your resume
  2. Drafted a cover letter
  3. Complied your references
  4.  Pressed “submit”

And while you’re waiting for several weeks, you get a few follow-up emails, but still find yourself unemployed. After four years and two internships, you thought you’d be walking into your dream job, but instead, all you’re able to do is to move back into your parents’ house.

The Hypothetical

Imagine: You are an optimistic 25-year old African-American male, who recently received his Masters Degree from a well-known Pennsylvania University. Excited for what lies ahead of you, you apply to jobs in several industries that you are qualified for (Education, Media, Broadcasting etc.), but to your dismay, you receive no results.

This, Ladies & Gentlemen, is the life and times of Tyree, a Black college graduate living in a post-recession economy. Unfortunately, my plight is not unique to me; it’s a trend among many African-American graduates today.

Stats:

Huffington PostClutch Magazine recently reported that:

  • In 2013, 12.4 percent of black college graduates between the ages of 22 and 27 were unemployed.
  • Between 2007 and 2013, the unemployment rate for black recent college graduates nearly tripled.
  • In 2013, more than half (56%) of employed black recent college graduates were “underemployed,” working in an occupation that typically does not require a four-year college degree.

Most graduates in this situation would look at these statistics in despair, but I urge you not to be discouraged. Consider the bright side: although you may be unemployed as of today, you’re still in demand. So take this opportunity to do the following:

  1. Volunteer! Creatively approach new ventures for entrepreneurship that utilize your degree and experiences.
  2. Strengthen your skillset. Develop the skills and qualities you already possess.
  3. Revamp your profile. Revise your resume, cover letters, and LinkedIn account to ensure that they reflect your current skillset.
  4. Reflect on your past. You’ll be surprised to see what you’ve accomplished thus far.
  5. Trust the process.

Trust the Process

What does it mean to trust the process? Trusting the process is having an unwavering confidence in the positive outcome that God has destined for you. Connie Chapman explains that, “even if you cannot understand what is unfolding right now, you (should) have an unshakeable sense of trust that the reason that this is happening is because circumstances are rearranging for your higher good.”

Furthermore, things are starting to look up! Even President Obama has announced a plan that seeks to lessen the burden of paying back student loans for college grads.

So, don’t be dissuaded by the above statistics. If you’re like me – 25, unemployed, and filling out job applications as you type—you’ve probably overcome worse situations. Remember to trust the process. You got this! You possess greatness; the process will only make you better.

-Tyree Boyd-Pates, A Black (Unemployed) Post-Grad