A Gen Zer living in NYC said she didn't expect finding a job after college to be such a struggle.
Lohanny Santos shared her confession in a teary-eyed video on TikTok that has gone viral.
Santos was carrying stacks of résumés to coffee shops but now has job offers from strangers.
Carrying a stack of printed resumés, Santos, 26, said the situation was "embarrassing" because she was applying to minimum-wage jobs.
"This is not what I expected. I graduated from college with two degrees in communications and acting. I speak three languages," she said.
"This sucks. I just want to be a TikToker if I'm being so for real with you, but I can't be delusional," she added. "I literally need to make money."
Santos, who is based in Brooklyn, NYC, told Business Insider that she was working as a nanny until she lost her job in November 2023.
She then began applying to corporate roles while creating content on TikTok in the hopes of becoming a "full-time influencer."
But her TikTok didn't generate enough income, and she wasn't getting responses from her job applications. Three weeks into January, Santos was running out of money.
"I had to have a reality check with myself," she said. On January 29, Santos decided to print out a stack of her résumés to find a job within a day.
"I went around to different coffee shops with my résumé in hand, the same way I did when I was 16. That's how I found my first job," she said.
But she said nothing substantial came from job-hunting in person.
"I was so upset and disappointed in myself because growing up, I was told that if I get an education, if I go to college, then I'll be successful," she said.
After sharing her struggle on TikTok, Santos learned she's not alone
Santos made her now-viral video the day she went job-hunting in person. She said she cried so much that day that she got tears on some of the résumés she was handing out.
"I thought I'd be further in life by now," she said. "I also want people to feel less alone, so I posted that to also see like, 'Am I alone in this?'"
Her video got 3 million views within hours of posting, with thousands of comments left by people saying they are in the same position as her, to her utter shock.
"I had 50,000 followers on TikTok, and I woke up to an audience of 130,000 followers 48 hours later," she said.
But Santos also received negative comments from people questioning why she studied acting and communications.
"I've gotten so many emails and messages from people across my social-media platforms, people from around the world, telling me that they have higher education than I have and they themselves cannot find jobs," she said.
"At the end of the day, I'm really happy that I pursued my passions," she said. "Everyone's in the same position, whether they studied business, whether they studied marketing or anything else. Those same people are in the same position that I am."
She's now receiving job offers from strangers
Santos said she's received job offers and opportunities from strangers who have seen her teary video.
"Not only do I have a newfound platform, but besides the social media, I am getting emails from people offering me jobs, offering me opportunities, sending me direct referral links to their jobs for me to apply to it," she said.
What makes the prospect even sweeter is that Santos only heard back from one coffee shop that told her she needed to do an unpaid 18-hour training before being considered for a job. After sharing that offer on TikTok, her followers advised her against it.
In any case, she said she was grateful but overwhelmed at the career advice and support from people online.
"Two days ago, I was crying about not being able to get a job in a coffee shop," she said.
Although Santos initially feared sharing her struggle online would paint her out as a "lazy" Gen Zer, she said the opposite happened.
"I've been fearful of people thinking I'm lazy because I'm not working," she said. "Just because I'm not working doesn't mean I'm not ready to work."
Read the original article on Business Insider