There are many people that don’t secure their dream job after college. This big ole dream of a corner office and doing what you always dreamed you would be doing. It’s not there for you when you graduate and it’s not there for a few other people, too.
Hey, I was one of those people.
As graduation was making its appearance, the idea of new opportunities and places start to take on your thoughts. Where do you want to work? Where do you want to live? What do you want to do? How will you use your degree? How can you finesse the interview and show them you’re made for the job? There’s a boatload of questions that start to hit the surface. It’s not as simple as you thought it would be because college was your first step on your own but you weren’t fully there and now with college graduation around the corner, you’re really about to be on your own. All these emotions and thoughts start to take over especially as things seem to be out of reach.
In the beginning, it felt like it was never going to happen. The number of interviews I went on that turned out to for positions that left out what they truly were. It’s a hard life in the marketing world when most job postings want you to do sales and go door to door — kudos to people that do it but that was not for me.
I went from being a marketing assistant to a social media community manager but it didn’t happen right away. It happened slowly as I grew restless at my marketing assistant job because it wasn’t what I wanted to do. It was cool but there really wasn’t any marketing, just assistant things to do. People thought it was great because I could work from home three days and go in two but that’s only because there was another marketing assistant that I had to share a desk with. It wasn’t ideal and I wasn’t happy which is why I was relentless on my job search. I did not give up and I applied to everything that I knew I could do. My way out? I reached out to a recruiter who lined me up with an interview and I went in as myself and got the call that I had the job. It was like a sigh of relief because my student loan payments were due in a few months and I had a car payment after getting into a car accident and it was something I wanted to do. It took time, it really did. It took time and patience and not giving up on myself.
That’s why I’m here to tell you that you will get there and to stop comparing your life to other people’s lives. Their journey is not your journey.
We all have reasons for why we aren’t where we are — whether it’s the job market, ageism, no opportunity to grow, and a plethora of other things.
There are so many things that can hold us back and we have to find a way to push back and make things for our selves. You don’t need to settle for too long when it comes to your dream job. No settling, ever.
Don’t sell yourself short.
The worst thing to do during this time period is to doubt yourself and think you aren’t good enough. You start to question all that you studied and all the work that you put in during school — don’t do that. Don’t ever sell yourself short because once you do, you lose that motivation. You need to manifest that something great is going to happen and that you are going to succeed. You graduated from college, that is such a big accomplishment. You went through internships and experience in school that has helped give you an inside look at what you’ll be doing in your future, don’t forget that.
When you sell yourself short, you don’t give yourself enough credit. Don’t do that. You need to give yourself all the credit. Hype yourself up. My favorite thing to do is hype myself up and to talk about my accomplishments when asked because I did that. I know what I did and I’m not going to downplay that. You need to stay motivated during your search.
The job will come.
The job will come eventually. You can’t just expect to enter the world and be at the top without putting in work. We all have to start somewhere. If you want to be the PR Manager for a big company one day, you have to start off as an associate before you’re in that new role. I’ve learned this as I look at requirements for many jobs that interest me. I need 4 to 5 years of experience or something else to back me up. Yeah, you can say forget the experience and that’s cool but some companies truly value that experience. You have to start from the bottom to get there. The job will come and it might not be right away but you can make sure you’re on the path to get there.
Build your experience up.
It’s not bad to build up your experiences. The more experience you have, the more appealing you might seem. It doesn’t always work out that way but what does it hurt to get into a position that teaches you and gives you an opportunity to learn about things you don’t know? You don’t have to take that job that you think you are way above but you should take the job that creates a path to your destination. Never ever think you are too good for a position or that it won’t help you get to where you need to be because it can. Experience at different levels can help you. You can take an internship in one department and find your way into another. Do not doubt the power of experience and working it to your advantage by gaining connections.
Join networking groups.
Be business card ready. If that’s one thing that I can help you with, it’s to let you know that you should have a card with your information on it when you go to networking events. If you’re crunching your budget, take someone else’s business card and follow up with that person. Just because you don’t have your business cards, doesn’t mean you need to miss out on an opportunity to meet someone that might be a blessing to your life. Send that email or LinkedIn request. Always be ready at networking events — you want to tell people what you do and but you don’t want to bore them. Have a normal conversation; ask about their day and what they do, ask their career journey if they’re willing to give it. Avoid awkward and just relax. Networking events are your perfect time to schmooze and make some laughs. Just remember to not talk negatively about any company or person you know because you never know who is listening and it’s not cool.
Be business card ready. If that’s one thing that I can help you with, it’s to let you know that you should have a card with your information on it when you go to networking events.
Give it time.
Don’t rush the process. I think that’s important to call out because something is out there and waiting for you. You don’t need to panic or fret over things you can’t control. The only thing you can control is how you are in your interview and the follow-up. You control your image and the impression you give people to make their thoughts about you. You are on someone else’s time and they have a process and procedure. Don’t push and annoy them. Give it time and do your thing — you have other interviews and connections to make for the time being. It took six months after graduation until I found a job in my field. I had a job that paid rent before that but I was able to get into my field by being patient and keeping my eyes peeled for an opportunity.
Let me be real with you, it will take time. Everything has to be earned.
You have LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, and other job pages to help you along the way. Make sure you make some connections because you don’t know who knows who in the world that you want to join and it’s always nice to have someone in your field so you can talk about your work with.
You got this. If I got it then you got it, trust me. It might take some time but it’ll happen.
Good luck and stay positive!