Right now, I’m currently typing up this blog post waiting for my airplane to Houston, Texas… talk about a girl boss, am I right? I’ll be in Texas for a little under five hours for a printer convention and then flying back as soon as the convention is over. Houston in 24 hours really hit a new definition.
It’s been about eight months since I graduated college. It feels like yesterday I was cramming in all nighters, going out on Thursdays, and trying to figure out what to wear to the next themed party. Man, do I miss college. Since I graduated, I’ve surprisingly done a lot. I ended up getting a job that fits in what I eventually want to do, traveled to two new states (Virginia and now Texas), and wrote more blog content than I ever did during school. Since many seniors are just starting their last semester (shedding a tear for you), I decided to write a blog post about my journey to landing a job.
Apply, apply, and apply again.
After college, it was pretty hard getting into the groove of things. There is this immense pressure of finding a job right after you graduate. I applied to almost a hundred different jobs looking for something that would eventually help me land a job in fashion. I applied on LinkedIn, Job Recruiter, and Zip Recruiter. Whatever job site I could get my hands on, I applied to. It took me two months and almost a hundred different cover letters for me to get the job I have now. I highly recommend using LinkedIn and Zip Recruiter.
Sure, they may be interviewing you but make sure the company is a right fit for you.
I ended up going on three different interviews and they were all very different from one another. One of my interviews was at a marketing firm in Stratford, Connecticut. It took me two hours to get there and the interview only lasted 15 minutes. The second interview was an interview from the pit of hell. The interview process lasted two days and the second day was an eight-hour day filled with no breaks, no lunch, and they made me drive a stranger to a random job site. After the eight-hour day, I knew I really didn’t want the job. The woman offered me the job and I awkwardly turned it down. She was very upset, but I knew if I took that job I wouldn’t be happy. Plus, the interview process was like that then they would probably have treated me worse when I had the job. If I had to do it again, I would have left the job interview earlier once I knew in my gut it wasn’t the job for me.
The third job interview was for the job I have now. I went through a series of phone calls and in person interviews before I was offered the job. The head of the company interviewed me on the phone for an hour and he sold the company to me. He was so friendly and passionate about the company that I knew I wanted to work there. Plus, he laughed at my lame jokes.
Sometimes you have to sacrifice in order to get experience or the job you want.
If you’ve been reading my blog during this adult-transitioning period, you’re probably aware that I commute an hour to and from work each day. Sure, that may seem cruel and unusual punishment to some, but to me it was a sacrifice I needed to make in order to get the experience from this job. Sacrifices you need to make may mean taking an unpaid internship (my brother did this and was offered a full time job from it), working a lower income job in a company you want to work for, or even moving to a far place. If you need to make the same commute sacrifice like I did, make sure you read this post and this post. It’ll save your sanity.
If you don’t know what you want to do, try out different positions.
We’re often directed to go to college to find out what we want to do, but sometimes you really don’t know what you want to do and that’s okay. I changed my major four different times. I wanted to be a teacher and then the other three times I wanted (and still want) to work for a company that knows what it is like to be excited with fabrics. What really helped me realize that I didn’t want to be a teacher was taking a summer job as a camp counselor I realized running fifteen screaming children wasn’t the job for me (shout out to the fearless teachers out there). Sometimes you need to act the part of the job to realize it’s definitely not the job for you.
If you’re lost in what career you want, write down everything you find important in a career.
Since I had a difficult time figuring out what I wanted to do, I wrote down everything I wanted in a career. I want a job where I can be creative, work with others, make a difference, work with social media, possibly travel, and eventually work with fashion or textiles. Once I wrote down all of the different things I wanted out of my job I then mapped out what kind of skills I needed in order to achieve all of those things. Do I need more experience with social media? Do I know enough influencers do work in public relations? The more I thought about it the more questions I had. This is a great way to start mapping our your career if you don’t know where to go after you graduate.
It’s okay to set big dreams as long as you know how you’re going to work your way towards that goal.
I’m a dreamer. I don’t stop short of thinking of all the possibilities life has to offer and neither should you. You want to write for a magazine or online publications? You can do it. You want to start a company and become your own boss? You can do it. You want to become a travel agent and travel the world? You can do it. As long as you’re willing to put in the time, sacrifices, and commitment to landing your dream job you can do it. That may mean getting experience at other jobs and working your way up to that goal. It may mean working longer nights than you thought were possible. It may even mean giving up an opportunity to go somewhere with friends in order to focus on that goal. If you’re willing to make these sacrifices and work towards that goal you can achieve anything.
From one college grad to another, you got this.
If you already have graduated college what was it like finding a job? Do you have any tips for recent grads or someone still finding a job they love? If you’re still in college or starting college, what is your dream job?