In my post “The Quest to Find a Perfect Future” I talked about the importance of picking a career/major where you can do something you love. If you read it… BEWARE …I’m about to sound contradictory, but stay with me and it’ll all make sense.
We’re dreamers, us young folk, we have the passion, drive, the belief that we will be the best! The glamour of it all is great… or so you think. Contrary to popular belief your first job might not be your dream job. You can’t be picky. (See I told you I was going to sound contradictory.)
You cannot assume that as soon as you step off the stage at graduation ceremony you will be handed a full time job with benefits and a great salary. This is a goal… a goal is what you works towards… therefore you have to work for it.
Entry level jobs are not always the most glamorous. They require a lot of work that might seem mundane or hours that seem unjust. Whatever you do don’t get discouraged. You’re doing all this work because you’re in a field you love. Remember you thought long and hard about what you like and what you’re good at. You put in the effort to figure out what’s best for you now you have to go out and get it because no one will just give it to you.
There’s a few ways you can go about this…
1. You can take any job that comes your way.
A lot of people don’t have a plan. They just pick up jobs they enjoy and see where it takes them. I once met a woman in LA who traveled all over the world doing different jobs. I remember the oddest job she had was an extreme weather reporter. She followed crazy storms, hurricanes, twisters, etc. and gave the live reports on them. One job led to another and now I think she is an event planner. And she’s not just any event planner she does major events like after parties for awards shows like the Grammy’s to birthday parties for celebrities. She never took a job she didn’t enjoy. Now when she looks back on her life all she sees is happy memories filled of unique experiences while traveling. Not bad if you ask me.
2. Have a 5 – 10 year plan.
This is a good idea if you have a certain position you want one day. This method requires a lot of self honesty. You need to set realistic goals and you can’t set realistic goals without doing some research. Find at least one person who is now in the position you want. Do some research on where they started and what other steps they took to get where they are. If you’re lucky you might even be able to set up an informational meeting with one of these people. Sometimes people love searching their wisdom, sometimes they don’t. But in my opinion it never hurts to try. Once you’ve done your research you just have to set up some realistic goals for yourself and work hard.
3. Get in early with a company.
If you have a particular company you want to work for one day then get any job you can with them! Honestly, if this really is your dream to work for this company your best bet is just getting your foot in the door. Even if you’re just working in the mail room you can make a lot of connections. This I can’t say is advice I just made up on my own… I actually had a phone informational meeting with a friend of a friend who was a woman working at a broadcasting company. I don’t like to give names and specifics but the basic idea is that she was a friend of a friend and she was willing to give me some advice. This is the advice that she gave me because it worked for her! She started as a secretary and moved up quickly over the years because of the connections she made and she was a hard worker. Make sure after you have made connections that people know what you really want to do, what you’re really passionate about. People will help you out, just wait and see.
Follow one of these plans with the inventions of getting somewhere with a smile. Remember you’re going to have to work hard to prove yourself, just keep the goal in the back of your mind. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your expertise will definitely not be built over night… or even in the 4 years of college you spent money on.