More than anything, I wish I could say that I comfortably have a job right now. I wish I could say this not only to get my parents off my back, but so that I could enjoy the remainder of my college existence a little more. It’s truly a hard balance Senior year. On one hand, you want to live it up when you remember that it’s you last year of college… ever. On the other, you are completely freaking out as you try to nail a great GPA and finalize your future the minute upon graduation. There is a lot of responsibility this year and a lot of unease. Am I terrified when I look at business school students happily employed at Ford or Family Insurance and then compare their situation to my own? Absolutely. Do I think that at some point someone somewhere is going to give me a chance? I hope so.
I think the most frustrating part is that the work you put in doesn’t always reap you any benefit at all. Filling out all of the lengthy applications, writing the essays, tailoring each cover letter perfectly so that it reflects the company; sometimes these activities are utterly useless. As soon as you hit send, it’s likely that your application may slip through the cracks as five hundred people already applied for the position. This world, as in so many other life situations, is really all about who you know and who they know. Networking is key and without it finding a job is a lot less likely.
I’ve had a ton of informational interviews, but now it’s time to start following up with the people I talked to in February to see if they would like to meet with me or if there are any job openings at their companies. For some reason, this is the hardest thing to do. I feel like I’m bothering people and they don’t care to hear from a 20-something-year-old. However, I keep telling myself that trying is better than nothing. As long as I stay active in my search, I’m one step closer to getting that interview and proving my worth.
I also think it’s important for us Seniors to keep in mind that we need to take our first job as if it is the first segue into whatever field we wish to work in. A journalism advisor once told me that if I accept a job that is just “somewhat” in my field, that’s already a step in the wrong direction because it closes all the doors to what I originally wanted. I kept this in mind as I turned down my first full-time job offer. Some may think I was crazy, but I knew without a second that I would not enjoy going to work and that the company didn’t fit what I was looking for.
I’ve had my struggles along the way. One company that I really had my eyes set on didn’t ask me back for a second interview. Some of the individuals I was put into contact with were not exactly willing to help me out. It does feel like a bruise to the ego, but I can’t let obstacles like this defeat me. If I lose my willingness to make that call or add that contact on LinkedIn, I could miss out on a potential job.
For now, the search continues. Halfway through March, I am still jobless but hopeful. The hard part about the advertising/PR industry is that it’s very need-basis work. If you call and interview at the exact time when a position is open, the likelihood of getting a job is high. When nothing is available, many companies in the industry don’t interview. My goal is to keep tracking these companies, make a network of connections while doing so, and cross my fingers for a chance.
Getting to know the people at HireVue has been a bright spot during this transition. As I’ve learned more about digital interviewing and even seen it utilized by some companies during campus recruiting I can see why it makes so much sense. Connecting early on with a company through video, instead of relying on my resume to make an impression goes a long way. Now that it’s Spring and graduation is in close sight, I hope that the right job will fall into place – job hunting when it’s crunch time has never been more intense or exciting.