Getting one of your first jobs is NOT the same thing as buying a dress for a night out with friends.
When you’re looking for an outfit, it needs to be perfect. I mean, why waste all that money on a dress, shoes, belt, and necklace if its not all EXACTLY what you want? But when you’re looking for a job – especially your FIRST job – the game is a bit different.
When I was in college, I pretty much had my life planned out in my head. I would graduate and do one of two things – 1. I would magically come up with enough savings to move to NYC after going on my first interview and getting offered the job of my dreams… or 2. I would move back home, get an entry level job at a TV station/production company in the area, and then climb the corporate ladder at said TV station/production company.
Boy, was I wrong.
1. I realized that any money I would have saved in college was hanging in my closet… and 2. I noticed that there was a serious lack of jobs for me to apply to in my hometown area – and pretty much everywhere else.
It didn’t take me long to realize I had to branch out. I cut down my search terms on Indeed.com and started looking at any job related to video production and/or communications in general, rather than just television production jobs. However, as time passed, I started to become desperate.
So what did I do? I stayed calm and stayed motivated. I interned, I worked part-time in an office, I constantly networked with contacts from past jobs, and I applied to literally an average of 5 jobs a day. If I was qualified for the job, I sent in a resume. Even if it had nothing to do with my major, I sent in a resume. I knew working would be better than not working… and working in an office would at least put some sort of experience on my resume, rather than hanging around at the gym and the mall all day long.
Luckily, I soon scored a job working in corporate video production. Although it was not my desired entertainment industry job, it was a start. Not everything about the position was related to video production, but I was at least putting some of my degree to use. However, I didn’t feel that way when I started the job. I was miserable, itching to work in a television series or news show environment. A few months in, I started to understand what I was doing and started to realize that this experience would lead to a job more related to what I want to do in my career.
And that is exactly what happened. My far from first choice job led me to get offered a position at a job that would have been a first choice for me after graduation. And eventually, I am sure that this new job will lead me to an even better job more closely related to my dream job!
Before this whole “real world job search” thing came about, I almost always got what I wanted (except for a couple boys and a couple bags). Rejection was not something I was used to. And taking something beneath what I actually wanted was DEFINITELY not something I was used to.
Clothes, boyfriends, girlfriends, even where you went to college… Those decisions and “searches” are not like the ones for jobs.
Unfortunately in the working world, you have to start somewhere – and if you don’t get lucky, get hired by a past internship right after graduation, or have an awesome connection at a company of your choice, you need to go after a job that might not be exactly what you want. And hey, you never know – you might find you enjoy doing something you never thought you would… or you may find you hate what you’re doing. But either way, you can always continue searching when you’re working – and you can only move up from entry-level.