Life After Undergrad: Knock on every closed door

When you leave college and shed your student security blanket it can be hard to find other opportunities that give you the same challenge that college used to. For me college was something I became good at– and very proud of. When I came back to school after a hiatus I put my all into being a good student, staying organized and having a good GPA. When undergrad came to a close I kind of mourned my student status because I had put so much effort into making it great. I realized though that I could put the same amount of effort and time into my professional status to build that up just as high.

A professional network is much wider and much more vast than my student one. Recently, my regional boss came to visit my office and to my surprise it went well. In fact it went better than I could have imagined, after my days long panic over the visit. I was so focused on making sure I didn’t screw up that I didn’t stop and think that I should be marketing myself. Not market in a cheesy way but instead showcase my abilities and competence in my job role. After going over the Ps and Qs of my job we actually had a conversation and I shared some of my marketing and social media ideas with him– and he liked it! I was even given permission to start a hashtag campaign for my office, I was stoked!

My point here is not to leave any stone unturned– go out there and make it happen. When you’re confident other people take notice and they gravitate to you. After that office visit the regional manager told my boss that he was impressed with me– something that I’d never imagined could happen. Sometimes I think I sell myself short and forget that I’m no longer a 22-year-old with little experience. I’m considered an industry professional with nearly a decade of experience– and I need to be darn proud of it!

Life After Undergrad: The hunt is on

Happy April everyone! With the turn of a new month my job hunt goes into overdrive. As tax season begins to wind down I’m starting to think more seriously about finding a full-time job in my actual industry– tech writing. As much as I’ve loved, and grown, at my current job I am ready to spread my wings. I want to find a job that truly challenges me and uses all of my abilities because I want a job I wake up everyday excited to get to.

When I started to look around at jobs and companies I realized quickly that without a plan and a set of “must haves” for my jobs that I would be overwhelmed very quickly. So I started to draft a list of the things I needed from an employer; health insurance, paid vacation, sick days and so on. More importantly though I started looking at the company culture, meaning what the company stood for and where their morals laid. In 2018 most companies are trying to be progressive and open-minded and be culturally inclusive and smart with their ads and policies–but how did they treat their main stream employees? I wanted to find a company that wasn’t starch and pressed, that was less corporate and more incorporated– one that focused on the talent and the brand and not some silly outdated industry ideology.  

I made a Glassdoor account to start sifting through companies and how they ranked among their employees as well as their salaries and compensation packages for employees. I was able to save or bookmark the ones I was interested in and start reading their job listings so I could tailor my resume to align better with what they were looking for. A former professor told me “you’ll never have one resume” — which confused me. How could I have more than one? With only one job history what could possibly go on multiple resumes? Well, the same things essentially but in different words, tones and activities. I developed different resumes, designs and tones for different companies or job roles to be able to start click applying and as I start applying I’ll keep you all updated on my journey!!

a highway exit sign that says "DREAM JOB NEXT EXIT"

Image Credit

As I proceed to prepare for a new job, I had to take a look at my resume in its current form. Big problem! My resume is designed for a totally different profession and needs a total makeover. A career change is never easy and the problem is where to start. This can be a challenge but not impossible. So, if you’re facing this, or even if you’re just starting out, here’s where to start:

  • Don’t start with your resume. The very first thing to do is to carefully look at the job that you intend to do. Don’t just look at one but look at several. What are the specific skills required? Your resume should be designed for the skills of the job and reflect every job detail.
  • Only then should you consider your experience. Of course, it may not exactly be the same but your experience should match the skills needed for the job. For example, a job in communications requires social media maintenance. Well you may not have this on the job but you can start your own social media postings. Create a blog or start posting regularly on social sites. The main goal is make your resume fulfil the job skills.

So if you’re like me and changed careers or if your degree isn’t relevant to the job you are applying for, don’t worry. Many people start out in one field and then change or get a degree in one field and end up doing something quite different.

It’s all about skills and experience.

Remember: Plan ahead to get ahead!