When you're on the job hunt, no one held your hand or told you that it was easy. And if they did - they lied. Being a recent graduate in 2014/2015 isn't easy, and I know that first hand. But if you think jobs are being handed out, keep reading - you're about to hit reality.
As a December graduate, I faced many challenges in the spring of 2014. I applied for various jobs, beginning in October/November 2013, jobs that I knew I was qualified for or that I would grow into. But you see, when you haven't obtained your physical transcript stating you've graduated, it can pose an issue. I was passed over for about five jobs because I applied before my graduation date (I applied mostly in November and had to reapply in January). This is probably the most nerve-wrecking comment I had heard. But, I didn't let that phase me. You can't, or it will consume you.
Flashing forward to January 2014, I applied for jobs upon jobs. My days were satisfied by sitting on my dorm bed (I was attending graduate school at night), and my hard drive was filled with cover letters. It had gotten to the point where, I wasn't able to get an internship either since I didn't have the needed number of graduate credits. It's truly exhausting. But after a few phone interviews and face-to-face time, I was back at the drawing board. Was it my lack of corporate or agency experience? Was it that I lived in White Plains, NY? Or was it that I just wasn't what the company wanted or needed? These are questions I still ask myself. But eventually, I found my way to interviewing at a salon in the City (NYC for those who aren't sure). That being said, I found my way into my first job as a Public Relations Coordinator.
Now, I know what you're thinking -- "Why are you job hunting when you have a job?" To that, I do agree, but hear me out: Your first job may NOT be your only. It's so important to keep yourself up with the times, industry, and most importantly, yourself. In just a few weeks, I will have (hopefully) my Master of Arts in Media & Communications. I've worked hard. I've stayed up late, lost sleep, almost lost my current job due to being so overwhelmed by previous semesters cutting into my work day, and have lost a lot of friends in the process. But now that I'm near the end, all I want to do is grow into the professional I aspire to be. The days of Facebook and Twitter for personal use are near extinction and LinkedIn will become your best friend. I can't tell you the times I log into my account, praying there's a job opening in editorial, social media, or PR for a company looking for a MA candidate, but there's nothing. I didn't have the privilege of interning at a magazine (various attempts though) or with a firm because of one thing over another, but I'm still applying. If it takes me one or two low-end jobs to establish a career in PR or editorial, so be it. My mind is made up and being on the job hunt only fuels my creativity in cover letters, in hopes that I can make my next company, home.
Seemingly enough, I am pretty outspoken and have no shame on voicing my opinion. Sometimes it takes an outsider to understand your next move. Do you have a mentor? A friend or former colleague in your industry? Why not utilize them! It's called networking and connecting, something that really should be engraved in our minds. There's never too much education, drive, passion, or strength, but do watch for your words during interviews. Something so meaningless may take over your interview, resulting in a longer hiring process. It's 2015 and the reality of a college graduate's job hunt is exactly what I am explaining to you (at least, here in New York). But don't worry, everything will fall into place eventually. The beaches of Bora Bora are waiting for some of us to pay off our student debts!