Category Archives: job experience

Persistence, Patience, and Positivity

I have to start this by saying when I started this job search I was under the impression that I would have found and started a good job within a couple of weeks. That happy little bubbled was quickly popped. When I think about it now I realize that my expectations were unrealistic, especially considering the current job market. I must admit that while I do realize that it takes more than a few weeks (its been four now for me) at times I have found it extremely discouraging.

This past weekend I found myself pretty depressed. I had sent in about thirty resumes that week and had had very little feedback by the time 5pm Friday rolled around. I was beginning to spiral downward in a self pity party, thinking maybe I would never find a job, maybe I wasn’t as smart and skilled as I thought I was. I am ashamed to admit that this pity party lasted the better part of the weekend. By Sunday afternoon, with the support of my family, I decided I was done being a downer. Being sorry for myself would not help my situation in any shape or form and honestly I was disgusted with myself because I do think very highly of myself and believe I can be successful in whatever I apply myself to.

Monday morning began with a new determination, persistence, and attitude. This is a marathon, not a sprint (which is actually better for me because I have short legs). I had an interview on Monday which I think went very well. I really liked the company and felt that I would fit well with them on an interpersonal level and that the position, Assistant Media Buyer, would be a great place for me to start my career. The only bummer was that they said they wouldn’t be able to get back to me for two weeks. My new attitude has me spinning this in a positive light: the wait gives me the chance to find another job so that when they offer me the position (because of course they will, I’m pretty awesome) I will be able to choose which job is better for me. And I have another interview tomorrow that seems promising.

As stressful and emotionally taxing as this job hunt has been so far, the lessons to be learned have not been lost on me. I am fortunate to say that in the past disappointment has been mostly a stranger to me. I have always been a smart, academically advanced student, only once had I applied to a job/internship that I did not receive, I have always been proud of my accomplishments and willingly shared them. This job hunt has taught me lessons in modesty, humility, and patience. While many of my friends have already begun exciting jobs or their first classes as grad students I have had to admit that no, I’m not working yet. I’m still looking. It has been an ego check but it has also made me realize how much I want a job where I can learn, grow, gain experience, and begin a lasting career with a stable company.

I am going to find a job that will be the perfect job for me at this point in my life. It will be perfect because it will set me on the road to reach my career goals. I might not find a job this week or next but I will find one. I will find one because I am persistent. I am patience. I will remain positive. And because I want it, I want it badly.

“Experience”

As a recent grad trying to land my first real job I have found ‘experience’ (or lack thereof in my case) the most difficult obstacle to overcome in my job search. Yes, I had three internships throughout college in marketing and sales positions and yes I have worked as a sales associate for Nordstrom on and off for the past four years whenever my class schedule permitted a job. However, I do lack professional experience. Not because I don’t want it, not because I am not qualified, and not because I haven’t tried but for the simple reason that most companies would rather hire someone who already has the experience. And with the job market and the economy the way it is, there is usually an applicant that has more experience.

I interviewed for a position as a Marketing Specialist this past week where that was just the case. I knew I could excel at that job. They wanted to begin using social media and had no idea how to go about it. Social media is, as I believe, the one key advantage younger job seekers have over the more experienced applicants. We have grownup with social media and know how to use it to reach wide and targeted audiences. Still, as my interviewer pointed out, I was going for my first job out of college, I lacked experience.

The funny thing is that I do have experience researching consumers and target audiences, finding out their demographics, their interests, what media sources they turn to in their free time. I do have experience formatting surveys, gathering data, analyzing data and using it to create effect campaigns. I do have experience creating powerpoint presentations for clients. I do have experience with account management, managing distribution teams, networking, cold calling, composing competitor analysis charts, and annual marketing reports. Problem is, that I gained all of this experience in the classroom or at an internship and thus employers see it as lacking real-world applicability.

I disagree. On each of those school projects I got a grade, feedback from professors who had had, or still had, careers in marketing. They critiqued my work, showed me where I could improve and areas I had succeeded in. I embraced their feedback and applied it to the next project, and took those skills to my internships where I could apply them in real life situations. From each class project, from each internship  I grew. I got better. I learned from my experiences. True, I still have unlimited amounts of learning ahead of me and I will for the rest of my career because the marketplace we work in is constantly evolving. But I have a strong foundation to build on. I am confident in my skills and abilities. I am confident in myself.

So here I am, continuing the search, pushing forward. I can’t lie, it isn’t always easy. At times I find myself discouraged and have to remind myself that I am talented, I am motivated, I am determined, and that I will get a job that will allow me to utilize my current skills, enhance and sharpen them, and gain invaluable experience.¬†Yesterday I submitted eight more applications, today six. I am continuing to push forward, to do my research, to stay positive. I want a rewarding career that I can be proud of and that I want to work hard in.

As Theodore Roosevelt said: “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…”

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