Before graduating in May, I lived in a fantasy land thinking that if I start applying to jobs in March, that I will definitely have a job in marketing ready for me at home when I graduate.
Oh how naïve of me.
I’m not sure why but I really didn’t take it seriously when people said how hard it would be to find a job, especially for me. I did everything right! I had three relevant internships under my belt, a great GPA, and all of the necessary skills and experience for an entry level position.
At first I was very selective with where I would apply –
“I want to work in a big fun agency downtown where its hip and trendy, pays extremely well, and everyone is under the age of 35!
But newsflash; so did every other recent graduate. I only heard back from two of these “amazing” places in Boston and after the interview they just vanished and I could never get in touch again. You basically had to come in with years of experience and unattainable skills that no recent grad would have.
It was a vicious cycle I went through all summer. As my bank account balance got smaller and smaller I started to panic more and more. I was lucky though, because I have a mom who was understanding and wasn’t putting pressure on me, but I knew loan payments were coming and I had to find something!
I got a job for about a month and a half, hated it. It wasn’t a good fit. As desperate as I was for a
job I KNEW I could do better, and work for a company I actually enjoyed! SO I quit… yes it was crazy. Thank god again for my mom who was very supportive. I was back on my grind, using Indeed, LinkedIn, and every other resource in between to find a job. I reached out to everyone I knew for connections, and networked my ass off. I was borderline annoying but I HAD TO get a good job!
The MAJOR THING that made a massive impact on my job search, was my RESUME.
I worked for over 3 hours making a brand new resume from scratch. I always thought I had a good one, but so does everyone. The major thing you have to remember is that there are so many other people wanting that same position, and your resume really needs to stand apart. I researched what colors were attractive, what format, I made my resume specific to my major, I looked up the major keywords needed, and I even paid for resume critiques.
Yes, I did the absolute most. But! It played off! I was getting about 3-4 interviews a week.
Then came another challenge. INTERVIEWS.
I became a professional interviewer. My interview skills are on point, and I always came out feeling super confident! I knew exactly how to answer each question thrown at me, I did prior research on each company, brought and extra resume, and notebook to take notes, asked the right questions; but would always get turned down.
Like I said before, there is A LOT of competition.
I got very discouraged. I felt like no one could relate to me because not many of my friends were actively looking for a job like I was. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. I wanted to be a successful businesswoman, and was eager to start my career. I wanted to blame everything. I thought maybe it was because I was a black woman. I honestly thought corporate America was against me.
Life comes at you fast. It was a huge reality check. It just seems like all the odds are against you. There is nothing anyone can really do to help you either… you just have to keep going. I knew I was capable and I just wanted someone, ANYONE, to take a chance on me. I didn’t feel adequately prepared for the job search. I didn’t have family members with connections that could just get me into a fabulous position by default like some of my peers did. I really had to work my ass off, and at times it didn’t seem fair.
I decided to change my negative viewpoint and have faith that the universe was going to provide the perfect job for me. It was all about divine timing, which is easy to forget at times. I had to let go of all my stress and anxiety and stop worrying about when I would get a job. I kept doing interviews, and eventually my luck turned around.
There was a light at the end of the tunnel. After about 2 months of constant interviews I got an offer from a company who saw my worth, and who really wanted me to be there. I am now employed as a marketing assistant, and am so happy about how everything worked out. My hard work paid off, and I got the job that I waited so long to get, that also has almost everything I was looking for!
It worked out exactly the way it was supposed to. I got to have an amazing summer off, and got the perfect job right when I needed it. Divine timing!
To all my recent grads out there, I know it seems like the working world is against you, but you will eventually be employed and it will all be worth it! There is a plan for you, and just because things are hard and it might not be going the way you initially intended, just remember that the things that are for us are often even greater than we could have imagined. It happened to me, and I hope it happens for you all too.