Taking The Next Step Towards Career Advancement
The Endless Probing
In recent months, I have encountered an incredulous amount of struggles trying to find a job. Whether it was as simple as applying to a local retail store as a part-time cashier or to various job postings directly on the website(s), and even attending job fairs at my university or asking friends–I’ve tried them all.
It has not been easy, but at least it gave me a lot of free time to think about what would I even want to gather out of a part-time job or internship opportunity? Shortly after, I realized that time is too precious to spend it at another temporary, unfulfilling job. Instead, I changed my attitude to look for something worthwhile by searching for internships and jobs that would provide a new learning experience for me rather than the urgent broke college student’s perspective of “I need to make money, fast!” I think I have received my fair share of experience in a variety of different areas ranging from waitressing, retail sales, customer service, banking, tutoring, etc. it dawned on me that I should try to put the skills I have already acquired by applying them to related areas. We’ve all heard this before, “You never know until you try!” So, that is exactly what I did.
Building YOUR “Brand-Image”
Before I started building my reputation through online platforms, I had to first decide on how I would like to market myself to potential employees. Therefore, I chose to finish constructing my LinkedIn page as a guiding block. You would be surprised at how much connections you can earn just from there alone! In addition, I have already been utilizing job networking websites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, PayScale, and many more to look up companies or internship/job openings within my field of preference.
Honestly, the process took an overwhelming amount of time and effort. Roughly after about six to seven months I was ready to give up. My frustrations with the amount of interviews I went to or did not even get called back at, all made me think that something is wrong either with me or the job market! Of course, none of these delusional thoughts were true, but I began to think the worst. This was definitely the worst luck I’ve had with my job search, ever. The job(s) that I found somewhat fascinating either seemed too far away, not enough pay or hours, or far within my realm of both experience and education.
The Last Straw
After what seemed like a decade, during the most perfect time, an opportunity presented itself at my door. As I was sitting at my school’s library one day staring blankly into my screen that displayed more relevant internships within my reach, I decided to start applying to anything and everything I found intriguing. Of course, I read what the requirements were, but to my surprise I discovered how much I had been missing out on by being afraid to hit the “Apply” button. I thought to myself, “Well, what do I have to lose? You only regret the chances you don’t take.
Not even an entire 24 hours passed by the time I received an unexpected phone call from one of the companies I had applied to randomly with the most unenthusiastic and flustered expression from the other day. Apparently, they had found my particular skill-set intriguing judging from my resume and from there I quickly fell into their radar to set up an interview. Despite my skepticism towards this company, due to the limited online presence and reviews it had, I ended up attending the interview and allowing my instincts to take over. Yes, I did over-think about this matter, but one can never be too cautious when living in an immensely digital world of networking in the twenty-first century. We must take precautions about some of these “biased” or falsely-acclaimed companies, because while some may appear legitimate, they turn out to be scams, toxic, or even dangerous. Cheerfully enough, I received the position of a “Digital Marketing Intern” and I am patiently awaiting to begin in a matter of days over the course of the summer. I am incredibly excited to take on this critical step towards career advancement by expanding my knowledge and skills to different aspects of the business world, while continuing to grow and learn adaptively.
Words of Wisdom
If you are a recent junior or senior college student seeking an internship or job shadowing experience within your field, my advice to you would be to start early. If you attend one of those higher-end colleges or universities, they probably stress this enough. However, if you are currently switching majors, have encountered a financial crisis, or health-related issue(s), etc. take as long as you need to figure it out. It is better to juggle out the pros and cons associated with different careers before jumping head-first into the cold water without soaking your feet.
After all, this is not a race to the finish line of who will score the touchdown first. As difficult as it may be, disregard what all your friends and colleagues are doing; focus on yourself. It is all about staying consistent. Do not expect to find something spectacular right away or overnight. Good things take time. The right opportunity will come find you, when you least expect it, that is every reason why you should say, “YES!” without hesitating when it does present itself. As I mentioned before, it doesn’t hurt to try!
Keep searching. Keep applying, and if you still encounter issues finding a job or an internship, it is probably because you haven’t found the right one, yet.