As we inch towards May, the sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance” can be heard. It’s a time of great joy and excitement. College is over and the real world is waiting for you. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean a job is waiting for you. Statistics show that very recent grads may be at a higher risk of unemployment. Look at the Class of 2011. By October of their graduation year, about 5 months post-commencement, 14 percent were jobless, according to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
Not exactly reassuring, right? Well, here is where I and a group of other great PR pros hope to help you out. On Thursday, May 2 from 9-10 p.m. EST, I am moderating the HAPPO Twitter chat on “Creative Job Search Strategies.” What is HAPPO? It was started by Arik Hanson and Valerie Simon to connect job seekers in the PR field to those that could help in some way. We hope that some of the ideas that are tweeted can help you in your search. Before next week’s chat, here are a few ideas on getting creative with your search.
- Keep Your Eyes Open- You never know when a great opportunity may come upon you. Never just dismiss it; think about the pros and cons. I always do a personal SWOT analysis at every opportunity.
- Spread Your Wings- As much as you may not want to, considering a job in another city or state could be the perfect move. It offers the challenge of learning a new area and making a name for yourself. Plus, meeting new people always helps to challenge us. This may not sound “creative,” but some grads just think about staying near home.
- Be Strategic- Some say to “pepper” firms/agencies with you resume. This isn’t the best move. By focusing your search and your resume, you give yourself a better shot at impressing a recruiter. Don’t use the generic cover letter. Show passion in your writing and your approach.
- Don’t Doubt Yourself- This sounds easy, but it isn’t always the case. You are the one that knows your skills best; believe in yourself and know that even though you may not know it all, you can still be a success.
If you have more creative ideas for the job search, leave them in the comments and join us on May 2 on Twitter! You can find me @JasMollica.
It has been 66 years since the great Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball and made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Although I never saw Jackie play, he impacted me from the time I was very young. My parents bought me a children’s story, called “The Value of Courage: The Story of Jackie Robinson.” I read it over and over again. A poster of Robinson adorned my room as a teen, as a reminder of this courage.
I never experienced an ounce of what Jackie went through, yet I have always been drawn to the way he carried himself during turbulent times. He never fought back and let his actions, on and off the field, do the talking. I think about Jackie a lot when times are tough and even when they are great. Here are a few ways that he has inspired me.
- Tenacity- Despite great odds and constant scrutiny, Jackie never backed down. This is a great lesson, regardless of race, how we can stand up for what we believe. If you believe in your heart of hearts that you can do something, go with confidence and do it!
- Work Ethic- Jackie never settled. He continued to improve his game and push himself to be the best he could be.
- Pride- Jackie knew he couldn’t necessarily fight back against those who hurled racial slurs or threw an intentional fast ball at his head. He pressed forward and got stronger. The lesson here: No matter what the odds, YOU have the power to be in control.
- Courage- Jackie could have given up at any time. He didn’t… despite what seemed like insurmountable odds. Think about your toughest time… how did you handle it? While starting your own business may not seem at the level of courage of what Jackie did, it still takes a ton to step out on your own.
Jackie Robinson was much more than a baseball player. He was a symbol of hope, dedication and pride. It’s something we can still embrace and learn from today.
(photo courtesy of MLB)
(Jas’ note: I’m thrilled to have Alex Crispino guest post on the blog today. She’s a fellow Temple Owl and someone I’m proud to call a colleague. She never backed down during her job search challenges and her story is something everyone can learn from.)
As a senior in college, I started my job search early, thinking I would find my dream job right after graduation. Most of my friends did the same. We worked hard during college and felt prepared to enter the real world. But, honestly, nothing prepares you for that.
Both graduating college and job searching bring a wave of emotions. You feel excited to start your life, but you’re also terrified that you will fail. My job search started in March 2012 and did not end until November 2012 when I landed my first job. Here are the three major lessons I learned, thanks to that process.
- Know Yourself: When I started job searching, I was so desperate for any job, that anywhere I applied, I either wasn’t qualified for or I didn’t like. You must know yourself, what you are passionate about, and the general direction you’d like your life to go in.
- Be Flexible: Yes, you can be somewhat picky. But, you must have an open mind, apply to jobs that utilize your skillset and are interesting. I thought I would only have a job in PR. However, my current position has little to do with PR. That doesn’t mean I don’t find it interesting and I use tools from my PR toolkit daily.
- See the Bigger Picture: Landing your first job out of college is very important. Of course, your goal should be to find a job you love that supports what you studied in school. But, your life, your existence, should not be defined by this first job. Your career will be filled with jobs, successes, failures and constant changes. Stay grounded and remember work is just a part of your life.
My job search taught me so much about who I am and what I want out of my life. I learned that you never truly know what you want and that’s okay. Each day with each job, you must work to better yourself. If you don’t continue to challenge yourself and set higher goals, you will become stagnant.
My job search became a soul searching mission. It helped me to align my professional goals with my personal ones as well as showed me my true strengths and weaknesses. Despite unemployment, I am grateful for my post-graduate journey and learned so much during the process.
Alex Crispino graduated from Temple University in 2012 and currently works at Pricewaterhouse Coopers as a Learning and Development Consultant. While at Temple, Alex was Director of PR for PRSSA, an Account Executive for PRowl Public Relations and a Resident Assistant. She currently lives in New Jersey, but enjoys working in New York City. You can follow Alex on Twitter, @AlexCharli and her blog, Rockstar in Training.