(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.