I recently wrote about my internship and how positive that experience was in my transition from college life to corporate America. Now, I have completed my first week as a salaried employee in the real world. What’s even better? I’m pretty sure I’ve landed my dream job at New Media Strategies.
So how did I do it? Easy – I built up a personal and a digital network, discovered what I was passionate about, and did a lot of research to find a position that would challenge me and fit my criteria for workplace values.
Okay, so it wasn’t that easy. With our economy in its current state, it’s a difficult process to find a great entry-level job. No matter how many times I rewrote my cover letter and reviewed my résumé, getting interviews at companies was practically impossible without help from my friends and network.
For example, I read about New Media Strategies when I first got to D.C. Since I’m slightly obsessed with this new digital era I wanted to connect with others who shared this passion. I checked out the company’s site NOT to look for a job, but to find people. I discovered the blogs of Leslie Bradshaw and Andre Blackman, so I started following them and a few other NMSers on twitter. I reached out to Leslie telling her how I’d just moved here and was always looking for social media events to go to, and we ended up meeting in person at an event a couple of days later.
As my internship reached an end, I noticed that NMS was hiring. I sent a DM to Leslie saying that she had inspired me with some of her recent work and that I was thinking about applying. She quickly responded and told me to e-mail the head of HR, which I did, and here I am!
Yesterday, I was talking to a close friend of mine who is finishing up her CPA and trying to land a job at a big time accounting firm. She’s very smart, organized, experienced, and has a near perfect GPA. And, it doesn’t hurt that both of her parents are respected accountants. Then, she told me she wanted to get a job without using her parents’ networks. While I understand her desire to get a job on her own without any help, I told her that this was no time to be humble and that she should make use of the people she knows, especially with our the entry-level job market as fragile as it is right now.
What do you think? Did I give her the right advice? How did you get your first job after college?
By the way, be sure to check out my new blogroll with a list of my very talented co-workers’ blogs.