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Month

January 2015

Career Tip #2: Don’t give up.

That was my last tip in the previous post, and it’s true.

Real-talk: I was working holiday retail with a master’s degree from a well-known university months after graduating. And I applied for every job I could. I never stopped trying.

“But applying for jobs is HARD!” I hear you say….

Yes, it is.

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In fact, applying for jobs is a FULL-TIME JOB! (Cliche as it is, it’s true.)

Until I had slightly more solid employment I had the same routine:

  • Wake up. Make coffee.
  • Finish applications I didn’t get to the previous night and search job sites for new listings. (There weren’t usually a lot of new jobs listed in the mornings, I assume because HR people haven’t gotten in to post them yet.)
  • Go to work/internship.
  • Start looking through job listings on way home (via handy apps) and send self links that I can open and respond to on my laptop.
  • Get home. Eat. Pop on a DVD or Netflix and finish going through my regular sites until I had every single job I qualified for in my queue.
  • Apply for as many as I can before sleep takes over.

Really. That was my daily life. Weekends were grand because there weren’t usually new listings so I actually got to go outside and enjoy sunlight.

Everyone has a different method, but here are my favorite sites:

  • Indeed: You should get the app. Login to save your searches, create alerts and have resumes on hand for instant applications.
  • Craigslist: Not as great as Indeed for jobs, but I found a pretty groovy internship through it, so give it a try. Also has an app.
  • MediaBistro: Great for media jobs. Great variety for the industry (art, photo, etc.).
  • Journalism Jobs: Same. Good media jobs, mostly papers and broadcast.
  • Idealist: Mostly non-profit, do-good jobs. Random communications jobs sneak their way in.

I also went directly to the source. When I was living in Los Angeles I was searching directly on the Disney Careers site and network sites (like CBS, NBC and Fox). A lot of sites will let you subscribe to a mailing list that will notify you when new listings come up.

Pro tip: Have multiple resumes and cover letters saved on your desktop. I had sets made up for a variety of jobs I was applying for. My production assistant resume was very different from my sustainability assistant resume. My general cover letters were reserved for jobs that didn’t require a cover letter, but accepted them. I always had a general template for different industries and inserted company names, position details and highlighted different qualifications as needed.

Don’t reinvent the wheel every time you apply for something. If you’re applying for 30+ positions a day, you just don’t have time for it. (But make sure you proofread. That’s essential.)

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Yes, this all gets overwhelming and there will be times that you can’t believe you’re applying for some jobs (HOLIDAY RETAIL!), but if you need to make rent, you won’t question it. No job is below you because, like Drake, you can sing about how you started from the bottom one day.

*This is mostly helpful for media-centered jobs. Don’t ask me about teaching or science jobs. I’m out of my element with those.*

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The sweetest thing anyone said to me all day

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Career Tip #1: That Intern, Temping, Free-lancing game

cryingThere is no shame in interning. There is shame in not being paid fair wages (but that’s a discussion for a different day).

I spent the year and change after graduating from USC bouncing from internship to internship to free-lancing to temping opportunities. (In that exact order.) It was a rough road, but I feel like it ultimately helped me get to where I am.

What I learned from those non-permanent positions has stayed with me.

1. Overachieve like a bandit. Cliched as it is, don’t let any chance to shine pass you by. Are there editorial meetings you could attend? Are there blogs you could write that will highlight your journalistic prowess? Can you use your fab multi-media skills to create a great portfolio piece? Do it.

2. Make friends. Most likely to other interns and free-lancers are feeling your struggle. You don’t have to become besties, but you never know where you or your peers will end up, so stay cool with your cohort.

3. Network. This is something I was wholeheartedly against in school. I even left an all-day “retreat” when I saw a networking workshop coming up (it didn’t help that I was hungover). Shamelessly add everyone on LinkedIn. Become coffee-buddies with your fellow caffeine-addicts. Become allies at work and that should help you follow-through on assistance when you need it.

4. Dress for the job you want. Again, as an undergrad I would have rolled my eyes at the very thought of eschewing my tie-dye and jeans in favor of slacks and a neat jacket. Oh, how times have changed. My closet is now 90% office appropriate wear. I take inspiration from Nasty Gal and H&M. Invest in simple separates that are easily interchangeable and you will thank yourself. I dressed like I was going to a job interview as often as I could at my internships. I know using appearances to judge people is the devil’s work, but I honestly think it makes you stand out. It makes you seem like you’re taking it seriously and you’re smart enough to dress like you don’t stay up for $1 tacos after brews with the bros.

5. Observe. See how the overall operation works. Notice where the papers you file end up going, or how they got there. Part of interning is working toward understanding the inner-workings of the industry you want to break-into. Become an expert on the mechanics of the place. Doing that helped me see the qualities of good producers (and bad producers) over a year before I would get to produce.

6. Remember what it was like. Don’t forget how frustrated you were when people grouped all the interns as one, when that one high-ranking staffer always messed up your name or the terrible rudeness you endured as the underling. Remember that so when you get into a position of power you never treat the newbies like that.

7. Don’t give up. Just don’t.

Journalista: What’s to come

GPOY
Via http://partylikeajournalist.com/

I’ve been stagnant on the social media front (GASP!), at least in terms of my personal accounts.

I finally landed a dream job so live has been a whirlwind of change. I’ve had a lot of blog posts sizzling away on the stove-top over the last year and I think it’s finally time for me to get back to blogging and vlogging.

Stay tuned for more regular posts.

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