When you’re in college, you are constantly dreaming about what your career will look like post-college… at least that’s what I was day dreaming about! 😆 As a public relations major, I felt like I had a lot of options. Did I want to go into marketing, PR, journalism, focus on social media, or pursue freelancing? On top of that, I was graduating in December so scheduling interviews during the holidays was just as hard as you could imagine. When I landed my first job post-college as a marketing assistant, I was so excited!
Though I was excited to start my first “big girl” job, there were definitely some growing pains.
It Might Not be Your Dream Job
I know this one might come as a shocker. Most fresh grads don’t land their dream job right out of school. I applied for jobs for over two months! You can’t always be picky about what job you accept. With that being said, it’s important to outline your career path and be aware of the experience you will need now to get where you want to go!
Always hold close to your heart the truth that God opens the right doors at the right time.
Don’t Forget the Worth of Your Time
In college we have so many time commitments that we are hyper aware when we commit to something. After you graduate and you no longer have homework and only work one job, it might feel weird having more free time than you used to. With that extra time that you would normally spend working on homework, it’s easy to overwork yourself as you strive to make a good impression on your boss and team. While you of course want to work your hardest and show that you have initiative, it’s also SO important that you remember to take time for YOU. Your time is valuable and if you are putting in a significant amount of overtime it might be a good idea to consult with your boss and see where you can cut back to still have time for yourself. You don’t want to burn yourself out!
Working With Others
Duh, you’ll be working with others. But what about when you don’t get along with someone you report to or the other girls in the office like to gossip and you’re just trying to get by and make a good impression? My advice to you is to remain professional with everyone, whether they’re your best friend or you don’t get along with them at all. You never know who is watching you for a promotion or who will give you the right recommendation to land your next job!
It’s Okay to Not Know What You’re Doing – and Admit It!
For real! Although I like to appear as someone who “has it all together” (whatever that looks like🤷🏼♀️) sometimes you just have to admit that you don’t know what the heck you’re doing. In my first job after college there were a lot of conversations with my boss where he would ask if I knew how to do something and I would say “Uhhhh, no, but I can learn!” What does that look like? That looks like googling how to do everything, being creative with your problem solving, and finding free online courses.
In the PR and marketing world there is a whole other language of lingo that apparently they don’t teach you in college (or maybe I just didn’t pick up on it… 🤦🏼♀️🤷🏼♀️). Don’t be afraid to just ask people what they are talking about or ask them to explain further. Most work environments are going to recognize that you are new to the professional world and they will answer your questions and help you adjust – you just have to ask! Trust me, you’ll pick up on it all quickly – after all, you’re fully immersed in it for 40 hours a week!
While I feel like I’m closing out a research paper (😂) I want to leave you with a couple of things that impacted me. First, don’t underestimate the power of networking with those in your field. You never know who you’re going to meet and what role they will play in the next steps of your career path. For example, I was recruited by the marketing agency we worked with to work as a social media specialist! If I didn’t have that connection prior to applying for the job, I might not have rose as a top candidate.
Second and most important, always hold close to your heart the truth that God opens the right doors at the right time. If you find yourself in a job you don’t love, try to find the ways God is using you in that role. If a new opportunity comes along, pray. God will open the right door when it’s time. And always, always remember that your worth does not come from the career you have.
Still in college or recently graduated? I want to hear from you! Drop a comment below and tell me your experience at your first job post college! 💛
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Want to know more about my crazy life? Here are 23 fun facts about me!