A few weeks back I received an email from an ambitious young job seeker looking to break into the wondrous world of PR. He had just moved home from Mizzou and was in search of his first big kid job. Much to my surprise, he was not asking if I could get him a job at KolbeCo, but if I could offer up any valuable advice.
At first, I couldn’t believe this kid was coming to me for advice. Me! The 26 year-old who eats Lunchables and still sleeps with a nightlight. I didn’t even know where to begin. See, my career path—like many young folks—involves a few twists and turns. After mulling it over for a week or so I believe I do not only have some sound advice for him, but all young professionals looking to work in an agency setting.
Firstly, don’t be afraid to accept an internship or two. While the job market is improving, it is still very competitive. An internship will give you real world experience and will allow you to compile content for your portfolio. Also, many employers are using their internship programs as a screening process. If you perform well and prove your worth there is a very strong chance you’ll be hired on full-time.
I also encourage every young job seeker to be open-minded when it comes to not only the position, but the company as well. While it might not be exactly what you’re looking for; it will give you the necessary tools that are needed to advance to your desired position.
The biggest mistake college graduates make is wanting too much too soon. Does this mean it’s impossible to find your “Dream Job” right off the bat? Of course not, but it is vital that you remain unfastened to all possibilities. Even if the experience is unpleasant at times, you will learn from it and become a better person… I promise.
The more I think about it, it’s a lot like dating. In order to find a girl worth marrying you may have to date a few girls that are a whole rainbow of crazy. However, the experience—no matter how vexatious—will help you in your quest for your true tenderoni.
So, does my career advice apply to women, too? I don’t know… I’ve never dated a dude.