Finding a job sucks. Even further, finding a job you love and will benefit from sucks even more. Besides the frustrating period of “trying” to discover your purpose after college, the job hunt has got to be the most stressful season I’ve ever gone through. It was such a dark period of separating who I was in college from discovering who I needed to be. But through trial and error I have discovered key ways to be productive about finding a job that I want to share with you.
The number one thing that I have learned is
Keep the Faith, Keep the Focus and Let Go
*shuffles like Mama Dee* These three things are so critical and imperative to this long, winding, tew much road. It’s going to be easy to look at everyone else with their “dream job” and wish that was you. It’s going to be easy to get mad at God and form insecurities about what you can achieve. Don’t let it. Know that each day is another stop on your journey to being all you can be if you just let it. My turning point in the job search was the day I stopped trying to force everything together and step out of God’s way. ONLY THEN, will you see opportunities start to come together.
I want you to say this affirmation with me:
Whew, do you feel a little better? GOOD. Now here are three ways that kept me and others productive during the job search.
Emerge Yourself in Experiences
I know that jobs always say they are looking for experience but this is not technically what I mean. To really be productive you have to be willing to chase experiences in your field. Do you want to be a model? Attend shows, events, meetups, group chats. Find the people and events in your industry and submerge yourself in it. This is a great way to visualize the future you want and meet people who can ultimately connect you with your future opportunity.
Ways to try new experiences include:
-Volunteering: This is such an easy and productive way to get around the key players you need to. Make a list of events and companies that you would love to represent and work with one day. Find a contact email and contact them to see if there are any volunteer opportunities available. Most places are always looking for extra hands during busy times. Bring your A game and work like they are about to take your granny’s food. And granny gotta eat. I promise you will stand out.
-Join a Facebook/Linkedin Group: So I recently discovered this amazing world of Facebook groups. From stylists to even bloggers, there is something out there for every industry. Search on Facebook or Google and join 2-3 groups you’re interested in and engage. Ask questions, comment on other posts. You not only will be inspired and learn so much from others, but you may meet your next mentor or boss.
Show Your Dedication
So you say you want a job but the only dedication you have shown is filling out an occasional application on Indeed.com. While for some that’s all it takes, for you it may take a lot more effort.
-Build Your Wish List: Just like for volunteering, make a list of people and companies you would love to work for in your industry. Research and dig to find their email address and who the right contact would be for speaking about employment opportunities.
Tip: If you follow someone on Twitter that you would love to connect with, shoot them a tweet and ask for their email. Or even if you don’t want to be direct, really interact with them. Most of the time they are cool and will give it to you. See here where I just interacted with a writer I follow and boom:
-Email, but DON’T ask for a job: Sometimes the best way to build connections is forming a relationship with people in your industry. Instead of cold-emailing Nae Nae and them, send a quick email introducing yourself and even ask to take the person for coffee to hear about their role at the company. This is a swerve on making the person feel like you are using them just for the job. It’s also way to genuinely get advice. Take the chance! Remember be productive, B E productive.
-Email AND asking for a job: It’s definitely okay to email about a job but instead of saying “ya’ll hiring?” word the email asking if there are employment opportunities available, instead.
Present Yourself Like a Winner
Appearance is everything but people will half-ass it just to say they tried. This is even more relevant to resumes, cover letters and anything else. If you want to be that star reporter or publicist you dream, then you have to act like you already are.
-Creative Resumes: Long gone are the days of the 2-page black and white dull resume. Companies not only want to see creativity but something that stands out above the rest. According to Career Builder, one in six hiring managers spend 30 seconds or less reviewing resumes. Here’s how to make sure that’s not you.
-A Website Portfolio: In addition to resumes, a big way to stand out is having a personal portfolio site. This could really showcase your experience and cool projects you worked on. At the very basis, it shows that you’re willing to go an extra mile to be unique. Here is a VERY old site I used during my unemployment. Now that I know a little more about websites it would be much better but I know it helped.
Try wix.com or wordpress.com for free hosting sites to get started!
-Side Projects: Are you creative or know a lot about your industry? Start a blog, website or even a social media page. This is an amazing way to connect with people in your industry and attract eyes to your talent.
You can do this. I KNOW you can. If you need some extra daily encouragement sign up for my lit emails and keep the faith. You got this.
Alaina Nicole <3