Job Search

How to survive the post-college job search

It’s about that time of year when graduations are in full swing. For college graduates, that also means it’s time to begin the job search, find a career, and enter the “real” world. If you’re lucky, then you already have a job that you will be starting following graduation. If you’re like the other  86% of graduating college students (according to a study that you can find here) then you’re still searching.

Following my December 2014 graduation (I graduated early because I’m an overachiever, no big deal) I began working for a company that I had interned for the previous summer. However, it was not a job that I could make a career out of, so the job search continued.

Over the course of about a year I applied to at least 200 jobs, had seven phone interviews, four in-person interviews, two Skype interviews, and one temporary job, before I was offered my current position. Even though it  was not ideal, I did learn a few things in the process.

10 tips on surviving the Application/interview process

  1. Choose a few key words that will bring up positions in your field. Try to keep it broad. That way more positions come up in your search. The more you search for jobs the easier it will be to figure out what those key words are and what jobs you actually want to be applying for.
  2. Sign up for Indeed and other job search sites. You can set it up so that they will email you about job postings in your field. Some will let you create a profile that you can then use to apply for jobs directly through the site (cutting out a little bit of extra work).
  3. Unless you are absolutely set on working/living in a certain area, don’t limit yourself by location. Moving halfway across the country for a job could be an adventure.
  4. You don’t necessarily have to change-up your resume and cover letter for every application. Save a few different versions for the different types of positions you are applying for (geared towards marketing, admin, web, etc.). Then you don’t have to spend the time rewriting/editing for every single application.
  5. Try to set aside a certain amount of time every week for job applications. I usually tried to spend 1-2 hours a week applying for jobs (if you have time to do more I definitely recommend it)
  6. Don’t be discouraged by rejection letters. Everyone gets them and it doesn’t mean that you won’t find a job. It just means that job wasn’t for you. I’m still getting rejection letters and I stopped applying for jobs six months ago.
  7. Pray. A lot. Seriously, that is one of the few things that helped me from becoming completely discouraged.
  8. Don’t stress too much about interviews. The whole purpose of the interview is for them to get to know you. Once you know yourself, your skills, and your professional goals, they get easier.
  9. Do research on the companies you are interviewing with and the position you are interviewing for before speaking with anyone. It will show in the interview.
  10. Keep sending out applications. The more positions you apply for the more opportunities you have to find a job.

Don’t give up

Applying for jobs is time-consuming, frustrating, and seemingly never-ending but I promise you, once you find your dream job, it’s worth all the hours spent applying for all the duds.

Moving out

Moving out – an adventure in adulting

SO it’s been a while since I’ve given an update on my adulting journey, which is pretty bad because I definitely said we would figure out adulthood together. BUT it’s okay because I’m going to back track and give you some tips on what I’ve learned in the last six months of adulting.

In January I was offered a job as a web content and project manager with a contracting company with a salary that would allow me to move out of my parents house. BLESS.

I moved into my apartment on March 1st and it has definitely been an incredible, sometimes scary, but mostly really fun adventure.

Here are some things that I’ve learned as I went through this HUGE step of growing up.

  1. Finding an apartment is hard. There will be terrible reviews on literally every apartment you look into, and some apartments that have great reviews actually aren’t that great in person. (My apartment building had reviews about crazy bug infestations and I’ve seen maybe five bugs in the three months that I’ve lived there, so look at the reviews but don’t let them make the decision for you).
  2. Take tours of at least two, preferably more, apartment complexes because then you have something that you have seen to make comparisons.
  3. Apartment location is important. Pick somewhere close to work and close to fun things, there is a happy medium.
  4. Tell everyone you know (friends, family, parents friends) that you are moving out because a lot of them will donate furniture or other things that could come in handy. The only piece of furniture in my entire apartment that I purchased myself was a shelf from Target for $17.99 (thanks everyone who donated furniture to my apartment).
  5. Be nice to your friends and family because then they will help you move (unless you can afford a moving company, you high roller). Trying to get a couch, love seat and queen size bed etc. up to my sixth floor apartment myself would have been a show.
  6. Make sure you know who you’re going to live with (if you decide to have a roommate) and that you won’t kill each other after a week. Don’t live with someone that you aren’t sure about just because they want to live with you. JUST SAY NO.
  7. Living with your best friend can be really fun. We have had many Girl’s nights drinking wine and watching Gilmore Girls in the last three months. Girl’s night in your own apartment feels a lot more fun than girl’s night at your parents’ house, just FYI.
  8. If you plan on getting an animal be aware that they are very cute, but also very expensive. Charlie (my 3 month old kitten) is absolutely precious but I spend way too much money on her. It’s like having a child except you don’t have to hire a babysitter.
  9. Doing the dishes sucks, but you have to do them because when the sink is full you can’t fill up your Brita.
  10. Buy toilet paper, paper towels, and trash bags in bulk because nothing is worse than taking out the full trash bag and realizing you now have to go to the store to buy more, or realizing you’ve run out of toilet paper after it’s already too late.
  11. You will get excited by really lame adult things. I was so excited when I got my vacuum that I moved all the furniture and vacuumed literally everywhere.
  12. Invest in Amazon Prime. You won’t want to go to the store and the free two day shipping is absolutely worth the $99 a year.
  13. You don’t actually need cable. My roommate and I have Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime and between the three of those we can watch almost anything.
  14. Bills suck, but you can’t forget to pay them. I have an app called Mint Bills to keep track of all of mine because otherwise I would be evicted for forgetting to pay rent.
  15. You can’t put off grocery shopping forever, ordering pizza every night gets really expensive. It’s also super unhealthy.
  16. Always keep a bottle of wine in the apartment. You never know when you might need it.
  17. Budgeting is important.
  18. You’ll have moments where you’ll really miss your family. You might think you’re so over living with your parents that you won’t ever miss it but there will come a night where you just want to go home. It happens and it’s okay.
  19. Showing off your apartment to people is really fun.
  20. Don’t stress about all your new responsibilities and how you’re going to take care of them, you’ll figure it out.

There are a lot of other things that I’ve learned over the past few months and I’m sure I’ll learn more but the most important thing I’ve learned through my intense immersion in adulting is that no one actually knows how to adult, they’re all just pretending.

DISCLAIMER: I am not at all qualified to give you any real life advice so take all of this with a grain (or 70) of salt.

 

Adulting

Adulting – Is it even possible?

Adulting (verb), for those of you who would like a definition it is the act of being a real adult, paying all your own bills, living on your own and somewhat having a handle on your life.

Trying to figure out how to be an adult is one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my long (haha) 22 years of life.

I always heard a lot from my parents about how important college was in relation to the rest of my life but no one ever told me that college was the easy part of growing up.

It’s coming up on my one year anniversary of being a college graduate. You would think that would be exciting, but to me it’s like a ticking time bomb.

I never imagined that at 22 this is where I would be, in my parents’ house, working as a legal assistant at a law firm and no closer to moving out than I was 6 months ago.

When I was little I always imagined that by the time I graduated from college I would have an apartment, maybe be engaged, or at least have a boyfriend (LOL) and have my dream job.

Getting a handle on this “adulting” thing has been 5,000 times harder than I ever imagined.

I like to call myself a “fake adult” because I do pay my own bills and have a full time job but I still live in my parents house and I still cringe at the question “What do you want to do?”.

Obviously I have some sort of idea of what I would like to do career wise. After spending 3 1/2 years studying communications I would like to put that knowledge to use, but how?

I’m sure that’s the question almost all recent grads are asking themselves. How do I make something I studied in a classroom into a career?

I bet you thought I would have an answer. I don’t. But I invite you to follow along as I try to figure it out. We can learn how to adult together.