Before Working for My Boss, She First Turned Me down in a LinkedIn Message
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I graduated college without any job prospects. Sure it wasn’t the end of the world, but after months on the no-job train, it sure started to feel like it. I was filling out application after application, barely getting interviews, and all the meanwhile working a very stressful job that was only yielding me minimum wage.
I was over it.
So at the top of the year, I decided I had to approach my job search differently.
I knew I wanted to work in media, but I had no idea how to get there.
So I branched out.
I started networking more by connecting with college alumnae and patrons at my job who worked in the media & entertainment field. With their advice, I realized that although I was a great candidate for any job, I needed to go the extra mile, quite literally, to put me at a better position to getting the job I wanted.
My main issue was location!
I was living in the Suburban parts of the Washington, DC area, and while this city might be great for law or medicine, it absolutely sucks for media & entertainment. And while I was applying to jobs in major cities across the country, I could not compete with applicants who were physically in those cities. For those of you who don't know, the media industry isn't like finance or business consulting. It's a very stingy industry, so for junior level roles, no one is going to fly you out for an interview. I had to go where the work was and try my luck there.
Fortunately for me, my boyfriend lived in Los Angeles and urged me to come out to stay with him for an extended period of time. So after lining up a few interest meetings with agencies in LA, I packed up my things, and with very limited money in the bank, I flew out.
When I got to LA, my job search was still pretty rocky. I temped for a couple of months, which I hated.
But 4 months in, I finally got my breakthrough when I reached out to an Executive Production Director of an advertising agency on LinkedIn. This was a woman that I had contacted about jobs a year ago when I first graduate college, but she politely turned me down.
Second time however, her office was running an internship program, so I asked about it and if they take resent graduates. To my luck, they did, and so she took my details and put them into the applicant pool.
From there I went through two rounds of interviews, finally getting the job. I was ecstatic! I knew this was an internship and it wouldn't last forever, but it was a great start. While there, I did an amazing job and got hired for a full-time position!
Here is what I learned from my experience:
Don't be afraid to contact people again. But don't be a stalker. I contacted the same Executive Production Director on LinkedIn a year later, which she's my boss now.
Be persistent in your search. Look and apply every day. Make it your job.
If you need to move, do so. Just remember to think about how you are going to make a living. Live with a friend if you have to.
Know your market. If you like tech, maybe Silicon Valley is for you, besides the fact that it's hella expensive.
Trust yourself. Know what you want. Be strategic and you'll find the position you want.
Images credited to UK Black Tech
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