I should say up front that I haven’t had to job hunt that many times in my life or for very long. But, I have made a couple mistakes or have generally learned some pieces here and there that I think are important enough to pass on to anyone willing to read this.
I thought of this topic because I’m currently going through a job hunt that will hopefully jump start my move to somewhere new. So, I’m hoping to separate it out by certain times that I’m sure are almost universal for people who have ever needed to look for a job teenage years and on.
What I Learned While …
Searching For My First Job Ever
Most of these jobs are usually received during high school. Somehow I didn’t have that luck or the time or I was too busy or maybe just too lazy. I got my first job the summer before my junior year of college. I was late to the game, I know.
So some of the big things that I learned from this experience:
Don’t be too picky. It’s a first job. It’s not going to be super glamorous (unless maybe you have really good connections?). I think I was a little too picky when it came to looking for my first job while in high school and that of course didn’t help me at all.
Be Proactive. I should have been a little more aggressive when looking while in high school, but I was way more reserved and shy than I am now. But I kept getting disappointed and letting it get to me. I’m a June baby so when I went in when I was 15, they said they wanted someone 16 and older. When I turned 16, it became they want 17 and older. I didn’t get and got discouraged.
Be open to any opportunity. I think if I was more open to other opportunities, I would have found something when in HS. However, I definitely became more open to opportunities I wouldn’t have thought of and because of that, found my job in college that I LOVED.
Searching For That First Job After College
My major in college was Sociology and I minored in Public Health. To be honest, I didn’t really think through what I was going to do with this major. I graduated and found myself with absolutely no direction whatsoever. It really stressed me out and gave me anxiety.
Again, don’t be too picky, but be more selective. By this time I’m guessing most people will have some idea of industry or work environment that you want. I knew parts of this from my college job, but learned more about what I didn’t want when I got my first job after college.
Don’t have too high of expectations. This might depend on your major again (if you have one), but I honestly think that I thought I would be able to start higher up than what I was really qualified for. So, know what you’re qualified for and don’t expect to be getting paid the same as someone with more experience than you or expect to start at a higher up position than your qualified for. Set the bar high, but within reasonable reach. Everyone has to start at some bottom, somewhere.
Sometimes you have to go for a job that may seem below your qualifications just to get your foot in the door. At least that’s what I ended up doing with my current job. I interviewed for a receptionist job, which I didn’t really want. I didn’t get it, but they offered me a different job. And here I am almost three years later.
Searching For the ‘Next Step Up’ Job
I’ve been going through this process for a few months now and let me tell you it’s exhausting and so far very discouraging. I also learned that I may have made one mistake that might actually be the reason I don’t get calls for interviews. Whoops.
Make sure that the file type you’re sending (if attaching) is compatible with PC and MAC. I work with MACs at work right now and did some edits on my resume and cover letter template and ended up saving both in the MAC only Word file type. I’ve sent my resume with this file extension to probably at least 10 – 15 jobs. But now I know better.
Have a plan. And a back up plan. For this step that I’m currently in, it’s a little harder since I want to move out of state. Right now I’m working on my first plan which is just to consistently apply for jobs that I’m qualified for and wouldn’t mind having (even if just for a year). But I also created a tentative back up plan. It’s looking like more and more that I may just have to bite the bullet and move out to the state/city that I want and immediately start looking. I also plan on reaching out to temp agencies, because you never know and a temp agency is actually how I got my current job.
So, the biggest thing that I think I’ve learned so far? Just that – this is all learning process and definitely may be different for each person.
What are some things you’ve learned?
P.S. Look out for my posts this week: A book review, Top Ten Tuesday, Bookish Though, A Book tag, and a zodiac post!