As spring semester draws to a close and you add yet another year of college under your belt, the lingering questions remain: Will I have a job after graduation? Am I doing everything I need to now, in order to land my dream job?
Your college years are flying by, you’re getting closer and closer to the “real-world,” and even closer to that period of life-or-death when you either receive a job offer, or you don’t. Sadly, the Associated Press reports that more than half of recent college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed. See this as a wake-up call ladies! Make sure you participate in your future…right now.
Facing such a competitive job market, and an even more competitive industry if you choose a career in PR and/or fashion, you must begin taking steps long before graduation so you aren’t a “deer in the headlights” of your future.
As you march forward into your future career, remember these few tips to help you secure your dream job before you walk across that stage and accept your diploma.
Network, network, network.
Start networking and creating lasting professional relationships TODAY. Participate in any and every student organization, meeting, career fair and event that relates to your major and your desired career path. Even if you don’t realize it at the time, the recruiter you met at that career fair last year, or the PR professional you chatted with in class yesterday, could be the potential connection that gets you hired. Stay in contact, and continue to engage and interact with your professional connections so they will remember you when you start your job search. Finding a job is all about who you know, so make sure you meet and form relationships with the right people.
Internships are more than a temporary experience.
An internship doesn’t just have to be a four-month opportunity that gives you experience in the industry. Make sure it’s much more than that! Look at your internship as a four-month job interview, and a chance to show off what a skilled and talented woman you are. Push yourself to do such a fabulous job that your employer has no choice but to offer you a full-time position after your internship is over.
If you get stuck on one single job that you want, you might miss out on other great opportunities. You may think you love the fashion industry, or hate agency PR work, but how do you know until you try? Be open to exploring different industries and job roles, and you may find out that your dream job wasn’t what you dreamt about after all! Don’t turn down new possibilities just because they don’t fit into your plan- they may be even better than the job you thought you wanted!
So, as you continue down your path towards your desired destination, remember that if you want to get hired before graduation, start forming your professional presence now! It’s never too early to get a jump-start on your career and your future! And no matter the job market and challenges of the industry, there will always be a market for hard-working, strong, talented PR girls. So go out there and be that girl!
Abbie is a third-year journalism student at Michigan State University and an aspiring PR professional with big city dreams. With experience as an intern in the public relations and communications industry, Abbie is excited to share her knowledge with Your Coffee Break's readers! Along with PR, Abbie is a lover of all things family, fashion, food and travel.View all Abbie Lennox posts.