Written by Nicole Winer, account executive on the Portfolio Reviews team.
The pressure to land your dream job—or any job—is exciting and terrifying at the same time. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed when thinking about what’s coming after graduation. However, there are some ways to make that transition easier. Here are some pieces of advice from professors, professionals and recent graduates that can help you work your way to that dream job:
Network constantly. It’s all about who you know. One of the biggest factors to establishing and maintaining a successful career is making an effort to meet new people and build a list of professional contacts. According to Jessica Stancil, a UO graduate and investor relations analyst at Conifer Financial Services, “I can’t stress enough how much of a difference I’ve seen with candidates that know someone at the company. San Francisco has one of the best job markets, but also one of the most competitive. If you don’t go through a recruiter or know someone at the company, your chances aren’t very good, even if you’re extremely qualified.”
Show up. Simply showing up and having a presence can prove your commitment to potential employers and build your confidence. A 2015 UO graduate, Lindsey Simmons, said that she got her current job by showing up to the UO’s quarterly career fair. According to Simmons, “Having success after your graduate, or in general, is about showing up and believing in your ability to try. You don’t have to be the best, but you can be the hardest worker.”
Stay hungry. Always look for ways to stand out and remain one step ahead of the rest. Be that person who makes your boss’ life easier by thinking ahead and going above what he or she asks of you. Ashley Warner graduated college in 2014 is now a segment producer for the reality TV show “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” According to Warner, “It was a tough journey with extremely long works days. Attention to detail and always brining your “A” game is a must. Treat every day on the job as if it were a test.”
Be grateful for the opportunity to grow. This piece of advice comes from Dr. David Remund, a UO professor and PR professional. Dr. Remund encourages graduating seniors and says, “It is important to take advantage of this unique window of time, and explore as many different paths as possible. By interviewing at different places, you will naturally gravitate toward the right fit. Also, keep in mind that your first full-time job most likely won’t be your last. Be grateful for the opportunity to grow, to earn a paycheck and to have the security at your first job. Use this foundation to pay off debt, work on your health and fitness and think about how you can continue growing personally and professionally. Finally, seek mentors and embrace their constructive feedback.”
It’s not about perfection, it’s about progress. According to UO graduate Lucia Estrada, “It is vital to keep this in mind. Moving out of your college town and starting a new job is a big change, and change can be overwhelming. Don’t be hard on yourself if you feel disoriented or intimidated at first.” These feelings are part of moving on and growing up. Nevertheless, if you stay positive, open-minded and passionate about your future, change will only make you more successful.
Nicole Winer is an account executive on the SOJC Portfolio Reviews account. She is a senior at the University of Oregon majoring in public relations. After graduating this spring, Nicole hopes to combine her PR and event planning skills to pursue a career in experiential marketing.
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