How to: Nail Your Dream Job Post-Grad
On a daily basis, I get questions from girls my age and younger who want to know how they can break into the field I'm in (or fields, if we're being real haha!) But in reality, it's actually not so complicated. I think that college is an essential to any growth as an individual and for career possibilities. Unfortunately, I feel that universities and colleges don't offer 100% of the things we're paying for and that some of us will continue to pay for until we're in our 70's! I truly wish that skill sets were taught moreso than history & math.
If I'm going to be 100% honest, because I strive to always be 100% honest, I want you to know that you need a backbone, dedication, perseverance, and strength these days to make the career of your dreams. Every business will not want you. Every person will not see your strengths but you have to remind yourself that you are worth it!
When I was a Retail Store Manager, interviewing girls for sales positions, I wanted young girls that were driven, who wanted an actual career in the field one day, and who had a positive energy about them. To be honest, I didn't care if they had never had job experience in their whole life. If they were willing to learn the position and put 100% effort into it, I wanted them for the job. I think it's very unfortunate that, in this market in 2016, larger companies are hesitant to hire post-grads simply because of lack of experience. If I needed employees, I can say with 100% certainty that I would hire 90% of the girls who have been employees of mine in the past. I've loved them each like they are little sisters or my own daughters. They were there with me through thick & thin, through a long pregnancy, and through managerial changes that none of us would expect month after month. Those were my girls and they wanted to learn anything I could teach them. I loved that! They're still there for me today. We support each other, we build each other up, we vent to each other, and we celebrate in each others' victories.
I was speaking with a girl who is formerly my Assistant Manager but has become one of my best friends the other day and we were discussing this exact thing. She took a degree in Fashion Merchandising & I went with Marketing. She had mentioned that she wishes she would've went with Marketing but, the funny thing is, I feel that my degree hasn't had one part in my career or any of the paths I've chosen. I find that to be very unfortunate, not just for myself, but for the hundreds of thousands of college students coming who will be feeling the same thing with over $20,000 in debt for a degree they can't use. Why is it okay to offer a degree for something you may never be able to use because the job market isn't going to accept you into it until you've gotten enough experience? How can you get said experience without anyone willing to give it to you?
So, I want you, post college grad, to know it's possible. You can make the dream career that YOU have always wanted. If you're wanting a job in Marketing, here is what you need to teach yourself on your own time. Heck, if you want any job that involves a creative mind or business sense, these are the top things you need to be learning to further yourself:
- Photoshop / Lightroom (bonus points for both) Become as advanced as you can!
- I use photoshop elements. It's more affordable and just as great! There are a few things here and there I miss from the full PS, but if you're a beginner, you won't notice them.
- Basic Advertisement Design (magazine, online, and billboard)
- Includes Marketing Materials such as business cards, pamphlets, flyers, etc.
- Social Media tricks for growth organically
- Web Design for Wordpress, Shopify, Blogger, you name it. Find the top 3 platforms and learn them!
- This includes basic understanding of HTML & coding + SEO Integration
- Product Photography
- You don't have to know this but it's definitely come in handy for me. There is no limit to learning new skills!
- Basic photography skills: how to pose, what to look for in a photo, flat lays, etc. Don't get too technical!
- Creative Writing & Blogging
- Who else is going to write those witty catch phrases?
- B2B Sales Pitches
- Learn the basics of selling to other businesses. Learn how to grow your confidence BEFORE an interview for a job that includes B2B Sales, they may ask you to pitch a product on the spot!
- All Social Media Platforms
- This includes Facebook advertisements! Learn the ins and outs, what works & what doesn't. Learn the Facebook algorithms and what they look for when hiding posts.
- Learn the layout formats for all cover photos
- Basic Logo Design & Branding
- Research different stores & make notes of their branding. What stands out? What could they change? Save their logos to your photoshop and try to see what you can tweak with them to make them better in your eyes. Practice makes perfect!
Did I miss anything? Whew. These are the things I have taught myself over the last 10 years and that makes my head spin! But I learned, through many let downs, that I had to show up knowing EXACTLY what they wanted me to know to get ahead of the competition. An employer is going to want someone who knows 90% of the job vs someone who needs to be taught 100% of the job.
I also recommend getting job experience in the following areas if you're in Business or Marketing:
- Sales (any sales job, but preferably one you know you can succeed at and one that documents your sales records for the next potential employer!)
- Advertising/Marketing Assistant
- Store Manager
- Assistant Manager
- Administrative Assistant
The job search out there is tough, guys. So make sure you equip yourself with all of the essentials you'll need. I also love getting all of your emails with questions so feel free to contact me for tips!