Hello SOTGC community,
“You can’t get a job unless you have experience, and you can’t get experience unless you have a job.” This statement has been thrown around an alarming amount of times amongst my peers, and I often wonder, “How the heck did I ever get out of this vicious circle?”
Jumping into one of the most cut-throat job markets in U.S. history, millennials are growing exponentially anxious when it comes to finding a job. Many of my friends have risked increasing their debt by attending graduate school in hopes that there will be a boost in the economy by the time they get out, while others have resorted to working minimum wage jobs in order to pay off the student loans that are knocking on their doors. This ambiguity is not unfamiliar to me, and I quickly learned that if I cannot find a job through what I know (aka “experience”) then I shall land a job by who I know.
Networking and building relationships are crucial to helping you kick start your career. You must always be on your A game and never underestimate the relationship you could potentially build with someone. You never know when the person you just met, who is not anywhere near your line of work, may know someone who is in your line of work. This introduction could help you score a job that you actually desire. At such early stages of our careers, networking will also give you a line up of possible mentors and coaches. I never realized how beneficial having both a mentor and a coach-type relationship would be for my career and my life. These people have been in your shoes before and can give you valuable perspective or help you find clarity that you didn’t even know you were missing. Who you know can also be important because they can provide you with resources and tools you might need for success. When I first starting looking for jobs, one of my professional relationships helped me write a strong resume, which eventually helped me land my career. Professional relationships can also prove beneficial if you are one of those “you just have to get to know him/her” kind of person. Meaning that on paper you look average, but peel away the layers and it will reveal character, brilliance, and just what they are looking for – if someone spent time getting to know you face to face, you’re rock star! In many ways, my networking and relationships have provided just as much value as my knowledge, and, if anything, opened more doors than if I were to do it alone.
So clean up your resume, print out some business cards, and find local networking events. Kill two birds with one stone by attending job fairs and introduce yourself instead of just your resume to potential employers. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, and build a relationship with those you meet along the way.
If this post has inspired you to increase your network and build professional relationships share this link with your friends!