I Graduated… What Now?

Lessons and advice on the job search from one recent graduate to another.

Pick Me!

Where is the line between persistence and pesky? I welcome any insight.

During sorority recruitment, girls would send cookie bouquets and sandwich rings to our suite in an attempt to get noticed. This worked. While no chapter would ever admit to this, who wouldn’t be partial to the girl who furnished snack time? We remembered you.

Does this work in the real world?

I recently applied to a position I feel well qualified and very enthused about. (One thing I’ve learned through out this process is to use the term “recent” loosely.) I contacted the director of the department immediately and turned to LinkedIn to find any connection I may have to the company. The director replied to me immediately, which sold me on the company. She has been more than willing to communicate back and forth every few weeks on the status of the position. Taking advice from one professional, I even contacted the HR department. They provided me with the website to check my application status.

So, after six weeks, my status still reads: “your application has been forwarded for review”, and the director is still sorting through applications. HOW DO I GET NOTICED?

I’ve sought out advice from people of all professions. Some tell me to show up at their office and request face-time, some tell me to step it up to a casserole (obviously a sorority sister), and others say to lay low.

My culinary expertise rivals that of a 4 year-old so I am stuck between showing up, and fading into the shadows.

I came across this research that was done a few years back and found it useful. Let me know your opinion!

January 4, 2010 Posted by | Advice | Leave a comment

Life’s Tough, Get a Helmet.

Frustration coupled with distraction is to blame for my recent job-search “hiatus”. I must admit, for every ounce of me that pines for a break-through on the job front, another ounce counters with gratitude for a flexible, low-responsibility lifestyle. Honestly, how much rejection (or worse; neglect) can one endure from the business world before it takes its toll on our motivation? Is it wrong to weaken to the current job market and let our hair down for the duration?

Lately, I have spent less of my free time dwelling on possible job options, and more time on what I enjoy, which I feel is ultimately contributing to my future success: helping, socializing, and working.

I am helping my friend, Rob Coats, market his brand online (check out his new book- Connect and Grow Rich!). Meeting with him once a week feeds my creative fix, enlightens me on new ideas/ different views, and allows me the opportunity to sharpen my social media skills. Socializing keeps me connected to others (you never know who you will come across!), open to different things, and happy. Work obviously pays the bills.

I am glad to report that a few prospective job opportunities have arisen in the past few weeks. Sometimes opportunities are right in front of you. I think taking a step back allowed opportunities to surface that otherwise may have gone unnoticed.
I am not suggesting anyone out there looking for a job right now should give up entirely. I am merely stating that it’s OK to be OK with where you are right now. Cut yourself some slack, have patience, and let tomorrow worry about tomorrow.

I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances. – Martha Washington

December 7, 2009 Posted by | Advice | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Life’s Tough, Get a Helmet.

22, Fabulous and Making Moves: Guest Blog From the CEO

By, JoVanna Bianco, CEO ILS, LLC

Although January will be the one year anniversary of my company, it still seems a little UNREAL to me. My goal was always to run my own company, where I make my own hours, and I call the shots, but could I possibly fulfill this BEFORE I even received my college diploma?

When my dad first proposed the idea of starting this company (ILS) it seemed almost too good to be true. The President of my own company?!  Then the reality of it all hit me. Can I do this? Can I go to school, keep my internship, AND run a company?

It was a little overwhelming at first. But if there is one thing I have learned from this experience it has been to not get discouraged.  It hasn’t been easy being twenty-two and getting professionals to take me serious. People have tried to take advantage of the fact that I was just starting out and fairly young. But I was persistent and made sure that I did my research. I wasn’t afraid to let companies know what I expected from them and that they needed to take me serious. When I was first starting my company I was even asked by an accountant “You do know how much time and commitment this is going to take, right?” At first it made me want to cry. But as I thought about it, it pushed me to work even harder.

Days like today when I am sitting at my computer filling out payroll and invoices I think how good it feels that I didn’t give up and made it to where I am today. I can’t say I haven’t made any mistakes along the way, but you learn from them and try not to make them again.

Don’t get me wrong, running a business is no picnic. It’s not a free-pass from keeping up with my homework or my internship. I still attend class and work for Battelle. I work hard to balance my time between all three, while still managing to have a social life.

“Because in this lifetime, the challenges that we face are what keeps life interesting, but it is the overcoming of these challenges that give life meaning.”

Thinking of starting your own company at a young age?

-Do your research (basic steps)

-Consult with experts

-Believe in yourself and demand respect

-Stay organized

Please leave your questions, comments, or suggestions on this post in the comment box below!

November 20, 2009 Posted by | Advice | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vlog with Wolf Starr: Founder of SBB

Interview>

Today I sat down with Wolf Starr, a 26 year-old Founder and CEO of SBB (Small Business Beanstalk) here in Columbus, OH. SBB is a local-first company that connects small businesses with resources, information, and the community for growth.

SBB’s Website

November 18, 2009 Posted by | Advice | Leave a comment

I’m Here. I HAVE To.

With each year of my life comes less and less self-doubt. Maturity is coupled with wisdom and self-acceptance. Still, there are certain situations that unleash those middle-school identity crises.

img_1356_dance[1]One to pride myself on being an open-minded person, willing-to-try-anything-twice, you can imagine my surprise when, upon my arrival at a gay-bar for the very first time, my mind was filled with feelings of inadequacy and out-of-placement.

Cute flowing top- check. Tight black jeans and chunky heels- check. Hair and makeup in agreement with a night out-check. Self doubt- check. WAIT! WHAT?!

I couldn’t cap the worries fast enough: Could they smell my heterosexuality a mile away? Did they think I was a poser, or worse, a mockery? Was I going to be exiled from their community and stoned for attempting to enter? It’s funny how a new situation can be a non-stop ticket back to that awful 6th grade lunch where you found yourself silently begging for an invitation to that weekend’s “popular” party.

I can best identify these anxious feelings to those I had towards social media. Though both worlds intrigued me, I felt they were not places I belonged. My knowledge of social media did not branch far from Facebook and mass-texts, and I was not personally gay. Who did I think I was and what did I have to offer this gay bar, or this social media world?

Ok. Here I am. At the bar. Desiring acceptance by this elite group, and not wanting my insecurity to ruin the night for my friend Michael, who was so ecstatic to finally be somewhere that he was the majority. I HAVE to get comfortable. social-media-people

I’ve found that it’s much easier to realize what you want once you verbalize it. I WANT to be accepted at a gay bar. I WANT to be a member of the public relations professionals.

Ok. Here I am. In the midst of the job search. A desire to be the newest edition to a public/media relations group, and not wanting to limit my abilities. I HAVE to familiarize myself with social media.

Social media, like sexuality, is about being confident, open, experimental and adaptable. People respect you in each group when you are willing to try in spite of the possible failures. In my experiences, they welcome your attempt and help in any way they can. Disregarding my question of what I had to offer either group, I jumped right in. Maybe it wasn’t about what I could do, but rather, what I could gain? I got in the middle of the dance floor sans friends, void of any unease. I couldn’t find Michael. I started my Blog. I didn’t wait for an employer to show me the ropes. I Googled WordPress and taught myself as I went. My blog led into other social media accounts such a Twitter, Brazen Careerist, LinkedIn, Etc. So what if I failed- at least I attempted.

Not surprisingly, through my social media and gay-community endeavors, I’ve gained valuable friendships, knowledge, and experience. I’ve found like-minded people who I can identify with and gain value from. You do not have to change who you are. You don’t have to be a guru, and you don’t have to alter your sexuality. You DO have to put yourself out there, try new things, and be vulnerable. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish when you get past the fear.

November 16, 2009 Posted by | Advice | , , , , | Leave a comment

Brand It Right The First Time

Those of us that are unemployed seem to have all the time in the world when it comes to discussing our professional future. However, this is not the case for working professionals. We only have a few moments/chances to “brand” ourselves and we need to make sure it’s MEMORABLE.

Check out this video where Fonzworth Bentley, an average guy, got P.Diddy to not only notice him, but bring him on board.

diddyumbrella_thumb

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDefBNfFSxk&feature=youtube_gdata

From this video, I learned that in order to make a successful impression on someone one must:

*Build Rapport

*Be Smart/Knowledgeable

*Act like an expert

*Be Risky

*Brand yourself

*Take your time: Have patience

November 11, 2009 Posted by | Advice | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Do I Look?!

Here is a compilation of job search websites that I’ve found useful. They are divided by areas of interest.

* indicates sites that I’ve found to be extremely helpful in my personal search.

All Jobs

**http://www.Indeed.com (searches multiple job listing sites, company websites, newspapers)

http://www.Careerbuilder.com (apply directly through site/upload resume)

http://www.Monster.com (apply directly through site/upload resume)

http://www.HotJobs.Yahoo.com (apply directly through site/upload resume)

http://www.Simplyhired.com (searches multiple job listing sites, company websites, newspapers)

http://www.Jobserve.com

http://www.Jobster.com

http://www.Oodle.com (online classifieds)

http://www.Trovix.com (apply directly through site/upload resume)

http://www.Career.com

http://www.JobCentral.com

Business

http://www.careers-in-business.com/

 

Company Website Listings

http://www.Linkup.com

*http://www.Linkedin.com

http://www.hound.com/

 

Corporate

http://www.Jobcentral.com

Government Jobs

http://www.USA.Gov

http://www.USAjobs.com

 

Healthcare

http://www.medzilla.com/

http://www.medhunters.com/

 

Internship/Entry-Level

http://www.collegerecruiter.com/

 

Journalism/Marketing/PR/Advertising/Communications

http://www.Juju.com

http://www.Journalismjobs.com

http://www.prsa.org/jobcenter/

 

Local

Http://Columbus.Craigslist.org

http://columbus.careerboard.com/

http://www.columbusjobs.com/monster/

Http://www.columbus.jobs.com

*Http://www.columbusinternships.com

 

Logistics

http://www.logjobs.com

 

 

Minority

http://www.imdiversity.com/

http://www.saludos.com/ (Hispanic)

http://www.employdiversity.com/

 

Technology

http://www.Dice.com

 

Sales

http://www.Theladders.com (membership fee)

http://www.salesjobs.com/job-listings/

http://www.salesjobs.net/jobsearch/

 

 

Temporary

Http://www.Snagajob.com (hourly employment)

http://www.net-temps.com/

Http://www.Coolworks.com (Seasonal)

 

 

 

 

November 10, 2009 Posted by | Advice | Leave a comment

22, Fabulous and Making Moves

Global_Woman

While driving down the road with my friend JoVanna, our Spice Girls jam session was abruptly cut short (I wasn’t behind the wheel so there wasn’t an accident!). Peeved that she decided to mute “Spice Up Your Life” mid- song, I questioned her actions.

JoVanna defended that the bank we were pulling up to 1.) did not share a mutual appreciation for our anthem; “Never Give Up On The Good Times,”  and 2.) may not take her tax payment seriously if we didn’t act mature.

Of course I was amused that my friend pays her own taxes, never having seen a tax form myself, but was amazed to learn that she was paying taxes for HER company!

That day I learned about my friend’s start-up business, ILS: Industrial Labor Services.

Earlier in the year she spoke with her father whose company (IWC: Industrial Waste Control) hires temporary labor for many of their projects. They decided that instead of hiring an outside contractor, this was a possible business venture.

So, this past January, Jovanna, an OSU student who was already holding the computer science & engineering/ programming internship position at Battelle, set out to start her own staffing company.

She taught herself QuickBooks through software tutorials and consulted with lawyers and accountants. She ordered her own paychecks and figured out how to document W2 forms and insurance applications.

She set a one-year goal: get the company registered, running, and maintain her first client.

She has not only met these goals- she’s exceeded them! She currently employs 11 workers in 3 states and has exclusive staffing privileges to her first client!

Only 10 months later and she has cashed her very first paycheck from her company!

Now, I’m not saying that everyone is wired to start and manage her/his own company. But, I am saying that we mustn’t let opportunities pass us by.  JoVanna saw a void and took it upon herself to fill it. She didn’t wait until she graduated, she didn’t excuse it because of a lack of knowledge and she didn’t hold it in the back of her mind as a mere possibility. She JUST DID IT!!! (Nike was on to something all those years ago).

So many of my friends (all very talented and highly capable) have what I consider “pipe dreams” (restaurant owner, travel writer, personal stylist, etc.) My question is: Why not? Find the skills, resources, funds to make them a reality. The worst that’s going to happen is that we fail.

As we pulled away from the bank that afternoon I asked her what her biggest fear was. Her response: “Not getting it all to come spice_girls_500x375together or running into some legal obstacle that [I] wasn’t aware of. Not having enough time to do it all- the company, Batelle, school…” I gave her my vote of confidence then she cranked up “Spice Up Your Life” and we went back to being 22 year-olds.

“You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.” —  Henry Drummond

A more in depth look into starting a business with low overhead and JoVanna’s personal story are soon to come!

November 9, 2009 Posted by | Advice | , , , , , | 3 Comments

It’s Your Turn To Ask Questions

Ever thought about seeking out an informational interview? This situation is reverse-role, allowing YOU to seek out the information you want, and puts the professional in the hot seat.

Informational Interviewing, a session where you seek advice from a professional rather than a position, is a great way to learn more about the field you are interested in, or gain additional knowledge about careers you are thinking about pursuing.

Most employers are open to this type of interviewing, as you are not asking anything more of them than to share their knowledge. Also, this gives them an inside look into what job seekers are looking for.

job-interview-woman-seated-main_Full

Make sure not to waste anyone’s time, including your own. This is your chance to pick the brain of someone who holds the position you think you’d like. Be sure to have well thought-out questions prepared and have a goal in mind. Great questions include: How did you get where you are now? What are the benefits/downfalls about your field? What advice do you have for those aspiring to be where you are now? What skills sets are most important to be successful in this position?

Informational interviewing has been around for years, in the form of career shadowing days and guest speakers in class. But, it can also be very beneficial to those looking to enter the job force. Take it upon yourself to find someone that is where you want to be, and set up an informational interview.

P.S… Don’t forget your thank-you note!

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Advice | , , , , | 1 Comment

A Simple Thank You

Thank_you_small

Dear Job Seeker:

Never underestimate the power of a simple thank you. One should be sent after every interview, meeting and/or conversation and always addressed specifically to the person with whom you spoke. Nothing too long, but remember to include something personal so the recipient will be able to remember you immediately. Reiterate your interest in the specific position. Emails are not nearly as personal as a hand-written thank you. Be prompt. All letters should be in the hands of the professional no later than one week after the encounter.


Best of Luck,

Danielle

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Advice | , , , , , | Leave a comment