Start With Any Job as Gateway to Career

While the economy shows glimmers of growth, the job picture remains bleak.  Corporations and agencies are waiting for definite confirmation of an economic recovery before adding headcount, even in cases where current workloads would support additional hiring.  As a result, more college graduates under the age of 27 are unemployed than ever before.  Job seekers can no longer be picky about jobs they find acceptable. 

The New York Times produced a compelling video tracking 24-year-old twins Katie and Kristy Barry, who have been looking for jobs in New York since they received journalism degrees from Rutgers in 2008.  The twins’ story underscores the need for Millennials to get any job and use it as a base from which to look for a more preferred position.  I predict Katie and Kristy will land jobs soon thanks to their aggressive job search efforts and their good fortune of being featured in highly-viewed video about their career search.

Any job search requires tapping and expanding your personal and social networks as well as spending several hours a day online.  Some fellow bloggers like Heather Huhman and Gordon Barnes share job leads that cross their desks.  Gordon this week provided his fourth major recap of DC-area job openings, while Heather tweets daily about job openings and compiles them into a handy once-a-day LinkedIn update. 

3 thoughts on “Start With Any Job as Gateway to Career

  1. The outlook on the job market is horrible and scary especially for a “recent” grad like myself. I still consider myself in career limbo after graduating in May ’08 with an M.A. in Journalism. I’ve taken a lot of advice, networked (and continue to do so), and even moved to another city in hopes of landing that first big girl job.

    I think now, you have to take what you can get as long as you aren’t grossly underemployed. I’m glad to see some realistic advice instead of things like “hold out for that dream job because you’re going to be miserable in a retail/sales/server/bartender/call center job!” I don’t disagree, if you have a degree or advanced degree, those jobs aren’t desirable and leave you feeling like a worthless loser. BUT, sometimes, you have to bite the bullet and get some money in your pockets, especially if you have no financial assistance from family members, OR you get creative and figure out ways to make money.

    What I would like to know is how to organize your resume, cover letter and interview to illustrate transferable skills from that retail/call center job and also to show that you’re not a worthless loser, you’ve just got bills to pay.

  2. LaKrisia: It is essential for you to understand that you are not alone. The economic situation is to blame, not you. Everyone is aware of the unusual circumstances you face, and the traditional job “rules” are being rewritten.

    I asked Maryanne Rainone of PR executive search firm Heyman Associates offers to weigh in with some advice and here’s what she said: “When you take the ‘survival’ job, you should be open and honest on the resume and not try to spin it into anything but what it is. Address the skills you take away from the job since you are sure to learn something you didn’t know before whether it is new software, accounting skills, organizational skills–something.”

    Maryanne suggests that you find some way to stay as closely connected to the world you want to be in. “That might mean a volunteer role on an a part-time basis, working around your paying job.”

  3. Hi everyone,

    I would like an advice about how can I enter in the Pr and event market in Madrid – Spain. I am new in this country and I would like some tips how can I approach the pr and event agencies in order to get to an interview.
    Untill now I have received only answers like: “we are sorry we do not do hiring for the moment”. And I am talking about april 2008 until now.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Kind regards,
    Corina

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