Surviving a Long Job Search

Guest Blogger Michael Wells, Marketing Assistant at DaVinci Roofscapes

So, you just graduated, or perhaps graduated a while ago, and you're looking for the first company that will take a chance on you. The bills are piling up. The six-month grace period on your loans is coming – or gone. You're looking for a spark of life on the Internet – anything that will give you direction or hope.

I spent a year and a half looking for my first job. And the most important thing I learned? Perseverance. The ability to keep moving forward, in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.

These are the things that kept me moving forward and may help you:

  1. Find an unpaid internship. The experience is worth more than money.
  2. Set up informational interviews. (Don't roll your eyes.) It's a great way to build your network.
  3. Know the top ten places you want to work. And know them inside and out.
  4. Network, network, network. When you think you've networked enough, network some more.
  5. Keep in touch with your contacts.
  6. Find things that draw you closer to what you ultimately want to do. Subscribe to Ad Age, Communications Arts, etc.; join the local American Advertising Federation chapter or other local industry associations; get involved in charity work; take more classes; read industry books.)
  7. Form a virtual agency. I did. Gather together people in the same boat as you and find a pro-bono client to create work for.
  8. Start freelancing.
  9. Work social media. You'll be amazed at the number of positions posted through LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook that you won't see anywhere else.

In the end, you've got to love this business. And be willing to work through all the crap that is between you and your first job. Remember, at any moment, your first job is right around the corner. Keep moving forward and you'll find it.

Happy hunting!

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