- Getting a Job -
Landing that Early Stage Professional role
by fergus mellon
Welcome to the "Getting a Job" section. Getting your first role is in some ways the most important of part of your career as it is the absolute start! In the following pages we will go through all the aspects of getting that first job.
It’s easy to think that dream jobs are out there and that we will land one of these straight out of college. This is very unlikely to be the case. I remember talking to one friend when we had just graduated about our first roles and he repeated the quote from Confucius: “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life”.
While Confucius is no doubt correct in that if you love your job it won’t feel like work, finding a job that you love is, in my book at least an unreasonable expectation particularly as an Early Stage Professional but also throughout a career. This is not to say give up on finding the perfect job but instead be realistic about what you will be doing in your early career years (and career overall). There is a reason why “work” is called “work” and why we are paid for doing it. So if you do not do something you love, but instead are fulfilled by it, you are building on your longer term career goals, you work with interesting people and it pays enough for you to live a comfortable life, then you will be doing pretty well! This may sound boring but it is the reality for most of us. So instead of “boring” think “realistic”.
Realistic expectations mean that instead of thinking you will be “running the show” and absolutely loving your job in your first years, you are taking on roles that meet your long term goals you will be a more contented professional and human being.
By establishing that you want use your early roles to build a career that will, in this day and age span approximately 50 years you will help yourself no end. You will be building something valuable over the long term. Instead of seeking to be CMO right away (and being constantly disappointed when you do not get selected to be a CMO), focus on trying to get a role in sales, marketing or communications. By doing this you will be setting yourself up for the chance to be CMO when you have more experience.
Similarly if you want to be a big time banker, then any job in Finance (and particularly a Commercial or Investment Bank) will help you.
If you focus on getting your expectations in line (and having a clear long term goal) you will be able to really focus on a productive job search. Job searches can be grueling and depending on the industry you want to break into could last six or more months. For another view on "Dream Jobs" see this article on USA Today: 3 'dream job' myths you need to stop believing if you want to be happy.
In this section I will go through the following areas of a Job Search:
Must Do’s: Resume, The Application Letter, The Free Conundrum: Should You Take an Unpaid Internship?
Groundwork: Informational Interviews, Taking a Shortcut: Using Your Network, Dealing with a Low GPA, Responding to Recruiters
Closing the Deal: The Job Interview, Interview Questions, Questions You Should Ask, Simulations, Interviews with Other Applicants, Dealing with References
Dealing with Rejection: Feedback, Keeping Motivated Through the Search
Signing On: Negotiating Your Salary, How to Resign (if you already have a job), The First Week
Next Section: Your Resume
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