Since graduating from Seton Hall University in May, I felt I was passed over for what I thought was my dream job. I busied myself with freelance or temporary experiences, all at the same time. I covered my first Social Media Summit in New York and attended my first NASA Social. Now, as my (fun)employment status position hopefully comes to a close along with my graduation year, I’m back in the job search game and contemplating what’s next along with thousands of other 2014 graduates.
Those like me, 2014 graduates, are facing our first full calendar year without the comfort of school. It’s our first full year of “adult life,” and we’re feeling like 2015 is the year things are supposed to start coming together. I’ve done a lot of thinking and reading, so here are some of my New Year’s resolutions for dealing with all of that—maybe they’ll help you too:
Never, ever, say the words “I should have been a (engineering, science or accounting) major.”
Hopefully, you and I majored in whatever we majored in because we enjoy it and are good at it. From what I’ve seen, no major is a magical guarantee of success. All of our choices have brought us to this point, and now it’s about what you and I do from here. I preach this to myself every night…like its a nursery rhyme.
Develop a passion project.
Pursue a “passion project” on the side. Take advantage of activities that you enjoy—you might take writing classes, go to plays, volunteer for a nonprofit, start a blog, freelance, or start a business. I’ve decided to add a lifestyle category on my blog because I needed a creative outlet, which will hopefully enable me to take control of my career this year! Explore what you enjoy doing—you never know where your passion project will take you. I’m extremely hopeful it will lead me to a career!
Take better advantage of my alumni network.
My number one priority. Over the past seven months I have gone out of my way to network a bit but I feel my networking skills are a bust. One of my goals this month will be to reach out to fellow SHU alumni on LinkedIn and really connect with them in person. With so many alumni events going on in my area, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be attending most of them. This is the time when your college alumni organization really wants to give you a hand, so I just need to get over “feeling awkward” and attend the events. Feel me?
Stay open for unexpected opportunities.
Like I said before, this fall I went through a long interview process for what I thought was the perfect job, and just barely lost out. Now, I’m relieved that I didn’t get that job, because another (cooler) opportunity opened for me. To be honest: none of us really know where we’ll be in ten, even five years. Even if you think you know, stay open and loose on your feet. Many of the greatest career developments happen when you maneuver into unexpected territory.
Say YES and figure it out afterwards.
A wise woman named Tina Fey (maybe you’ve heard of her?) once said: “Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards.” I agree with this statement (unless you are a doctor, in which case please figure it out way beforehand.) At my old internship, I was asked to update and monitor the social media accounts on my first week. I hadn’t managed any social media other than my own Facebook and Twitter accounts, but I said yes and figured it out afterwards—in this case, by going to online and stalking popular social media accounts like NYT, Gates Foundation, the World Bank and Mr. Alec Ross, formerly with the State Department. I studied how they formatted their tweets and ended up learning a lot, really quickly, and no one knew that I was learning along the way. muahaha.
Don’t fall into the comparison trap.
A good friend of my mom’s helped me with this one. You know, it’s great that your Facebook friends are: making it rain, backpacking around Europe, crushing it at his/her dream job. It really is great. I am happy for them and you should too. My point is, don’t fall into classic Facebook-induced jealousy. Everyone has their own struggles that don’t necessarily make it onto social media. Ring out congratulations and well wishes all over the universe, but don’t forget to give yourself credit, too. I do, all the time!