Recently a career counselor came and spoke in my class. She gave us some great tips and offered herself as a resource to get us soon-to-be college grads up and running… in the right direction. Times are tough, for almost everyone. If you are not suffering at the hand of “the great recession,” then you probably know at least someone who is. I remember going into college (before the economy took a turn for the worse) and just thinking “I just have to get a degree.” I had no real direction, but like most I found my way. I have been lucky enough to have realized that I needed more experience then my first job (Starbucks – note my photo today… just a little reminiscing *that’s not me in the photo*.) to propel me into a better position to get a real job. I always had felt lucky to be where I am today. I also felt decently comfortable with my amount of experience that I could find a job. But when push came to shove I found myself more and more worried by the day about finding employment after graduation. When this career counselor came to my class she said something that completely changed my outlook on job searching: “80 percent of jobs are not posted online.”
Some may not be shocked by this discovery, but I felt like someone had knocked the wind out of me. Generally I interview really well (not to toot my own horn), so if I get to that stage I am not worried… but getting to that stage was proving to be rather difficult. While I am a personable person, the idea of confronting strangers (obviously in a more suave manner) mortifies me. I know it shouldn’t, I know my people skills will persevere, and now I know that if I want to find a job that networking will give me the best upper hand I can get.
Recently, I’ve received some news that makes me think I will not have to worry about this networking deal, but nothing is ever certain and some options are better than no options. So I am vowing to jump in head first, conquering my fear and networking! This past week I participated in something through the UO called the “Portland Paddle.” This is where PR pros in the PDX area come and have informational interviews with aspiring PR pros. Through this I have met a few individuals who I plan on networking with. With my sincere interest, I plan on kicking this fear to the curb. The blog Ms. Career Girl offers some great post-graduation networking tips in this post (overall I find a lot of her posts helpful).
Happy Networking Everyone!