Don’t you hate it when people go on and on about “making it,” but never tell you how?!
So annoying right?
I think so too. That’s why on my blog, I always try my best to give practical tips and advice that either have or are currently working for me in this journey through forced adulthood. But let me be clear, in no way have I “made it.” Heck, I barely make it out of bed every morning. Still, if my experiences can help in any way, I’m going to continue to share them.
With that said, I noticed that I’ve been posting pictures about being in these New York streets and making posts about what I’ve learned while I’ve been here, but I’ve been leaving out some vital information: How exactly did I get here?
I spent 10 grueling months working dead-end jobs after I graduated from college and hated every minute of them. But in my spare time, when I wasn’t questioning the fate of my future, I was applying to 5 – 10 job locations a weeks. Until one day, one place gave me a chance. Here’s how it happened.
My friend had already been living in New York for a few months for grad school and she let me know about an organization called the IRTS Foundation which hosts a fellowship program for minority college students interested in pursuing a career in the media industry. She informed me of a job fair they were hosting and suggested that I apply.
I did and got accepted.
Once I received my acceptance email, I immediately booked my bus tickets and was all set to go. The day of my trip to New York, my sister and I hit the road early to avoid any travel issues, but nothing could prepare us for what was up the road ahead. A fatal car addict caused traffic to be backed up for miles which forced us to sit, waiting in the car as time passed us by. In the end, we were still 20 mins way from the station and 20 minutes passed my scheduled departure time. Translation: Your girl wasn’t going no where.
I was devastated. I was so mad at God like, “Why would you let me get all this way just for me not to be able to go? Can’t you see I’m trying to get a job? Can’t you see I’m trying?” I cried like a baby that morning and had to call my friend to let her know I couldn’t make it.
But some thing in me told me that it wasn’t completely over. After I got home and collected my emotions, I pulled out my laptop and got back to work. I started researching all the companies that were going to be at the job fair and went to each one of their websites to see if their company culture was a good fit for what I was looking for and from there, I looked to see which of those had entry level positions open.
***Quick note: I researched the companies ahead of time and knew who I wanted to speak to. But, since I wasn’t going to be there in person to ask the recruiters my questions, I had to put in the additional work described above.***
Among those, one stuck out the most, we’ll call it Dream Inc. Once I saw that Dream Inc. was the agency that had the culture and opening that fit my needs and skills, the real work kicked in. Here are the 3 steps that got me the job:
1.) LinkedIn became my Instagram: Please, for the love of sweet baby Jesus, do not sleep on the power of LinkedIn. We spend hours upon hours of our time on social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram everyday and treat LinkedIn like a step-child. But let me be the first to tell you that this platform is one of the greatest tools a job seeker could ever use. When I knew Dream Inc. was the agency I wanted to pursue, the first thing I did was head to LinkedIn, search the company’s page, and find who the recruiter was. I found his name, how long he had been working at the company, and even where he when to college. I wanted to have all the information I could get in order to be as prepared as I possibly could be when I reached out to him. Which takes me to my next point.
2.) I sent MAD emails: I wish I could give you all a look into my gmail account, because chillleeee, it’s something you have to see to believe. Although I sent tons of emails prior to reaching out to Dream Inc., once I got serious about this particular company, the emails got more and more strategic. Every email I sent to the recruiter expressed my personal skills, my professional background, my extreme interest in the company, and how all of this made me the right candidate for the position. Not only that, but I made sure the recruiter knew that I was interested in working with him to learn more about the company, allowing the following to take place.
3. I got cool with the recruiter: After doing my LinkedIn stalking… I mean, research, I pretty much had all the information I needed about him to have a normal, human conversation once he offered me an phone interview. This personalized approach, allowed him to feel comfortable with me, just as much as I was comfortable with him. He grilled me on the company, I confidently fired back with witty and informed responses. He quizzed me on my prior experiences, and we kee-keed about percentages. This allowed my personality to shine through the phone and made the interview more of a conversation as opposed to a one-on-one interrogation. Never forget that recruiters are people too!
BONUS – P r a y e r: What? Y’all though I got the job on my own merit and good looks? Tuh! Although they helped, I made sure to keep God first during this jobless season. My praying and fasting aligned with God’s timing and that is the real message from all of this.
I think the biggest takeaway from this post is that there really isn’t any secret formula to getting your dream job, internship, etc. Some of us get our offers while we’re in school. Others get it 1, 2, 18 months afterwards. It’s all about patience, faith, preparation, and not giving up after the many no’s you may received. I can’t stress enough how everyone’s post grad journey is DIFFERENT! But as long as you get it, honey, that’s the real key.
Before you leave: Let’s uplift and inspire one another; share this post with someone who you think would benefit from this knowledge! And let me know some of the tricks you used to land your job/internship and which of my trips you might use yourself! Like, comment, and follow for new blog updates!
Aley Arion – Your Millennial Mami