If only I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. I know that sounds silly but I thought that I had life figured out to some extent two years ago. I graduated from college, got a job in magazines, had a great relationship, etc. But looking back on it now I’m not sure that even then I knew what I wanted to do. Even then I knew that I was soon to be an Army wife. I turned down interviews for other positions because I was moving in about a year. I regret still not knowing what my niche is. And here I am in graduate school, in a program that is exactly what I want to learn about to succeed, but I feel like the fact that I will move again stops me from getting a real job.
Honestly. It scares me that someone won’t hire me because I’m not in this area forever. After a personal reflection of my resume: lots of experience, lots of internships. When do I get out of the internship lull? When do I trust myself to just apply for jobs that I know I am qualified to do? What do those people need to see in my resume to say “yeah, we should interview this one.”
I went to my first Hiring Our Heroes job fair this week and overall it went well. The fair was aimed at veterans so many recruiters were focused on the needs and skills of those transitioning out of their service branch, but I spoke to about half the employers there and asked about communications positions, most directed me to their website for a full listing, some even suggested other non-obvious departments like Philanthropy.
I have no idea what to do moving forward. I got some good leads at the job fair. But more importantly, I need to figure out what I am looking for. Right now it’s tough because I love being in school full-time but I have a desire to work. Seattle is a great space for digital media but I’m learning that I can’t do work and school, at least not both full-time, and remain sane. And the commute is tough. And maybe I need to apply, talk to recruiters, and see what sounds right for me. But I keep asking myself: what do I want?
MCDM (my Master’s program) offers career counseling classes for current students. I attended one class and our career coach told us to write down what we want, basically a set of career values. That’s the first step. And then it will all start falling into place. But I feel so torn. Do I abandon publications all-together? Do I go the way of an agency? Or corporate communication? What if I don’t know? I guess this is why I took an internship this year, to figure that out. But I still don’t have a clear answer.
Here is what I do know:
- I love working in web production, alongside content strategy. Basically, I want to help develop and create the content, and put it online.
- I love social media. I’m on Facebook far too much, and Pinterest more than that. I get the majority of my news via Twitter.
- I’m a foodie at heart. And not like I need to eat truffled lobster everyday, I just like good food, and cooking, and talking about it. I like trying new restaurants, and yes, indulging in things like truffles and lobsters now and then.
- I need to either work closer to home (Pierce County would be amazing) or have flexibility to telecommute. Or for the Sounder trains to run for more than 4 hours a day. (Seriously, this blows my mind. I was spoiled by the excellent mass transit in NYC.)
- I don’t want to start in an entry-level job. I’m not saying that I’m qualified for Senior-level positions, I don’t think I am, but I don’t want to maintain someone else’s calendar or be the go-to copy girl. So one step up from entry-level, seriously I have been working and interning for years, I have done coffee runs. I have paid my dues. I know I’m able to do more.
- I need to feel trusted and supported in my position. I’ve worked in places where I’ve felt my work was second guessed. And this just leaves me feeling disheartened and not confident. I’m not saying my work was ever perfect, but if it needs edits or a second go, tell me what to fix and give me specifics, and no badgering, let’s have an adult discussion about it.
I know a lot of this is in my head. But I worry. I really do. I think one day I’d like to have a consultant business, but until then, I need the experience. So what’s a girl to do? Guess it’s time to finish my list of must-haves, evaluate my schedule, and network like crazy.
What have you done in a career rut? Any tips?