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How do I find direction post-graduation? Share advice on what helped you after you graduated.

I am currently job-searching in the Marketing field but everything feels unstructured and messy. I’m unsure what steps to take that would help me reach my career goals.

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Abigail’s Answer

Hello Sumyyah,

It's wonderful to see you asking such an insightful question. The journey after graduation can be a rollercoaster of highs and lows, but don't worry, I've got some helpful advice to aid you in your job hunt.

1. Give your resume a fresh update and seek feedback from a resume specialist or a professional who shares your interests.

2. Envision your dream job - consider the work environment, hours, culture, job responsibilities, and salary that would make you happiest.

3. Use the power of the internet to your advantage and explore top marketing firms. Investigate and apply for job roles directly on their websites.

4. Immerse yourself in professional groups, participate in conferences, and contribute to community services.

5. Make use of job portals like LinkedIn and Indeed.

6. Establish connections with family, friends, classmates, colleagues, and other industry professionals through LinkedIn.

Remember, opportunities often arise in the most unexpected places. So, it's crucial to stay optimistic and be receptive to change. Understand that it's perfectly fine if you don't secure your dream job immediately. The goal is to gain experience and keep your resume up-to-date. As you continue to build your skill set, you'll find that many more doors of opportunity will swing open for you.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your comprehensive and actionable response! Sumayyah
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Rupa’s Answer

Hi Sumayyah
I suggest reach out definitely to your current school couseling and job placement cell.
Also today there are plenty of online resources and job boards and many opportunties.
Apply for internship the industries that you would like to work like Tech,Pharma or manufacturing etc.
Pick top 3 industries and diligently apply for minimum 10 companies in each industry and do not necessarily apply for top companies pick mid level companies as well that will help you get noticed .
Also connect with people in linkedIn and build your network ...
Everyday block time as a habit to do this research and apply for jobs/internship.
Investing in PG is good only when you know what you wish to do.
I suggest work for a few years and make that move.
Look for jobs like "Customer Success" ,Support ,Product marketing ,lead generator etc where there are many opportunities for younger frsh grads.
Thank you comment icon Thanks Rupa! This is really helpful. Sumayyah
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Sumayyah,

Let me share my personal journey with you. Back in 1978, I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. However, I found it challenging to secure employment. Fortunately, my father, who was acquainted with the general manager of a brewery, assisted me in obtaining a job in the liquor trade. Within six months, I advanced from a trade worker to a chemist, and then to technical projects.

The University of London offered me an opportunity to pursue a Master of Science in Nutrition, but I had to decline. My father's health was a concern, especially since his brother had succumbed to coronary artery disease four years prior. This family history of heart disease made me rethink my career path.

I decided to use my scientific knowledge to contribute to the medical field. I transitioned from analyzing beer to tutoring Biochemistry to medical and dentistry students at the University of Queensland. However, the stipend was minimal, only $50 a week, which led to some financial strain and complaints from my wife. To supplement our income, I started driving taxis.

The turning point in my career came when I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Nutrition & Dietetics. My interest in computer programming, which I had developed during high school, played a significant role in my career as a dietitian-nutritionist. By 1994, I was contracted to Queensland Health.

My programming skills allowed me to develop proprietary software for my employers since 1972. An interaction with a patient in Roma sparked an innovative idea. She was frustrated with the standard practice of selecting foods from a group selection handout. She didn't want to create her own food menus, choosing 4 servings of bread/cereal, and so on.

Drawing on my programming and mathematical skills, I developed a software in QBasic that generated food menus. This invention made me quite popular! Patients appreciated the convenience of receiving a printed food menu to take home. It was a fortunate blend of my two skills - nutrition and software development.

So, my advice to you is to explore your strengths. Whether it's in science, medicine, mathematics, music, art, law, or any other field, your family history could provide valuable insights. For instance, if your grandfather was a lawyer, a doctor, or a college professor, it could hint at your potential strengths.

In fields like marketing, understanding behavioral psychology is crucial as it helps predict consumer buying behavior. If you can accurately predict what people will buy, you can make a significant income.

I hope my story and advice are helpful. Please let me know if I've missed the mark. The key is to have a product or service that people desire.

Best wishes,
Jim.
Thank you comment icon Dear James, Thank you for sharing your story! It helped me realize that the path post-graduation isn’t as linear as I thought. I will reflect on my strengths and see how they can be implemented on my work. Sumayyah
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Taj’s Answer

Check LinkedIn, monster website, and indeed app. The 3 are helpful
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice! Sumayyah
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Kelly’s Answer

Hi Sumayyah,

Building off Abigail's list above:

3a. Don't be afraid to apply and interview with roles you're interested in in order to find out whether it will be a good fit. Interviews are a two-way conversation so you will be able to ask them questions to determine if it will be a good fit.

6a. Ask professional connections if they'd be willing to meet or chat briefly so that you can pick their brain about their role and/or company to determine if it is a direction you're interested in pursuing. Questions about their daily schedules and responsibilities, what they like and dislike about their role/workplace, and even how they got on their career path may be helpful to you.

Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you. Can’t wait to put this advice into action! Sumayyah
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Jacob’s Answer

Finding direction post-graduation can be a challenging but rewarding process. Here are some tips and advice to help you navigate your job search and career development in the Marketing field:

1. **Set Clear Career Goals:**
- Define your short-term and long-term career goals in Marketing. Knowing what you're working toward will give you a sense of direction.

2. **Self-Assessment:**
- Reflect on your skills, strengths, and weaknesses. Identify what areas of marketing you're most passionate about and where you excel.

3. **Networking:**
- Networking is crucial in marketing. Attend industry events, join marketing-related groups on social media, and connect with professionals in your field. Networking can lead to job opportunities and valuable insights.

4. **Online Presence:**
- Ensure your online presence is professional and reflects your marketing skills. Use platforms like LinkedIn to showcase your resume, skills, and portfolio.

5. **Build a Portfolio:**
- Create a portfolio showcasing your marketing projects, campaigns, and achievements. Highlight your ability to strategize, execute, and measure marketing efforts.

6. **Continuing Education:**
- Consider taking courses or certifications in areas of marketing that interest you or where you want to improve your skills. This can make you a more competitive candidate.

7. **Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter:**
- Customize your application materials for each job you apply to. Highlight relevant experiences and skills that align with the specific role.

8. **Internships and Entry-Level Positions:**
- Don't shy away from internships or entry-level positions that align with your career goals. They can provide valuable experience and networking opportunities.

9. **Informational Interviews:**
- Reach out to marketing professionals for informational interviews. Ask about their career paths and for advice on breaking into the industry.

10. **Stay Current:**
- Marketing is an ever-evolving field. Stay up-to-date with industry trends, tools, and best practices through blogs, webinars, and industry publications.

11. **Set Deadlines and Goals:**
- Create a job search plan with deadlines and milestones. Setting goals and tracking your progress can help you stay organized and motivated.

12. **Stay Persistent:**
- The job search process can be discouraging at times. Stay persistent and keep applying to positions. Rejection is a part of the journey, but it doesn't define your worth or potential.

13. **Seek Guidance:**
- Don't hesitate to seek advice from mentors, professors, or career counselors. They can provide valuable insights and guidance tailored to your situation.

Remember that finding the right job may take time, and it's normal to face setbacks. Stay adaptable and open to different opportunities within the marketing field. Your determination, continuous learning, and networking efforts will eventually lead you toward a fulfilling career in marketing.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Sumayyah
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Christopher’s Answer

Hi Sumayyh,

I might start with the job placement office at your school. They usually can help point you in the right direction. If that is not the case, I agree with using LinkedIn and monster. I have 2 friends who found their job on Monster. Also, do not rule out doing some type of post graduation internship. It will give you exposure in the Marketing field.

Good Luck
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this, thank you for the advice. Sumayyah
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Sharon’s Answer

Start by being patient with yourself. Remember, this is a prime time for learning in your life, even if it seems challenging. Begin by setting small, achievable goals to add structure to your journey. For instance, aim to network and engage with individuals from various sectors within the Marketing Field. This will help you pinpoint the areas you find most attractive.

Next, explore local and online community groups to expand your networking opportunities.

Think about the companies you'd like to be a part of or contribute to. Contemplate the marketing strategies you could introduce to them, and form a solid perspective on their strengths and areas for improvement.

Finally, use LinkedIn to create a list of potential contacts to meet and share your ideas with. This approach will not only make your journey more structured but also more fruitful.
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Christine’s Answer

Hello!

I just graduated in 2021 and experienced the same mix of emotions you might be going through right now, so I felt compelled to share my insights. The job market can be daunting and putting yourself out there can be terrifying. But what helped me keep my cool was the realization that it's all part of a grand learning journey. The first job you land after college is unlikely to be your lifelong career! And when you step into the professional world and leave your college days, there's bound to be a period of adjustment and a learning curve. It's all part of the journey. My boss and mentor aptly referred to it as "growing pains."

I believe the interview process is your golden opportunity to gather valuable insights about a company's overall structure and culture. Understanding who you'll be reporting to is also vital, particularly in your first year. If you can cultivate a strong rapport with them and they're open to mentoring you, it could be a fantastic way to steer your career in the right direction.

Hang in there and remember, this advice is meant to guide you. Best of luck!
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Maggie’s Answer

Hi Sumayyah! Great question. I'll tell you what I wish someone had told me -- your first job out of college probably won't even be related to the job you have 10 years later. Think of your career as a long journey -- you'll start someplace and you'll end up somewhere completely different just a few years later.

All that to be said, I recommend applying to as many jobs as you find interesting, and choose one that excites you the most. Make sure you're excited about the job description and the people you talk to at the job! Once you're in the role, soak up as much knowledge and experience that you can, and take time to reflect on what you like about the job, and what you don't like. Use that knowledge to determine what you should next. Did you like something about the job that is in a different industry altogether? Maybe you should pivot to that industry!

You have options, and no one choice is the best one. Stay alert and always learning, and don't be afraid of change.
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Amy’s Answer

Be curious! Message people with roles in industries or at companies you're interested in, and ask to set up 15 minutes to learn more about what they do. This can help you learn what you're interested in or potential career paths available.

The interview process can be daunting, but something will work out! Remember that you want to make sure the company and team is a fit for you as much as they are looking for you to be a fit for their company.

Good luck and stay positive!
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