I recently accepted an offer for full-time job as a Promotions Coordinator at a broadcasting company in Vancouver; the same company I had been working at on a part-time basis for the past year.
I am so excited!!! I feel like I am back on my career path!
So naturally, I’ve been browsing online catalogs for new work outfits. I am lucky that my new workplace is pretty casual, which is great because I am in love with all the bright colors that are in style right now! Like these great looks from LOFT.
It’s hard to believe it was just last year I moved to the big city with Andrew with no job and no leads. Unemployment was not fun. And then partial employment wasn’t that much fun either. I had all the time in the world, but with the stress and anxiety of not knowing when this awkward period would end, I felt unproductive. My lack of income and career put my spirit to the test. Some days I passed, other days I failed miserably.
Today it gives me perspective on all the career advice I got and made me realize I didn’t want to hear it at the time, but in the end, it was just the advice I needed.
So I thought I would share–here’s my top 5 best pieces of career advice I didn’t want to hear:
1. Although it’s nice to think that once you’ve been paid a certain amount of money at one job, you are guaranteed to make more money at your next job, but the truth is “You might have to take a pay cut before you take a pay increase.” My aunt told me this the year I moved to Vancouver, and I didn’t want to believe her. I had a salary and benefits at a nice full-time position in Victoria and was hoping with ‘all my experience’ I would immediately (in my mind a month) be handed a job that paid more. After all shouldn’t I be moving up the career ladder? Not necessarily. I learned taking a pay cut to work in a company/industry I wanted to hold a career in one day was worth taking a pay cut for. Warning: It will suck at first but pay off later on.
2. My dad told me this one–“Once people see your personality you will get hired.” Well then what did I go to school for? The answer: to get my foot in the door. I believe in giving 110% to any job I do. Whether I am unplugging toilets, handing out bags of free Doritos to a mob in Chinatown or serving beer to drunk men on a golf course (all things by the way which I have done in my long list of work experience) I do it to the best of my ability with no complaints and a smile on my face. The positive attitude and great work ethic pays off because people notice–more importantly your superiors notice.
3. “You have to pay your dues,” not once, but sometimes twice. Just because you might have worked your way up in one organization already, doesn’t mean another company is going to recognize all your hard work… not right away at least. When you work your way up in any organization you build relationships and demonstrate your commitment and enthusiasm. Again, people notice. That’s how I moved up in my previous company in the first place. Guess what? The formula worked again.
4. “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” I still struggle sometimes with this advice, but have to admit the many times I have received opportunities to advance my career it’s because I’ve had a personal relationship or connection with an individual or a group of individuals in an organization. Once you’re “in,” you’re “in.” It’s much easier for the big head honcho to notice your resume if you already work or volunteer for the company.
5. “It will be months, maybe even a year until you get the job you are after.” Ugh. My former university professor and friend Janni told me this one. It’s true, especially if you graduated with a Liberal Arts degree. Again, sucks to hear but right again. Janni writes a blog offering academic insights and advice to students during their studies and post graduation. Click here to read more of what she has to say.
I have a lot of friends going through the same thing right now that I went through all last year. My best advice: just keep going, keep applying and gain skills that you can eventually use in your dream career. It’s not want you want to hear, but it’s all I can say.