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[Hello, World] Jobs after college

redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
edited March 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
Well, time is winding down. I graduate college on May 10th with a degree in Business Marketing and a minor in Professional Writing and have yet to apply for a job.

I have worked before, but not many places. For about three summers, two winters, and one spring break I worked at Disney World (the one in Florida). I worked a ride and 3-d show; moving guests from one room to another, giving a spiel in just about every room of the 3-d show, quick math and logic to put people in the right rows of the ride, in charge of their safety, etc.

This past summer I worked in the IT department of my school. I have also written quite a few articles for the school paper, had my own video game column, and was Copy & Line editor (and assistant C&L beforehand).

Right now I just don't want to take any first job I see after I graduate. Am I wrong for being picky? I want to write more than anything, so I have been browsing online for places that I could possibly freelance at until I can find a position somewhere. There is a job fair here on campus tomorrow and I just don't find any of the companies attending worthwhile.

To get to the point, what was your first job out of school/in the real world? Was it something you really enjoyed/wanted to do? If not, did you ever get to the job that you really wanted in the first place?

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Posts

  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2008
    redfield85 wrote: »
    Right now I just don't want to take any first job I see after I graduate. Am I wrong for being picky?

    No.

    As long as you are actively job-hunting and can afford to stay unemployed, looking for a job that:

    a) you like doing
    b) is not severely underpaid
    c) has opportunities for advancement...

    ...is in your best interest.

    Hell, I even considered internships when I was applying for jobs for after graduation. The thing many people don't realize is that if you land an internship at a good company, it can open a lot of doors for you and change the landscape of your career forever.

    ege02 on
    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    ege02 wrote: »
    Hell, I even considered internships when I was applying for jobs for after graduation.

    So you didn't start applying till after graduation? Or you were just continuing to apply? And how long did it take you to get your first job?

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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2008
    I started looking for jobs well before I graduated, and managed to line up a very good job that started a week following my graduation. Then again, I was looking for a job in engineering in 1999, which was pretty easy to do.

    You want a job in writing during a very weak economy. Don't take my word as gospel, but I understand that writing is a very hard field to get into. It seems to me you have two options:

    - Hold out until you find a job in writing. You say, though, that you're picky. So you not only want an entry-level writing job, but you want one that you'll love. That may be unrealistic unless you're independently wealthy and can go without work for a year or more. If you take the first writing job you can find, it'll be easier (though still possibly very hard), but you run the risk of becoming soured to your chosen career. A shitty job doing what you ostensibly love is worse than a shitty job doing something you don't care about, because it attaches being unhappy to something you love.

    - Find a job doing something unrelated to writing, and do freelance work in your mean time. Build up a portfolio, and keep looking for jobs that you'd actually like. The longer this goes on, the stronger your portfolio gets, and the easier it'll be to find that good job. If you go this route, just make sure that whatever job you take isn't something you totally hate (it's hard to write when you're unhappy), is fairly relaxed (it's also hard to write when you're stressed), has normal 8-5 hours, and pays the bills. It can be a stupid Office Space-type job, that's fine. It can be drenched in mundane rote, and require no brain cells. Just make sure it's something that allows you to go home at the end of the day and not give a shit about it. This frees up all your mental energy for writing, for job hunting, and for other career-related tasks.

    Me, I went the first route. I actually got out of engineering and went into game development. I took a job at a shitty company earning shitting pay and making shitty games, just to get a foot in the door. My foot never left the door, though, and seven years later I was still stuck at the same damned place. I'm now jaded and bitter regarding the game industry, and have since left to go into IT project management. Just sayin'.

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  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2008
    I'm going to sue you all for being anti-doctoratist, or something.

    Anyway, I'll be going for a master's degree, probably followed by a doctorate, and a higher doctorate if I can get one, at which point I hope to get tenure at a good University. In other words, I plan to never live outside some sort of campus.

    I'd also enjoy consulting, with the ideal clients being video game makers who wish to accurately model and predict animal (and, to some extent, human) behavior (I plan to major in ethology).

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  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'm actually in a similar position to yours Red, as you might see from my most recent H/A thread. I've graduated recently (Ph.D.) and I've got the choice between holding out for the job I really want or taking the first good job that comes my way.

    I haven't completely made up my mind yet, but so far "holding out" seems to be winning.

    Whatever you decide, I highly recommend you start filling out the relevant applications before you graduate. Otherwise you'll be stuck without a job after you graduate, which obviously sucks.

    Richy on
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  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited March 2008
    After I graduated college (Physics and Math), my jobs went as follows:

    1) continued internship at national lab doing some sciency stuff
    2) moved to DC; unemployed
    3) Took job as secretary. I took dictation for the president of the IOM in the NAS
    4) Took job working on cruise missiles

    It's been pretty much downhill from there.

    If the economy is bad and you can land scholarships and/ or grants, it's not a terrible idea to pursue graduate studies. Writing gigs sound pretty hard to come by, hard to make profitable, and random - especially in shitty economies.

    Irond Will on
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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Actually, I'd love to hear about this as well. I'm looking at a graduate degree, but I've always heard that that was kind of a dead end.

    If I get a doctorate in Psychology, will there be any significant chance of me doing interesting work/making decent money outside of a professorship?

    durandal4532 on
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  • FozwazerusFozwazerus Registered User
    edited March 2008
    I was looking for jobs 4-5 months before graduating with an MS in mechanical engineering. Unfortunately, I was looking in a specific city which happened to be a tourist town with absolutely no industry, so it took me until 6 months after graduating to land a job that I liked. I had turned down a few shitty jobs that weren't ideal. So that was 10-11 months to find a job, and my credentials were well above average. This was only about 3 months ago.

    Fortunately, the job I found is amazing. I work in a field that I had never even thought about getting into, doing work that is very rewarding and enjoyable. It was well worth passing up the shitty jobs that I had applied for. It was also well worth applying for those shitty jobs, as I built up great interviewing and resume writing skills. I am so glad that I didn't take that dead end, pigeon hole, no skill or thought required, manufacturing job. Instead I get to design and maintain wind turbines, or at least learn how to, since I came into this job with no knowledge of the wind industry.

    Anyways, my situation was very different from yours. I imagine that the writing business is quite difficult to break into. I'm not offering any advice, just giving you my story to take from as you please.

    Fozwazerus on
  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2008
    redfield85 wrote: »
    ege02 wrote: »
    Hell, I even considered internships when I was applying for jobs for after graduation.

    So you didn't start applying till after graduation? Or you were just continuing to apply? And how long did it take you to get your first job?

    I was applying to jobs in the fall quarter of my last year in college.

    Really, the sooner you start the better, because Fall is typically the recruiting season and spots in good companies fill up really quickly.

    It took me about eleven interviews - seven face-to-face, four over the phone - and three job offers before I made my decision.

    ege02 on
    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'm pretty much in the same boat- graduating this year, hoping to get into writing at some point but looking for an interim pay-the-bills job. I guess I'm looking at ElJeffe's second scenario.

    One way that might split the difference is looking at jobs that are sort of tangential to your end goal. It seems like a good number of successful writers get their start working as journalists - it keeps your writing skills honed sharp if nothing else, and gets you in the habit of writing regularly. Is that something that might be feasible? I know that jobs in journalism are hard to come by though - it's one of the things that worries me :(

    KalTorak on
  • Dyrwen66Dyrwen66 the other's insane Denver CORegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'm graduating college in June, with a BA in Creative Writing. So yeah, I'm off to become a baker to pay the bills.

    Though Torak, try to keep an eye out for editor positions too, since to some extent you can get jobs combing over words and making sure people aren't fucking up.

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  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Dyrwen66 wrote: »
    I'm graduating college in June, with a BA in Creative Writing. So yeah, I'm off to become a baker to pay the bills.

    Though Torak, try to keep an eye out for editor positions too, since to some extent you can get jobs combing over words and making sure people aren't fucking up.

    That's the other thing I was thinking about - possibly working for a publishing company.

    KalTorak on
  • redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Dyrwen66 wrote: »
    I'm graduating college in June, with a BA in Creative Writing. So yeah, I'm off to become a baker to pay the bills.

    Though Torak, try to keep an eye out for editor positions too, since to some extent you can get jobs combing over words and making sure people aren't fucking up.

    That's the other thing I was thinking about - possibly working for a publishing company.

    I also wouldn't mind being part of a Copy & Line team seeing as I have about a year of it under my belt. I am pretty picky about what gets printed, but the editors we had at our school paper didn't really care about the paper all that much and just wanted to get out ASAP on layout night. No wonder our school paper is going downhill.

    Sitting in class just twenty minutes ago, I was thinking of trying to put together my own cartoon series on a character that I have had for about two years now. Maybe just start out with five minute shorts on Youtube and build my way up somehow. Suffice to say, I am never going to have a stable job. Haha.

    I just don't see myself sitting behind a desk calling customers for sales. I am more creative than that.

    redfield85 on
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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'm going to post a link to Kung Fu Monkey, John Rogers' blog. (For those who don't know who he is, he's a screenwriter with a few major series under his belt - he was involved with the well-recieved (but ill-fated) Global Frequency pilot.) He's been putting up a lot of posts recently dealing with getting your foot in the door (mainly because he needs writers for his new series, and so he's using this as a learning lesson.)

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  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'm going to post a link to Kung Fu Monkey, John Rogers' blog. (For those who don't know who he is, he's a screenwriter with a few major series under his belt - he was involved with the well-recieved (but ill-fated) Global Frequency pilot.) He's been putting up a lot of posts recently dealing with getting your foot in the door (mainly because he needs writers for his new series, and so he's using this as a learning lesson.)

    Thanks for the link, Angel - really interesting read, and it seems really helpful for perspective's sake if nothing else, even for people not interested in TV writing.

    KalTorak on
  • chronoboundgearchronoboundgear Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I got a BS in chemical engineering, and I interviewed with 3-4 companies during senior year. I took one of the 2 job offers I got, and I was looking forward to it. The area I was going to be in wasn't the greatest, but I feel like I could live just about anywhere and make it work, and they are paying me more than enough. My family was close enough to where I could drive if I needed to go home. I didn't see anything too wrong with the job except that I hadn't really wanted to be an engineer during most of college.

    They stuck me in sort of a pathetic job compared to what I was told I would be doing (I didn't know this job existed at another plant they own). Anyway, week by week, I've been struggling as I will work hard one week and then slack off the next because of the position the company gave me. It's probably in part my fault because of my desire to be in another field, maybe a cook, but I wish I would've known exactly what I was getting into before I started.

    I don't fully regret staying an engineer, or taking a job of which I wasn't a huge fan. I've learned quite a bit from the experience actually. I think either way you go will work out fine if you keep working towards your goal.

    chronoboundgear on
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  • redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I think either way you go will work out fine if you keep working towards your goal.

    Hopefully. Since I don't have classes Monday, I am going to head home this weekend and fix up my room. I have been wanting to create my own office to work in after school since I want to try and be a writer. I also plan on setting up accounts on Monster.com and Jobster.com. Maybe something will pop up there.

    Eventually I am going to apply or send query letters to some papers/magazine/etc. I don't know if I mentioned this earlier, but for some reason I am compelled to write for an in-flight magazine. You know, spread my knowledge of electronics and what not.

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  • LibrarianThorneLibrarianThorne Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I started really job hunting last month, at GDC. Turns out I should've started last year. As is, I'll graduate with a BS Major in Special Effects, Games, and Animation (catch-all major to cover learning in game related fields such as design, 3D modeling, etc.) and a minor in history. Upon graduation, I'll have maybe 3 games in my portfolio and everyone I talked to at GDC said you need more, so I don't know what I'll be doing. Job offers don't really start happening until a month after I graduate, so the question for me is what to do for that month and, potentially, for another year before offerings open up.

    If I could land a graduate study somewhere, that'd be the operative thing to do but I wasn't aware of the need to until it was too late to apply, so...

    LibrarianThorne on
  • Psycho Internet HawkPsycho Internet Hawk Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I havn't graduated college either, but from my internship experience here are two bits of advice:

    1. Who you know matters as much as what you do.

    and relating to that,

    2. No position/field is a vacuum. There's no such thing is simply "writing," the entire process from manuscript to finished work involves a lot of people.

    Don't feel that you have to get that exact dream position you want. Just getting involved in the business in some way will expose you to a lot of people who, if you work well for them, will be willing to give you advice or put a word in for you if you decide you want to move up/on. The people who tend to have the most success are often the ones who are best at keeping in touch with and using contacts they make.

    Also, simply being able to put experience in a field in your resume will make it look all the better when you apply for another job in that field.

    Psycho Internet Hawk on
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  • redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Yea, I know about the process of some things. I worked for a newspaper for quite a few months. It usually, well should have, went like this:

    -Editor receives an article and edits until what it should look like if it were to go right into the paper.
    -Copy & Line reads through it, edits, and hands back to editor.
    -Editor looks at the edits by C & L and fixes accordingly.
    -Editor gives previously edited version and new version to C & L.
    -C & L edits new version.
    -Rinse and repeat a few times.
    -Editor puts article in layout.
    -Repeat the edit, fix, etc. part.
    -Editor-in-Chief edits.

    As for things on a resume, I have 3-5 things I have done for the newspaper over a year or two, so I figure that is a good start.

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  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2008
    .

    Since it's relevant, here is a brilliant blog post by Seth Godin.

    Why bother having a resume?

    .

    ege02 on
    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    2 more years till I have to go into the real world... what a terrible time that will be.

    Shazkar Shadowstorm on
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  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    ege02 wrote: »
    .

    Since it's relevant, here is a brilliant blog post by Seth Godin.

    Why bother having a resume?

    .


    Sounds basically useless for recent grads. What sort of reputation can someone get from working at Circuit City or the school cafeteria part time during school?



    Also, waiting til after you graduate to start looking is way late. You should probably start sending stuff out during your Thanksgiving/Winter breaks if not sooner.

    Scooter on
  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2008
    Scooter wrote: »
    Sounds basically useless for recent grads. What sort of reputation can someone get from working at Circuit City or the school cafeteria part time during school?

    You can still have a blog in which you write about things in your field.
    Also, waiting til after you graduate to start looking is way late. You should probably start sending stuff out during your Thanksgiving/Winter breaks if not sooner.

    Yes.

    ege02 on
    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Hey guys. How are sites like monster.com? Do they work at all?

    AbsoluteZero on
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  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2008
    Hey guys. How are sites like monster.com? Do they work at all?

    It mostly depends on what kind of job you're looking for. Want to land an ordinary job and become a cog in the machine? Yeah, monster can work... if you submit enough resumes (fifty, or a hundred, or maybe a thousand). Finding an exceptional job that you will really enjoy? I'd look elsewhere.

    Employers do the vast majority of their recruiting via other channels. Campus career fairs and interviews, personal office visits, and perhaps most importantly, networking.

    They know that exceptional people do not bother with sites like monster.com, because they:

    a) are recruited directly out of school
    b) use highly specialized online communities, rather than broad ones like monster
    c) have ways to make the employer come to them

    The thing you have to know is this: the technique that the greatest number of people use is going to be the least effective in landing you the job you want. An example of this is craigslist: when it first came out in 1995, it was highly popular among employers. The kind of people who posted in craigslist were the kind that is curious and outgoing enough to have found and been using that new service. As Craigslist's userbase expanded, however, it became more useless. Nowadays you have all kinds of people posting on there, and having to sift through hundreds of resumes that you get every hour for each job listing is too costly, and the employer's chances of finding that one person they really really want are extremely low.

    Same with monster.

    ege02 on
    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Hmm, so then there is no point in posting my resume on Monster or Jobster or Career Builder? I figure I will do it anyway, as a backup to not having a job.

    redfield85 on
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  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2008
    redfield85 wrote: »
    Hmm, so then there is no point in posting my resume on Monster or Jobster or Career Builder? I figure I will do it anyway, as a backup to not having a job.

    It is better than nothing.

    But you definitely should not use it as the only method, or even the main method.

    ege02 on
    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • EtelmikEtelmik Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    What is the best way, then? Decide what you want, then look at the companies in your area or desired area, and look them up by company?

    Etelmik on
  • FirstComradeStalinFirstComradeStalin Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Network. Meet people, go to job fairs at your school, stuff like that.

    FirstComradeStalin on
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  • redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Network. Meet people, go to job fairs at your school, stuff like that.

    You have to remember that not every job you want will be at the fair, although making contacts could lead you in the right direction.

    redfield85 on
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  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2008
    Etelmik wrote: »
    What is the best way, then? Decide what you want, then look at the companies in your area or desired area, and look them up by company?

    The best method, by far, is looking up the companies you'd like to work for, and going to their offices in person and asking to speak to the manager.

    a) Almost no one does it, especially in this day and age
    b) It shows a great deal of interest on your part, and the fact that you're willing to make the effort
    c) Even if they don't have a job opening, you'll make an impression in their mind and you'll be the first person they contact when one comes up

    Someone actually told me to do this towards the end of my job search, and I visited three employers. Two of them interviewed me (one on the spot, one later) and the other got back to me two months later (but it was too late by then).

    2.5/3? You won't find those odds any other way.

    ege02 on
    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2008
    serious. If you want a good job in private industry, google companies and harass them until they cave in. Government's a good place to start if you want a bit of work/life balance and the opportunity to learn things, but don't stay there more than a couple of years because you'll turn into a Public Service Zombie. Trust me, you don't want that. Absorb the knowledge and run for it.

    The Cat on
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