When you graduate from iMedia, or any college degree probably, all you can think about (or for my class, anyway) is the dream job; a job where you have fun, have a great team, do what you want to do on a daily basis, and get paid for it. You’ve learned new skill sets, so why not dream big?
I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, and at this point it’s probably not news, but you are highly unlikely to get a dream job right after graduation. Someday, sure–we generally have a lot of time in our lives to work toward fulfillment. After recent conversations I’ve had with some of my colleagues, I’ve realized the steps necessary to get to that dream job and make your first or current job more dreamish.
1. Try to get into your dream company
Maybe you’re the mail person, but if you’re in a company you love, you’ve at least got your foot in the door. I remember when I interned for FOX one of the senior publicists had started in the mailroom, and currently they work on primetime shows. Sure, you may have to swallow your pride a little bit, but as one of my coworkers said “when you have a good employee, you don’t let them go–you see where they best fit within the company.” So, work hard and be rewarded.
2. Try to get your dream position at any company
If you do this, you’ll at least have experience at the skills needed for your dream job. Maybe you want to be the social media manager for American Express? Well, maybe start off being a social media manager at a smaller agency or non-profit. Make and learn from your mistakes there, and if you want to pursue another company afterward, you’ve honed your craft.
3. Look for opportunities to branch and do what you want to do
When you first start a job, you’re probably given a list of things you need to accomplish and take care of. Once you learn how to do this, now what? Seek projects that don’t fall into your job description. For example, we recently had a large meeting at my company where people were meeting each other for the first time. My current job doesn’t entail me editing video, which I miss from time to time and learned in iMedia/Elon, so I saw an opportunity to make an opening video introducing a bit about ourselves to each other through visual means. It went over well, and now my coworkers have seen I can do video. Who knows where that could take me in the future?
4. Learn the power of delegation
Reach up to your managers, bosses, and coworkers. See what you can do for them that they may not otherwise give you. You’ll feel more productive and learn more, they can be more productive–it’s a great cycle.