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You’re About to Graduate… Now What?

My quest for finding a job began long before I graduated. I have always been a determined individual when it came to applying for internships and finding opportunities. So, around December, I started applying for post-graduate positions. I didn’t have high expectations for finding a job immediately due to still being at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was hoping to have more luck as the time got closer to graduation. 

Here’s how I got the ball rolling, along with insight into my personal experience finding my first job and some helpful tips.

@RedBranch Social Outreach Associate, @BCollinsRBM, discusses her experience with finding a job during the pandemic. See what advice she has for like-minded job seekers hoping to start that dream career: Share on X

Application Overload

I knew there wouldn’t be an abundance of job openings due to COVID-19 and the majority of businesses working remotely. I ended up applying for about 40 positions only to receive 5 interviews. I never panicked about the number of applications I submitted or worried that I genuinely wouldn’t find a job. 

Tip #1: Don’t panic! It doesn’t help when looking for a job, especially during a crisis.

It wasn’t until I had my first interview with Red Branch Media (RBM) that I realized that the weight was off my shoulders. No matter what you tell yourself, there is a big burden during any job search, especially your very first one, post-graduation. 

I could tell right away that they would be a company that would push me to be my best but also expect a lot in return. After another interview, I was sold. All of my worries about finding a job were gone, and I was thrilled to share with friends and family that I accepted a job offer.

Tip #2: Look for a role that challenges you. If not a specific role, then look for leadership that will! 

Finding My Place

When I first started at RBM, I had those typical initial fears. I was worried if I would be a good fit for this environment, if I would be capable of putting out work that met their expectations, and so on. However, I was welcomed with open arms and was able to train and see how RBM truly works. I have never had a moment where I felt lost, wondering if my work is meaningful or if I was just another number in the office. All of my co-workers were willing to mentor me as I adjusted to this new role.

Tip #3: Ask about training and mentoring programs early on to avoid becoming disengaged.

I have always been a visual learner, so being able to share screens and Zoom has made my training process much easier. I also feel like I am still getting that in-person interaction at RBM. Every day, we have “standups,” which are an opportunity for everyone within their pods to go over their tasks for the day, ask questions, and answer a brain teaser. 

In addition to this, RBM has a monthly “eating meeting”. During this hour, we have a chance to socialize as we would during office hours, play games, and eat snacks. It says something about a workplace that wants people to get to know each other besides just being co-workers.

Tip #4: Look through social media and the company website to get an idea of the kind of company you’re getting into!

Rethinking Remote 

Over my first few weeks at RBM, I have learned so much in a short amount of time. Gaining new knowledge and growing was important to me no matter where I would find work. Even working remotely, I feel that I have a true sense of my purpose and know who my co-workers are. 

On the latest @RedBranch blog, Social Outreach Associate @BCollinsRBM offers insights on how to handle the #JobHunt in our current market. See what tips she has for you! Share on X

Communication has become crucial and working remotely has almost forced me to over-communicate. Something that I truly respect about RBM is its environment. I work at a place where I feel like I can truly be myself. Everyone is relaxed, wants to get to know each other, and praises each others’ success. You can’t always say this about companies and that’s why I value having this experience. At RBM, we are a family.

Tip #5: Remote work is hard enough so check what collaboration options a company has to alleviate any issues that arise.

DO’s and DON’Ts for Post-Grad Jobseekers

My advice about finding your first post-graduate position? 

  • DON’T sell yourself short by settling for that “first job” role. Yes, experience is better than no experience, but finding something you enjoy makes the experience a lot better. 
  • DO your research. If the position or company doesn’t align with your goals, keep looking. 
  • DO be honest with yourself. 
  • DON’T give up. I realize I am fortunate enough to have found a position quickly and one that I am passionate about. However, it isn’t the end of the world if it takes you longer to find a role that speaks to you. 
  • DO try starting with an internship or simply keep applying and networking! 
  • DO create a space where you can succeed, if your first job happens to be remote. Whether that means decorating your desk, asking for an extra monitor,  or taking work to a coffee shop! It might even make the day go a little quicker.

I am thankful for the opportunity that I have had to work at Red Branch Media thus far and wish for all graduates to find a career that makes life just a little more enjoyable!

For additional job hunting and application tips, check out Tips And Tricks To Help You Beat The Applicant Tracking System.