Here I am. 20 years old. Senior in college, with only one semester left before graduation. And today it hit me. Hit me like a ton of bricks. After December, I'm done with school. Forever.
Time has always been my cushion. I've always thought, "Oh, I have time to figure that out." "That won't be happening for me any time soon." But it is. It crept up on me, and now the time is almost here.
I know exactly where I want to be, I'm just not sure how to get there. I'm looking into the face of my future, and I can't lie - I'm terrified. Terrified of the unknown, of what's next, of making the wrong decision, of... failing.
I'm sure there are tons of people in my position right now feeling the same way, but I only allowed myself about one hour of feeling this way, and then had to shake myself out of it, because I knew that would get me nowhere. I had to start contacting people, reaching out and sending e-mails letting companies know I'll be in the job market soon.
If any of these feelings sound a little too familiar, then it's time for you to shake those fears as well and replace them with opportunities. Make yourself so busy with promoting yourself and networking that you have no time to worry about what's next.
Get an internship.
By now you should have had one, or a few; but if not, start applying to some NOW. Companies look for people with experience. Ever notice how job applications always ask for previous related experiences? Well, you need experience just to get experience, crazy cycle, I know, but it's necessary so get to work.
Finding an internship isn't difficult. Depending on where you go to school, your college may offer an internship database. My school, The Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU does. More than likely you'll be able to find an internship related to your field right on campus via the various departments of the college. Apply. Apply. Apply.
Always take the interview.
Even if the job may not seem ideal, go to interview anyway, you may end up liking it, and if not, you can always decline the offer afterward.
It's never too early.
Over the summer, my ant asked if I had started applying and contacting PR companies for post-graduation employment. I looked at her like she was crazy and thought it was way too early. Turns out, I was the crazy one. It's never too soon to start contacting companies to let them know that you will be in search of a job within the coming months. Make that connection. They can always just keep your resume on file for the future. Some jobs have long training/hiring processes, so the sooner you get in touch, the better. If you wait, it could be too late.
Twitter is good for much more than just sharing your opinions on celebrities, and trends - it's a great networking tool. You can use t to link with professionals in your field as well as view job listings without having to do in-depth searching.
Here are some useful resources:
@sweetcareers provides useful tips and articles for college students to help transition to the working world.
@internshipjob is the Twitter feed of internships.com
Also check out the hashtags for what you're looking for #interns