Gemrick’s Guide: Spread the word that you’re on the ‘hunt’

A lot can happen in an hour.

I had a meeting with my academic adviser, who also happens to be one of my former professors. The agenda was job hunting advice, and this was probably the most helpful meeting I’ve ever had with my professor.

Not only did I get my name on my professor’s list of “People who need a job,” I made a transition from being just a student to someone on her professional network. The conversation eventually pulled some possible leads to look into and also a few name-drops that I could use to navigate through the front doors of a few companies.

Positive people bring positive vibes

I have a few friends and colleagues that I can turn to whenever I need to discuss the job hunt and any topic — fun and professional — about the industry we’re in. I’ll admit that I have a favorite in my circle because of her positive attitude. Any self-doubt is erased after talking to her, and my nerves seem to calm down.

The positive energy makes a difference. As a student, there are few times that one will face any sort of rejection. Sure, it stings when a professor denies your plea to earn two points to bump one up to the next letter grade or when a 15-page essay looks like a homicide attack by red pen ink; however, nothing will hurt more than hearing a company doesn’t want to hire you.

It boils down to circumstances: there aren’t any open positions, you weren’t fit for the company or you weren’t fit for the job.

During this time when rejection will knock you down many pegs, it’s always good to have positive people who will pull you back up. Dust yourself off, move onto the next job application and remember to pay it forward when someone else needs some positive energy.

Don’t underestimate your network

I had lunch with a former colleague from Eatsie Boys Café to catch up. The best thing about colleagues that they’re always happy to help. They want to see success, and if there’s a way they can push someone forward, they’ll do it.

One of the most favorable outcomes from a meeting like this consists of someone connecting you to other people in their professional network. Take notes on who is being talked about, because these are names one will need to remember later.

After half an hour of bouncing around ideas, I learned who’s hiring, when they’re hiring and who else I should look into. In this industry, word gets around quickly. It’s not so much what you know, but rather who you know. Knowing a lot about everything isn’t going to do you any favors if you’re not plugged in and connected to the right people.

I learned a lot about my strengths in the work I’ve done and the work I’m currently doing. The most helpful advice from my lunch meeting was learning how to translate my strengths from paper to word. Now, I know how to highlight my experience and strengths eloquently and concisely.

It all goes back to the basics of practicing professionalism. Don’t burn bridges, always remain professional in good and bad situations, and be genuine. The job search will be a lot easier if people are aware that you’re on the hunt.

Opinion columnist Gemrick Curtom is a public relations senior and may be reached at [email protected]

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