The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

OLIVER: Finding a job takes a lot of work

eric oliverSometimes the Game of Life looks like a lot of fun. You can just spin a spinner and 10 spaces later, you find yourself in a high-paying job, just like I’m trying to do now.

Not to toot my own horn, but being a second semester senior is pretty great. It’s a few months before graduation and it feels like I can already count the minutes until I throw my hat out into the great big “real world” and try to be a professional reporter all on my own.

AHHHHHH … the screams of panic should’ve set in months ago. I have a couple of people that know my name, and I’ve had some great internship experiences. Now what do I have to do to land the big gig?

Laura Kestner-Ricketts, director of Marquette’s Career Services Center, spoke to me about what the average student goes through after he or she leaves Marquette, and let me tell you, that quelled my nerves significantly. I’m right on track for a job in the middle of a dying industry: journalism.

She listed three steps in particular that students should follow. The first is to get online and start responding to all of the job openings. Second is everyone’s favorite: networking. The third step is to simply figure out where you want to go in your career and target it, whether it’s through connecting with people on LinkedIn or just applying to positions that look good to you.

So how does that translate for me?

Even though it’s only February, I’d really like a job after graduation (something that, on average, will take six active months of searching for). I’ve been scouring the job boards at various sites like a hawk. I want to apply for every job, even the ones I’m not qualified for, assuming I think I’d be good at them.

Then there is the small web of people I’ve met over the past year who are already in the journalism field. I consider these people to be friends and I don’t want to inconvenience them by begging for a job. But when the time is right, I want to be on their minds if they know of an opening, and I’m doing that the only way I know how – by asking. The best advice I’ve received is the only thing they can say is ‘no,’ so ask away. You’ll never know what it will yield.

When it comes to targeting, I’m stuck at square one. There are all these great newspapers and organizations that I want to write for, but at the same time, I know no one starts at the top. It’ll take effort and work to get there. Not everyone steps up to the plate and hits a home run on the first swing. You may need to step up to the plate 200 times before you get that hit, but even then, you can only hope you get on base.

As easy as it would be to spin a 10 and get a job, it never really works out that way. It takes work to get a job, and it will pay off eventually.

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