If you’re anything like me, when you graduated from college, it was hard for you to find a job. This also probably made no sense to you because, as children, we were taught going to college meant finding great jobs post-graduation.
It was a flat-out lie.
I graduated from college last year, and I spent the entire summer looking for a job.
I wasn't just trying to land a part-time retail gig; I was looking for a full-time, 40 hours a week, adult job. I wanted a career job. But in 2014, no one was trying to hire the kid fresh out of college.
One of the things that truly blew my mind at the time (and still does) was how many entry-level positions required “1–3 years experience” in said field. Really? How the hell was that even possible?
Luckily for me, I figured that out while I was still in college. I knew that in order to really set myself apart from the pack, I would have to take matters into my own hands.
Sure, I had a couple of internships under my belt, but it seemed like after I graduated from college, no one cared about that.
I majored in marketing, but my real passion was the music business. Growing up in the TRL era, I knew the music industry was somewhere I wanted to end up.
But, living in the South, in a small city far away from New York and Los Angeles, I knew the chances of that were pretty slim (at least for the time being).
I wanted to create marketing campaigns for my favorite artists and do creative album launches. So, I thought to myself, “Okay, major in marketing. That's easy.”
But, I knew that wasn’t going to be enough. I had to take my passion and figure out what I could do to really benefit my future, and I turned it into an online music magazine.
There, I posted the latest songs, music videos and music news. I wrote album reviews, opinion editorials and artist interviews.
Over the course of two years, I increased my social media presence to connect with prominent people in the entertainment field, and I proved to my potential employers I had a "hustler's" attitude.
I showed them I didn’t wait to be told what to do, and I knew the ins and outs of the social media business.
It was like creating my own startup before I even graduated, and companies really liked that.
Even though I didn’t have the years of professional experience required for an entry-level job fresh out of school, I had the site, the passion and the same expertise of someone who may have had the actual experience. And, I got the job I wanted.
What does this mean for you? Follow your passion! Just do it!
Your passion may not be something those around you see as a viable career or future, but you know better than anyone what you’re capable of.
When we’re in high school, college or even post-college, we’re still young enough to take matters into our own hands.
If you’re super passionate about fashion, take to YouTube and develop an audience. Do monthly fashion hauls and “outfit of the day” videos.
Use platforms like Instagram and Twitter to your advantage. When you do that on top of going to school, employers will be knocking at your door once you graduate from college.
You’ll have the expertise they want, the social media savviness they crave and the business-sense they expect. And, you won’t need the experience they typically look for.
Hell, you may not even need the company; you may be your own company or brand at that point!
This goes for all fields, not just music, entertainment and fashion. You can use the same principles and apply them to any design passion, sports passion, etc.!
Don’t follow the rules. Learn the rules, and then learn how to do better than the rules.
In 2015, there are teenagers with their own million-dollar companies, and Fortune 500 corporations are run by people in T-shirts and jeans.
Following the rules doesn't work anymore.