Everyone always talks about what it’s like to be freshly out of college, embarking on your career and all the challenges that follow when you need to transform into a working adult.
It's a part of life that has become the center of focus for 20-somethings as they emerge from the college life.
At this point, they're trying to find their place in the technological, modern world that somehow has more opportunities to get rich and less jobs than ever before.
What many people fail to highlight is what happens after you land your first big job.
You try to figure out how to be a functioning, yet still fun adult, while managing your bills and bar tabs simultaneously.
Two years into my career, I realized I had gotten all I could out of my first job, and I was ready to move on to bigger and better things.
The problem is, job searching isn't all it’s cracked up to be.
Finding an entry-level job straight out of college felt like a piece of cake compared to finding one now with (some) experience.
Apparently, two years of experience is nothing to most employers, and they still want you to start at the bottom of their salary totem pole.
When I started my job search, I found that jobs either wanted entry-level candidates or more than five years of experience.
If I found a position I felt perfect for, the salary was too low or the experience requirement was too high.
The lack of in-between jobs was so scarce, I could either stay put or take a salary cut to get the experience I yearned for.
Luckily, I did not have to do either.
Instead, I got creative with my job search.
Here are some tips to help you succeed in moving forward with your career, and find the position that's right for you.
1. Don’t restrict yourself to LinkedIn and traditional job boards.
I am a month into my job at a new organization, and I found the position posted on Twitter.
After applying for the position, I sent a tweet out to the company, letting them know I applied and was looking forward to hearing from them.
Seeing as social media is an aspect of my job, they loved that I utilized it in my job search process as well.
This showed I was able to think outside the box and the general molds of the hiring process.
2. Find a creative way to stand out.
Technology has opened the bounds of the hiring process as a whole. Take advantage of this, and get creative.
I have a friend who is very talented when it comes to video editing. He created a video for fun, edited the crap out of it and posted it on YouTube.
The company he now works for saw the video and actually sought him out to offer him a job.
YouTube, blogs and virtual résumés are all a thing now, and can help you stand out as a candidate.
When employers see the work and effort you put into something as a hobby or a side hustle, they're going to see you have work ethic and want you on their team.
I cannot stress this one enough. It starts the minute you step foot on a college campus.
But if you're out of college and feel you missed your chance, you’re wrong.
Look up events in your city, and I can almost guarantee you’ll find numerous networking events put on by chambers of commerce or groups, that started in an attempt to help young professionals connect.
Networking is so vital to finding jobs these days because everything is about who you know.
It's not as obvious until you're already into your career, but you’ll be calling on all the contacts you have to help you advance.
Knowing people is an essential part of moving forward, so be sure not to burn any bridges and make as many lasting impressions as possible.
There is an immense amount of resources available to anyone with WiFi access. All you need to do is look for them.
It is important to be prepared.
You have experience to draw from and tailor each answer to, so be sure you have perfected these answers to the best of your ability.
5. Ask the right questions.
You are now worth something. You have experience, and while the employer may try not to acknowledge this, you should.
Make sure you're showing the company your worth by asking industry and job-specific questions, to show you know what you’re talking about and have the experience necessary for the position.
6. Know your worth.
All companies are different, but there are average salary guides that can help you understand what you should be paid, based on your experience level and position.
Use these resources to your advantage.
If you have to negotiate a higher salary, be sure to come prepared with the facts.