Asking for a Friend | Chapter Six
Advice from Babe to Babe
Two parts to this answer: It's so, so, so rare that your first job is your dream job, so even if what you're doing isn't exactly what you saw yourself doing when you take your first steps into the real world, you can always make the best of a situation, put in your time to get some experience and move on when the time is right.
Give yourself opportunities to adjust to the non-college lifestyle and schedule, whether it means taking lots of internships ahead of graduation that will put you on that schedule or using your last semester of college as practice (set your alarm for 6:45 a.m. every. single. day.), etc. Just remember that at the end of the day, when you've graduated and are working to earn your own money, there is no better feeling. Keep the anxiety at bay and stay focused on the prize.
—ALEXI STRONG GONZALEZ, CONTRIBUTOR
I’m a firm believer that whatever path you take is meant to be. Apply for anything and everything. Trust the process and trust that you are worth finding a great gig post-graduating. Don’t get too stuck on the idea of what you thought life after college was going to be like, because you’ll limit your chances to a potentially amazing job. Be open to every opportunity and know that whatever happens, it’s all temporary. You have the power to change it down the road if it doesn’t work for you.
—KATE PIERSON, CONTRIBUTOR
Speaking as someone who never graduated college, I’d say the best way to prepare yourself for the workforce is to start wherever you can and keep putting one foot in front of the other and one skillset in your toolbox at a time, until you get to where you want to go. When I left school and started working, I was terrified and unprepared—but the confidence and determination I brought to every hostess and retail job I had to take ultimately set me on the path to a career I was truly passionate about. Don’t think about whether your first job will sound cool in your Instagram bio or make you rich in five years; think about the talent and accountability you’re bringing to the table, and how your work will grow you into the person and professional you want to be. Ultimately, no matter what job you take or don’t take, it’s most important to trust yourself and your ability to be happy and keep growing no matter which cubicle, server’s stand, lab counter, or standing desk you sit in first.
—MARA STROBEL-LANKA, CREATIVE DIRECTOR
To better prepare for joining the workforce after college, I recommend (three to four months prior to graduation) you start thinking about what type of company best suits your skills/passions/etc., revamp your resume and get to networking! Talk to your professors about possible opportunities, make sure your Linkedin profile is up-to-date, attend career fairs or networking events near you, reach out to old and new friends (and really any other contact you think would be able to help) with your resume (don’t forget a cover letter!) and ask for an introduction or recommendation. You could start a networking group with your college friends and share tips and tricks on best networking events, help one another edit your resumes and help each other practice for interviews. Check with your college, because a lot of them typically have a workforce prep department where you can go and do mock interviews, get help with cover letters, etc.
Above all, remember you’ve worked really hard to get to where you are today, and you’ll be fine. What matters most is that you stay true to yourself and keep trying. The most successful people got there because they tried again and again; many of them didn’t land their dream job on their first try, so take a deep breath and don’t be so hard on yourself.
—INA MEZINI, INTERN
Start by seeing if there are any job postings within your company in the place where you want to move. If there are postings open, go through HR (or the appropriate group) to see who’s hiring for that post, and what’s involved in moving. (If there aren’t any postings, I’d still approach HR (or whomever) and ask.)
My rule of thumb is to try and give my employer the opportunity to make me happy within the company before I seek opportunities elsewhere. This may not work for everyone, but it’s proven to be helpful for me. It also helps me either stay with or leave a company with no regrets.
—THAIS LAGE, BABE #151
Do you like the job? Does it have a location where you want to move, or can your work be done remotely? If you’re really invested in the company and enjoy your work, it's definitely worth seeing what the possibilities are with your boss and HR. On the other hand, in my experience, the major jumps I've made in salary have come when I've switched companies, so it could be worth exploring other jobs if you aren't totally satisfied. Depending on the opportunity and the nature of the job you apply for in the new city, you might even be able to get a relocation allowance to help fund your move. Save that request until after you receive an offer, unless they directly ask you in the interview process.
—ASHLIE JOHNSON COGGINS, CONTRIBUTOR
I always go back to management 101 and the sandwich. Good, bad, good. "Your enthusiasm and desire to do more is great, and we encourage you to keep looking for growth opportunities. This time, it's not going to happen as you'd hoped. But, other opportunities will arise that we hope you’re just as enthused about!”
—JULIE LANKA, BABE #206
Start the conversation with the news, rather than with the “so, because of…” And, “you know how...” Rip the bandage and be clear: “We are not promoting you to (position) at this time.” Then, offer brief, constructive feedback as to why, and allow them to ask any questions. Short, clear and kind!
—KIMBERLY NOVOSEL, BABE #18
I was lucky that I had the most empathetic, sincere, and empowering leaders that got to know me on a deeper level. They took the time to understand my goals, provide opportunities in my roll, but trusted me enough with the truth—that I simply wouldn’t be promoted then. They offered me the chance to take on passion projects in the department and to interview throughout the company, should the right role become available. They stood in my corner when they could, and were honest about their limitations the whole time.
While I did end up leaving the company for a growth opportunity, I have never regretted a single day of working there. That company taught me so much, and I never hated them for telling me the truth.
—HILLARY KIRTLAND, CONTRIBUTOR
Until Next Week,
THE BWH ADVICE GURUS
Asking for a Friend is Babes Who Hustle's weekly advice column that asks and answers the work-related questions on all of our minds. Looking for advice and guidance? Hit us with all of your questions below and stay tuned for next Wednesday's edition!