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a quick question for young professionals/ aspiring professionals

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
Curious, for those of you who are young and have established yourself pretty well, how did you get your first job? Application? Referral? Connection-- i.e. friend in the company, daddy dollar's business, etc.? Did that lead you down your career path, or did you leverage something from it? Thanks.
post #2 of 49
All the jobs I've ever had have been as a result of tenuous familial connections paired with a CV/ Interview Manner that makes employers mess their pants. Your best bet is to call in every favour you've ever been owed, and make sure you follow it up with every possible ounce of research. As an example I ensure that I know the the stock price, names of Directors, notable clients, and their development plans for the future. Once the interviewer knows how interested you are in the company and a role you could play within it any hint of nepotism should be forgotten. By him at least, the rest of the staff will hate you for ever.
post #3 of 49
Everyone's called a "professional" nowadays.
post #4 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by intent View Post
Everyone's called a "professional" nowadays.

Does that have to do with the fact that if you don't get paid for your job you're strictly an amateur?
post #5 of 49
post #6 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhood View Post
All the jobs I've ever had have been as a result of tenuous familial connections paired with a CV/ Interview Manner that makes employers mess their pants.

Your best bet is to call in every favour you've ever been owed, and make sure you follow it up with every possible ounce of research. As an example I ensure that I know the the stock price, names of Directors, notable clients, and their development plans for the future.

Once the interviewer knows how interested you are in the company and a role you could play within it any hint of nepotism should be forgotten. By him at least, the rest of the staff will hate you for ever.

Basically, then, be the total package. Enlightening.
post #7 of 49
I can't tell if that was sarcastic or not :/ Being better than the other candidates is in fact a sure fire way to get a job. What people don't grasp is that being better than everyone else is an easily achievable goal.
post #8 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhood View Post
I can't tell if that was sarcastic or not :/

Being better than the other candidates is in fact a sure fire way to get a job. What people don't grasp is that being better than everyone else is an easily achievable goal.

Yes, it was sarcastic. I guess it depends on who you're competing with and where your interests lie. Generally though, I was just inquiring about how most people land jobs.
post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by fossil8412 View Post
Yes, it was sarcastic. I guess it depends on who you're competing with and where your interests lie. Generally though, I was just inquiring about how most people land jobs.
Blackhood's advice is spot-on. It doesn't take a huge amount of effort to stand out. You only need to do 20-30 min of research to find out the things he's suggesting. Practice answering interview questions with your parents or friends and you're good to go. All the jobs I've ever had have been through volunteer positions that turned into jobs, tenuous family connections and then once I established myself, my network of contacts.
post #10 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhood View Post
All the jobs I've ever had have been as a result of tenuous familial connections paired with a CV/ Interview Manner that makes employers mess their pants.

Your best bet is to call in every favour you've ever been owed, and make sure you follow it up with every possible ounce of research. As an example I ensure that I know the the stock price, names of Directors, notable clients, and their development plans for the future.

Once the interviewer knows how interested you are in the company and a role you could play within it any hint of nepotism should be forgotten. By him at least, the rest of the staff will hate you for ever.

Are you still working in a clothing store?
post #11 of 49
I am, as well as an accountancy firm. I appreciate those aren't great jobs but I am studying full time at the moment. Before I went back to university I secured a full sponsorship for a commercial pilots licence (application to position ratio of 136:1) and when I had to drop out because of health issues I got a job as a personal art advisor with the largest fine art publisher in the country. I also finished school with just 2 A-Levels; I may not currently be in a position of power, but I know a little something about getting jobs that are well above my station.
post #12 of 49
I would say your approach should depend partially on which industry you're targeting. In some fields you can get in the door mostly just by leveraging connections and meeting the basic requirements. If you're applying to a very competitive industry however, you must be the aforementioned "whole package" I.e. connections, interview well, interested in and knowledgeable about the company/industry, great CV, and exceed their expectations in terms of skills and qualifications.

I would also add this: never disregard an opportunity no matter how uninteresting it sounds at first. And always do your best to create opportunity regardless whether or not you are currently looking for a job.

I'll use my situation as an example. I graduated college 3 years ago and up until a week before graduation I had not yet gotten a job offer I was happy with. On a whim I responded to an email that was sent out to our department seeking resumes. The job description did not sound particularly interesting at first and was in a very niche sector. But I interviewed anyway and found out that I would end up being a consultant to a very well respected firm and there was a lot of potential for growth. I took the job and since then have been given way more responsibility than I expected. I also engaged myself in the industry outside of my daily work and have focused on growing my rolodex as much as possible and developing a personal "brand".

A few months ago the consulting gig ended and I was offered a position with one of the firms that I worked as a consultant for, and at a much more senior level than if i had followed a more traditional career path in the industry. Even if that hadn't materialized I now have a number of contacts in the industry that I have made through my own networking, many of whom have stated they will be calling me whenever their firms begin hiring again.
post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhood View Post
a CV/ Interview Manner that makes employers mess their pants.

Care to share? Any elaboration would be appreciated =)
post #14 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by oman View Post
Care to share? Any elaboration would be appreciated =)

I didn't exactly do a lot of interviewing because i landed a job almost immediately after moving, but I wasn't afraid to take charge of the interviews I did. Don't just wait till the end when they ask if you have any questions. It's ok to interrupt if you have intelligent questions that can lead to a more interesting conversation.

To give an actual example, I'm a tech field, so when they started talking and describing the environment and some of the issues, i showed no hesitation in telling them how i thought things should be done, even though they didn't ask me (this was for the job i got). It probably depends on the actual interviewer, but I think a lot of people are probably too timid in interviews.
post #15 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by fossil8412 View Post
Curious, for those of you who are young and have established yourself pretty well, how did you get your first job? Application? Referral? Connection-- i.e. friend in the company, daddy dollar's business, etc.? Did that lead you down your career path, or did you leverage something from it? Thanks.
am I over-reading this as bitterness? if so, get over it, if not, my apologies. in my case, I had to hustle. I knew I wanted to work in PR. I come from a smallish city on Australia's south coast. There were two professional bodies in PR in that city (basically the national institute and another society for young professionals in the field). In my final year of studies, me and the girl I was kinda sorta seeing at the time used to march along to all of their events to meet the industry. Most of the time, we just stood there like little lost kids, didn't know what to say, what was being talked about, anything, but it wasn't until much later that I started to see myself through their eyes...Megan and I were THE ONLY college kids who took the time to be out and among the industry, they all knew how awkward it must have felt for us, as they themselves have all been in the same place in their younger years. As awkward as we may have felt, everyone in that room appreciated our initiative. In the end, a series of events transpired where I was offered a role in a different city, but the connections I had made back home led to that all unfolding the way that it did... So no...nothing handed to me...no trust fund...no daddy-used-to-know scenarios...I just had to get out there and make it happen for myself.
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