HA! See kids? Being a recent grad in a down economy can actually be quite hilarious. I am going to warn you, faithful blog readers, that this will not be my normal “informational” post. This will be more of a spilling, or a rant per se. For nearly two months I’ve kept the nail-biting job application process to myself because I had some solid leads and some great interviews with some stellar companies. I’m currently looking for a full-time gig with a dynamic company with an appreciate for innovation and out-of-the-box thinking as a social media strategist.
Y’all know I also run my own gig at Cake Mix Media doing social media consulting for bloggers, authors & brands. Why am I looking for a job? I love running my own show at Cake Mix- being the official mixtress of your own business is a pretty snazzy gig, I must admit. I love working one on one with smart and savvy people who want their businesses to grow and learn to do that on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook & Pinterest- but developmentally, I feel like I’ve hit a bit of a wall. I want something big and new to nosh on, I want some new challenges and a collaborative environment to bloom in.
That being said- I’ve hit a wall, and it really really sucks. I had some great interviews, even where I was flown out to interview with the recruiting team, all expenses paid. During these talks, I get plenty of positive feedback but there’s one thing that keeps coming up… “Your work is impressive, you have the heart of an entrepreneur, but….you don’t have a lot of __________ experience.”
This is where I try not to get defensive- “Look at my resume, now look at me, now look at my resume, now look at me. I started a business and blog while in grad school. I just graduated in May of THIS YEAR. Does that not (at least a little bit) demonstrate that I’m hungry to learn, a multitasker and can think on my feet?” At first, I took it with a grain of salt. There is nothing I can do to change the dates on my resume paper, but obviously, I need to work harder at proving that while I lack the years, I’d like to think that my work has been concentrated. I’m not sure if I should be flattered to get so many callbacks or totally exhausted that they always seem to find my lack of (paid) experience at a big company to be a deal breaker.
It’s easy to get frustrated- since I’ve had several powerhouse interviews that have since lead nowhere, and usually they’ll tell me before the phone call concludes that I just don’t have enough time clocked in. In the world of social media, I would like to hope that there’s hope for recent grads and young guns, but perhaps I’m doing something totally wrong. It’s exciting to see that people are interested in me as a potential social media manager or social media strategist, and a total disappointment when the feedback I’ve gotten time and time again is that I’m “too inexperienced” in one arena- like management or retail for them to feel I could do the job.
In terms of the job hunt for a social media job, I’ve hit a wall and I’d rather use humor than get agitated- it’s easier that way.
5-8 years of experience required.
My response: “Yes, I have extensive experience in LiveJournal, Myspace, Friendster, Geocities blogs & Second Life, all social media platforms that are no longer relevant but would help me meet your unrealistic experience requirements. Considering that Facebook wasn’t open to the non-collegiate public more than 5 years ago and Twitter wasn’t around, well, why are you so hung up on “time served?”
Extensive knowledge of Microsoft Office & Excel preferred.
My response: Pfft, I use cloud based software like Google Docs, besides, Excel is a gimme, I promise. If you want to speed up response time, go cloud baby…see? I’m hip, I’m cool. My young whip style could be of use to you. C’mon let me show you my ways.
My response: MBA? Puh-lease. I got an M.A. in sociology while blogging like a maniac. Just because I wasn’t trained formally in “business” doesn’t mean I can’t rock your socks off at data analysis, responsive trending & content curation that amplifies engagement. Sure, I didn’t get an MBA but I assure you, I wasn’t sitting in some liberal-arts college listening to some washed out professor blathering on about Marxism, I was using my time in class to make money online & research philanthropic entrepreneurialism. I’d like to think it was time well spent, lay down your expectations.
I love social media. I’m totally thrilled at the prospect of working for a company that is ready to collaborate- swapping thoughts and experiences for bigger picture objectives. I know this is just a stumbling block and eventually, despite all the *facepalm* inducing moments I will come out of this with a good story to tell and some lessons learned- and let’s just hope…a job! I just have no idea how long this will take, if I have unrealistic expectations and what I should anticipate, and that’s splendidly exciting!