20something profile: Adina
I fell into my career — actually, more like tripped.
In my sophomore year of high school, I took a class to write for the student newspaper because I thought it would be a study hall. (Evidently, I was a hard worker.) I ended up enjoying writing for the paper and stuck with it for the rest of high school.
And here I am almost seven years later with a journalism degree from the University of Georgia. (Along with a new media certificate and French minor for good measure.)
Ever since my graduation in December 2012, people have asked me what job I want. I’ve never been the type to live in New York City, so that option was out. Really, I wanted nothing more than to write. Or edit. Or report. Or something like that.
It was an intentionally vague answer because I didn’t want to make my goals too lofty or specific and disappoint myself if they didn’t work out. All throughout college, I wrote, edited, investigated, and marketed through social media. I prepared myself in every way for my future career.
I was ready to take any communications job I could get, but what I really wanted was a journalism job. 56 days after graduation and 92 job applications later, I landed a job as an editor for an industry magazine. It happened just a few days ago, and I feel happy with my path. After all, I get to write, edit, and report.
People often say that beginning a career in today’s economy is challenging. My parents and other Baby Boomers tell me that it wasn’t always this way. There weren’t always 200 applicants for a single job. But I’m 21 years old, and the state of the job market in the 1980s doesn’t help me now.
What 20-something job-seekers need to do is prepare, prepare, and then not worry. It’s too tempting to sulk when we don’t get that perfect job, but the beauty of it is we’re 20-somethings. We still have our entire working lives to land our ideal job.
Just keep accumulating experience, skills, and networking contacts. If you want to be a nurse, volunteer in a hospital. If you want to be a psychologist, work in a lab. If you want to be an entrepreneur, find a mentor.
Do what you need to do, and it’ll work out. Look at me: I prepared for my journalism career in every way I could. And I got a great job. It didn’t happen before I turned the tassel on my graduation cap, but it happened nonetheless.
When I told people my vague description of what I wanted in a job, they gave me looks that seemed to say, “You have a lot to figure out.” Another aimless 20-something. But I’m not. I worked my entire college career to prepare for a job. I want to write. Or edit. Or report. Or something like that.
I have it figured out.