We’ve all heard it: “You can’t get a job if you don’t have experience, but how do you get experience if no-one will give you a job?” Doesn’t seem fair, does it?
While attending Rutgers University, I missed a golden opportunity to gain the experience I needed. I was offered an unpaid internship at a top public relations and marketing firm in Northern New Jersey, however I declined. At that time, I was working for International House of Pancakes as a waiter, making decent money and paying for my bills including Rutgers tuition. If I had accepted the offer, I would have no choice but to quit my part time job, and take out a student loan, something I was foolishly unwilling to do. I felt by having a 3.8 GPA in my English major, becoming an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, and establishing the right relationships would help me land my perfect iron clad job after graduation.
A month before graduation, I had 3 firms ready to hire me as an Assistant Account Executive. By the time I graduated, all 3 offers went down the drain, and I was told, ‚ÄúOur hiring objectives have changed.‚Äù
Instead of hiring entry-level college graduate positions, top-level management decided to give a heavier workload to their current employees and hire more unpaid interns.
For fifteen months, I walked into one personnel office after another, filling out job applications. They all said the same thing: “We’ll let you know.” Only they don’t and you never hear from them again. By the time I finished, I‚Äôve memorized my Social Security number for life. My point: Never turn down any opportunities to gain extra experience. It may not be your ideal job, but it is a foot in the door to bigger and better future opportunities.