Once I finished college, I was faced with the question all graduates encounter: “What’s next?” I had finally received that elusive journalism degree and had no idea what my next step was going to be.
As soon as I crossed the stage, I started applying to different jobs that had anything to do with writing or communications. For five months, nothing. Not as much as a phone call or email. Meanwhile, I was living alone and the bills were piling up. I didn’t sense many options and my frustration began to build. In a desperate move, I contacted a local employment agency. Since their job was to find me a job, they did – but it had nothing to do with my field. So I started working full-time as a scheduler at a local hospice.
After a couple of years on the job, I realized I was wasting my time. I had this precious piece of paper I had worked so hard to obtain and it had still amounted to nothing. Something had to give. So I decided if I was going to find work in my field, my approach needed to change.
Rather than continuing to spin my wheels and apply for the same jobs that had produced no results, I became determined to enhance my resume within my field by any means necessary – even if it meant working for free.
So I began searching for internships and unpaid positions and discovered Career Reform on Craigslist of all places. While I humbly understood I was competing mostly with college students for the job, I felt the opportunity was perfect – I would be doing a lot of writing for a growing online business, while immersed in an environment focused on career development and growth. A few days later, I was offered the position. Although it would result in working two jobs and several 10-12 hour days a week, I gladly accepted.
I’ve been here for about a month and do not regret my decision. Changing the approach to my career might not have been the easiest choice, but I knew it was necessary to reach my ultimate goal.
Andy Chruscicki is the Digital Content Contributor intern at Career Reform. He is a 2011 graduate of nearby SUNY Brockport. Learn more about him on LinkedIn.