I know I put on a pretty good front of keeping it all together, but these past few months have been more trying than any other time in my college career. The job search has been discouraging, and not for lack of trying either. I'm sure those words ring true for about every college senior out there right now. Figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life is one thing, figuring out how to do what you love is another.
I've been crafting my resume to perfection, writing a cover letter a day, insanely scouring the internet for positions in big cities, calling companies and cultivating connections all to find that first entry level position or internship. I've done everything my professors, mentors and alumni have taught me, but that dream job is not yet mine.
If you've been doing the same things and not getting any results, you and I feel insanely frustrated. It feels like reality is giving us a big slap in the face for all the hard work we've put into making ourselves the perfect well-rounded employee over the past four years.
But even just saying that won't change our outcome. We can complain about not having what we want or we can take this opportunity to toughen up a bit. We're Millennials, we feel entitled to a job. But we need to realize the harsh reality that there is a lot of competition out there and we have to work to set ourselves apart even more. Don't waste your time crying, because employers honestly don't care. There are still some secrets to doing what you love, so don't lose hope.
do what you love on your own
Show employers you're capable of taking an idea and turning it into something real. I did exactly that with Z Life. Use your own resources to get your project off the ground. Not only does it show you're passionate about something, but it shows that you're willing to work hard with what you already have. Look for a support group (a friend, a professor who believes in you, a family member) who can be in your corner and help you expand upon your initial idea. You don't need a multi-million dollar corporation to manifest an idea, all you need is your own willpower.
cultivate your success
Look at what made your past work successful and build off that. Everything you've done can lead to something bigger, so pick out your best work and examine it. Find the qualities that made that piece of work so spectacular and keep it in mind when creating something new. If you can't find those qualities on your own, ask a professor or a mentor to look over your successful projects and have them point out what's great about them. Be serious with yourself and assess your own strengths.
inundate yourself with inspiration
I read fashion news sources and have brand email newsletters sent to my inbox everyday. You can't do what you love if you're not inspiring yourself with people who are already doing it. Research how they "made it" in your industry, send them an email with questions. Even when I'm at my lowest point, all it takes is reading a well written editorial to boost me back up again.
Finding a job isn't supposed to be easy, it's going to test you on what you really want. That's the beauty in it. Keep your head up, because someone will recognize your talent, skills and potential to shine even brighter. In the meantime, don't take no for an answer. Give reality a slap in the face right back.