If you’re anything like me, you might be sitting reading this as a first or second year uni student, eager to jump into the industry sooner rather than later. Or perhaps you’re approaching graduation, feeling overlooked in a sea of hundreds of thousands of graduates.
Firstly, breathe. Secondly, know that you don’t have to wait for your graduation date, or for opportunities to come to you, in order to get a head start. You can hustle.
I landed my first industry role well before graduation. In fact, as I type this, I’m in my third industry role and am yet to actually get that (damn) piece of paper. So how did I do it?
I hustled. Hard.
I was at every event my uni put on. I joined my relevant student society. I even asked my sister’s fiancé’s brother’s girlfriend’s great aunt twice removed if I could do work experience at her office.
And it worked! I hustled my way into my first industry role after having attended a uni workshop. The coordinator of the workshop noticed me, we chatted about where I was hoping to go with my career, and she mentioned my name to her colleague who was looking for an addition to her team. Boom! I had my foot in the door.
Within the year, a second opportunity came knocking, thanks to that work experience I mentioned earlier. Almost two years after spending a couple of days shadowing a small agency team, they had a new role to fill and I came to mind. Boom again! I was in.
Even my current role with generationYOU is thanks in part to my relentless hustle. Although I did apply alongside several other candidates, it was a connection of mine through uni who brought the role to my attention, and being a familiar face at genYOU events didn’t hurt either…
Moral of this story: YOU are in control of your career path. Whether you’re a first year student stumbling into the wrong lecture, a final year student operating purely on caffeine, or a fresh new grad feeling like a teeny tiny fish in a very big pond… know that opportunities are out there. But it’s up to you to hustle to make them appear.