New York City. The city where you pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make something of yourself.
After graduating from Syracuse University, I knew I wanted to follow my dream of working in magazine publishing. I knew that meant competing with thousands of other communications grads in a struggling and tiny industry.
I knew the only place I had a chance to achieve my dream was New York City.
So, I moved here with no job, no friends, and no money. Last Friday officially marked one month in NYC. It flew by, yet it crawled. I spent hours worrying and battling guilt about being unemployed. While my roommate and friends worked 9 to 5 like big girls, I spent my days hunched over my laptop following up, following up, following up.
I felt sorry for myself, but my mother ingrained optimism into my brain at an early age. So, I shook off the despair and made a plan. Follow my lead if you’re lost in your own pile of job descriptions and follow up emails.
1. To Do Lists – I make lists in times of stress. Email 5 alumni, apply to 10 jobs, etc. This structure calms me. I can track the evolution of my job search and see my progress.
2. Coffee Dates – I don’t care if you email or phone one hundred of the biggest players in your industry. The next day, you’ll be forgotten. I decided it was time to make an impact with face-to-face lunch or coffee dates. Follow up monthly to stay relevant. Following up never stops. Might as well get over that now.
3. Thank You Cards – Emails are cold. Handwritten thank you cards are warm, thoughtful gifts. Who doesn’t love receiving snail mail?! Send thank you’s after every coffee date, informational meeting, or interview. Do you see the pattern? Follow up, follow up, follow up!
Worst comes to worse, I take a walk around my neighborhood to remind myself that I live in a metropolitan paradise. Sometimes, you’ve got to stop and smell the roses.