“Panty-folding” Advice to New College Grads

Go back to school! The real world is tough and Spring Break in the Florida Keys is never going to be the same.

But if you must venture out and get a real job, here’s my advice:

  1. Get a job. No, seriously, any job. Just like my mamma told me, “It’s easier to get a job when you have a job.” So take anything you can get which will probably NOT be anywhere near your major. I worked at Victoria’s Secret after graduation. And no, I did not major in “lingerie merchandising”.
  2. It’s not WHAT you know. We all know it’s WHO you know. My first real job was a commission only sales position with a friend’s Corporate Travel company. I liked to travel but knew nothing about the industry. It fell in my lap and I would do anything to stop hearing the girls at Victoria’s Secret chastise me for folding the panties incorrectly.
  3. Tell everyone you are looking for a job. That means everyone. You really never know who is going give you a good lead. My first salaried job came out of a mandatory family dinner with my Dad’s cousin. After finding out I was an advertising major, she mentioned that her daughter-in-law was looking for someone to do marketing for a large real estate firm. Again, see #1 and #2.
  4. You may have to fib. I did’t say lie, but sometimes you have to over-sell your capabilities but only if you think you can deliver. When I went in for the real estate interview, they asked if I knew some software applications on their new Mac? Why, of course I did. Fib. It was the early 90s, I still thought an Apple was an apple. But, I quickly got the VHS (yes, I am a dinosaur) training tapes and watched them day and night until my first day on the job, thank you very much Mr. Jobs.
  5. Know when to say when. That first job opportunity probably won’t be your dream job. Do your best and learn from the people around you. When you feel like you have gotten as far as you can, start looking for the next logical step for your career. After a year at the real estate agency and a good mastering of the Mac software, I went to work for a legit magazine publishing company in their digital media department.

Yes, the job market today is particularly dismal and I don’t envy you new grads.

That dream job awaits, even if it takes repetitive panty-folding tutorials from a High School drop-out to get there.


Just look at DSP Dixie!

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