Wow. So here we are: 2013! Happy New Year! To keep things firmly on topic, I am writing this week’s post after receiving some New Year’s Day inspiration. I was being shuttled home in a taxi at an ungodly hour early in the morning of January 1 when I saw a sign. It was attached to the sun visor of the taxi and read “NOT FOR HIRE.” It served as a perfectly timed reminder of one of the things I have resolved to do this year: get hired!
My New Year’s resolution list is not actually that long. Here it is, in all its glory:
- Get hired
- Get fit
- Start a band
The list is not in order because, really, getting hired will probably follow on from the others. It does however make the top of the list because it is the whole reason I went to grad school. I did not want to be a lawyer; I wanted to be a manager, in the arts…or thereabouts. So, one of my main priorities over the coming months is to begin using my network and applying for jobs.
I should say now that my ultimate goal is to run my own business, but in the meantime, I need to gain more experience and save some money in order to make that dream a reality. But where to start? Over the last year and a half at Columbia, I have made so many contacts that I have trouble remembering all of them. In fact, it has reached the point where I am seriously considering purchasing a Rolodex. That or I could just use LinkedIn more. Either way, I have to begin re-connecting with all these people and getting back on their radar.
I am drawn more towards this informal method of job hunting at the moment because of something I am going to call the “grad school advantage.” Basically, when you are a grad student, you have the perfect excuse to meet people and ask lots of questions. Why? Because when they start pushing back and wondering why you are being so (how shall I put this?) keen, you can say, “oh, I am currently a grad student, and I am really interested in you/your work/your organization/your life, so please excuse this interrogation.” Ok, that is an exaggeration, but being a grad student really does open doors, and I am a firm believer that getting hired is all about who you know with a little bit of what you know for good measure.