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Thread: How did you land your first job?

  1. #1
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    How did you land your first job?

    Curious as to how everybody on here landed there first job. I'm not talking about McDonalds or Burger Kings (unfortunately I worked at both of those), but in the lines of right out of college, or first "career" job.

    I am a recent college graduate with a Business Administration/Marketing degree from Kentucky Christian University. Since December I have been working as a membership sales representative at the Kis Country Club and Golf Academy in Lexington, Kentucky. I work on a straight commission pay structure with no draw whatsoever. It's a dead end job, and I feel worthless everyday I am there.

    I feel like I have tried everything. Careerbuilder, Hotjobs, Monster, Indeed, Company Websites, Newspaper, Dropping off resumes, job fairs, networking etc.

    The only phone calls I get are from place like ADT, First Investors, American Income Life, etc. asking me if I'm interested in taking a straight commission job.

    It seems like I just can't get my first "break". I'm willing to start at the bottom and work my way up, I just can't seem to get that chance. What's the trick guys?
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  3. #2
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: How did you land your first job?

    Nepotism. My family owns a company so I stepped in right after college.

  4. #3
    My clutch is broken RichRed's Avatar
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    Re: How did you land your first job?

    It's a cliche but it's often about who you know.

    My first job out of college - I graduated with a BBA in Economics - was for a company whose owner was a friend of the family. It was supposed to be a temporary thing until I found a "real" job and I was hired as a delivery driver, box packer and all-around warehouse flunky. Well, that temporary job ended up lasting 5 1/2 years. By the time I left this small company, I had been accounts payable manager, accounts receivable/collections manager, purchasing manager, inventory manager, production scheduler and the list goes on. Because of all that experience, I was able to land a really good job the next time around.

    Sometimes you have to quash your ego and take a position you might think is "beneath" you in some way. It can lead to some excellent opportunities down the road. A college degree doesn't guarantee you the perfect career right off the bat; I think a lot of graduates struggle with that realization.

    Bottom line: explore every option, work hard, make as many connections as you can and be patient - I know it can be difficult.
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  5. #4
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: How did you land your first job?

    My dad had worked with a consulting firm over the course of his career. One day when their consultant was at my Dad's office, dad mentioned that I was graduating, the consultant mentioned an opening...

    I took it from there and deserved the position, but the family connection certainly helped me find the job. I think the trick in getting almost any job is making yourself not just another resume'.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  6. #5
    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: How did you land your first job?

    I was interning at WEBN at 15 years old (people were envious of me for that one ) and Jay Gilbert introduced me to his ex-wife who worked Critical Mass Media...a market research firm for Jacor radio (Clear Channel now).

    She told me when I turned 16 to apply....so I did. That was my first job. So yes, I was one of those annoying people calling you during dinner to do radio surveys back in the mid 90s
    Last edited by Matt700wlw; 06-26-2008 at 12:07 PM.

  7. #6
    Member durl's Avatar
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    Re: How did you land your first job?

    Sometimes the key is patience. You may work several years in a low-level job, but you may make connections in unexpected ways that will lead to a better job. You may be able to move up slowly or take what you learn and go to another employer who will see your previous experience as a plus. Always try to learn from your current position because you'll end up using that lesson somewhere.

  8. #7
    Puffy 3:16 Puffy's Avatar
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    Re: How did you land your first job?

    I slept with the boss.
    "I came here to kick ass and chew bubble gum... and I'm all out of bubble gum."
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  9. #8
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: How did you land your first job?

    First real job was in 1975 and the economy was in the pits. I had just graduated with a BS in Psychology which shows you can achieve a goal but is worth little else.

    Applied for a research assistant job that I found in the microfiche at the unemployment bureau. Since I had nothing else to do, I drove out to the place of business and delivered it personally. They asked me if I wanted to interview then and there and I said "sure". Talked to the boss for an hour and he offered me the job.

    After working there a while, someone asked me who I knew. After I said "huh what?", they said I had to know someone since there were 100+ applicants for the job.

    Turned out I was the only guy that turned in the application in person. Everyone else mailed it in. Boss thought I had gumption. Little did he know it was just I had nothing else to do and just wanted to take a drive.

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  10. #9
    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: How did you land your first job?

    I have the same degree you have in Business Administration. I got it 1986 and it took me four years to get that good job you are looking for. I worked junk jobs at retail stores during that time or did nothing. This was before Internet so I had to apply for jobs listed in the newspapers or just going into the businesses and applying for whatever they had. I must have sent out hundreds of resumes. Finally I got an offer for job interview with Federal Government. I went to Cincy at a hotel(forget now which one) and took their test. A month or so later they sent me a letter setting up an interview and other tests in the DC area. Shortly after that they offered me a job and I have been in the DC area since then. I don't work for Feds any longer but moved into the private sector. But in the end you may want to consider the Feds as a way to get your foot into the door for something better. A lot of people start with them to get experience and then move on. OPM.Gov list all their jobs and requirements. You don't have to move to the DC area either. They have jobs all over the country. I wish the Internet was around back then and I may have still been in the Kentucky/Ohio area.

    Best of luck to you. I know how frustrating it is but it will work out. You just have to be patient.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

  11. #10
    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: How did you land your first job?

    A lot of marketing folks unfortunately end up in sales.

    Look to solid companies like Kroger who have built in markets and customer bases and try to get into their loyalty programs [frequent shopper cards and such] and just really stay on top of it.

    Also, be willing to expand your options. Merchandising in a retail stores corporate office may not be in line with what you want, but as others have stated, its a great way to broaden your marketability as an employee. A job as a buyers assistant for example. It would probably 'only' pay 25k or so, but it would be a great place to start learning.

    I have no idea if you have a salary in mind, but just as a word of advice....most people don't graduate college and get 50k a year jobs. Many many many more start in the low 20's in jobs that people without degrees could get even and then they move up when they prove they learned something in college.

    As for my first 'real' job....I was working in Hardees after graduating high school and my drafting teacher came in to look for me and told me a local company had asked him for a designer. He came found me and told me who to talk to. I was hired the next week and worked for them for two years before I decided to go to college. After college I worked some crappy jobs [post office, call center, etc] before landing a job with a RV Supply retailer designing their stores. I was laid off from there a couple months ago, and just recently got a job with the afore mentioned Kroger doing similar work. I simply found that job online, and apparently wowed them in the interviews.

    Good luck to you, I hope you aren't at a job you hate for long.

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  12. #11
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: How did you land your first job?

    There really isn't a "trick" per se. Sometimes it's just pounding the pavement, other times it's luck (right place right time).

    I can't say how things have changed with the advent of Monster, however, one method that never seems to go out of style is good old fashioned hard work.

    First I put a bunch of resumes out on the street. Also put a lot of energy into my cover-letter to ensure it was effective. Got lots of input from people in the business world, professors, etc.

    Then I followed up on each and every one. That was good practice of just talking to people. There's an art to actually talking to people. Some people are naturals at conversing with just about anybody...other folks are just downright painfull to talk with.

    I took every interview I could get, even if I knew it was a crappy job I was never going to take. At the end of the interview I'd be honest that I wasn't interested, but doing this gave me a ton of experience on how to answer questions breifly and effectivley.

    Then I followed up on the resumes some more, got an interview with a computer consulting firm out of Memphis, TN and eventually landed the job.

    This was the early 1990's. Can't remember if jobs were scarce or plentiful at the time. Then again, I'm in industrial sales and there's always jobs available in that field. I had a job lined up before graduating from school.

    I'm very biased, but getting your start in a sales job will teach you a lot of usefull skills and expose you to many different facets of industry. You may find an aspect of business that really interests you, or you may find that you enjoy sales.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 06-26-2008 at 02:20 PM.
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  13. #12
    Resident optimist OldRightHander's Avatar
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    Re: How did you land your first job?

    Temp agency
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  14. #13
    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Re: How did you land your first job?

    I sent a resume to a place across the street from the college, interviewed a few days later, received an offer, accepted it, and canceled all my other interviews. Almost 13 years later I am still at the same place. I have only had 1 professional interview in my entire career.

    GL

  15. #14
    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: How did you land your first job?

    How about that!

  16. #15
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: How did you land your first job?

    I really agree with the line "Make yourself something more than just a resume." I got the job I'm currently in because I had a couple connections that interceded on my behalf. If you don't have a connection somewhere, work hard to find an in that gets you face time with the people making a decision (even if it is as simple as handing the resume over in person).

    Leverage things in your favor -- high school and college alumni groups, fraternity (if you were a member) alumni groups, etc. Heck, you work for a Country Club, I have to imagine there are opportunities to meet lots of people who make hiring and firing decisions in the business world through that.

    Also, I agree with the advice to look at work for the fed or state government. A lot of those jobs hire on set guidelines that can eliminate some of the nepotism competition you get with other positions. There's a website www.usajobs.gov that you can do searches on as well.

    Good luck!
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