Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Power of Persistence

Wow. What a suck-ass job market. Especially for entry-level creatives.

The advertising field (which also strongly affects design and publishing) is a leading indicator of a worsening economy. Short-sighted companies cut their advertising budgets first – and increase them last. That, of course, has a huge effect on agency staffing.

Usually I have trouble keeping up with all my job-changing friends. But lately I don't know of anyone changing jobs. And I know of fewer places adding jobs. That's bad news for recent graduates.

Now that I've brought you down, let me share a secret weapon with you: persistence.

You need to keep at it. Your job search is your full-time job. I'm talking eight (or more) hours a day. Your day should include:
  • researching – find out who's picking up new business
  • networking – that includes classmates who graduated before you
  • interviewing – set up informational interviews
  • events – attend industry events, introduce yourself to people
  • volunteering – get involved in the local industry organization
  • pro bono work – a great way to get new work for your portfolio, professional references and contacts
  • creating new work – keep making work for your portfolio, make it stronger
  • finetuning – your resume and your portfolio
And you have to stick with it. Keep in mind, your competition is going through the same thing. Sometimes the person who gets the job is the one that outlasts everyone else (watch any competition reality show to confirm).

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