Preparing for the real world

Although I won’t be graduating for another year, I’d be lying if I said I’m not already terrified of it.  Jobs can be difficult to come by, and the real world is intimidating.

In three years of journalism school, I’ve learned a lot.  Here are some things that I’ve been told and have taken on in hopes that it will help my job prospects after receiving my degree:

Be confident, but not too confident.  A wise professor of mine once told me, “you think you know everything, but you don’t,” and he was right.  The sooner you realize you’re not God’s gift to earth, the better.  Be confident in your work, but do it without shutting criticism or help out.  Both will make you a better writer and eventually a better professional.

Rather than talking about them, show your skills:  Keep all of your written work. Whether they’re online links or newspaper cutouts, a large portfolio full of published, professional work will mean more to an employer than just resume fillers.

If you‘re unemployed for awhile, at least do something: Always work to build your portfolio and make connections with people.  Blog or experiment with freelance publications, read the news, read everything else, and stay involved.

Be flexible: Your first job probably won’t be your dream job.  However, it might be the way you get that dream job.  Take the job, gain experience and make connections.

Develop yourself as a brand: Find what you like and what you’re good at, master it, and market it.

Relax:  You won’t get anywhere without a clear, calm mind.  Focus on your task.

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