From the Inbox: Feeling Defeated

Hi PR Girls!

I’m a recent graduate with two degrees in English and Communications, experience from multiple internships and currently trying to find a career in PR in a struggling job market (who isn’t though, right?). I really love your site and I think that the feedback and discussion topics that are perfect for post grads much like myself. I’m looking for some advice as I’m taking the dreaded job search day by day and I’m hoping you can help!

I’ve had internships at Conde Nast with placements at Teen Vogue and Bon Appetit and was the editor in chief of my university newspaper for a year.  I’ve just completed an internship at a PR firm in NYC and always thought that I would be a good fit for a career in editorial but after my most recent internship, I realized that I want to work in travel PR. Unfortunately, my PR firm currently isn’t hiring full time.

I am very grateful to have been able to gain so much experience through these internships and I feel very blessed to have learned so much but everywhere that I apply seems to only accept unpaid interns or positions that require 5-10 years’ experience. My problem is, like many other post grads, I’m at the point where my student loans are kicking in and the pressures of the real world are beginning to creep up on me.

Any advice from any of you who have been in my position (that sickening feeling of defeat), professional or personal would help. Are there any specific sites that you’ve found helpful in your search? How did you deal with moving back in with your parents after four years of being on your own? (Enjoying the luxury of coming in from the bar on Saturday nights whenever you wanted to 12 “where are you?” “where are you now?” texts every weekend).

Hope to hear from you soon!

- Feeling Defeated

Feeling Defeated

That sickening feeling you’re currently going through is very common. We all prepare ourselves to graduate, get our dream job and live happily ever after but unfortunately that’s not reality anymore.

After graduating, I had to take a paid internship. If you do have to take another internship, find a place that pays and make sure it could lead to a full-time position. Be very candid and ask this in your interview. Paid internships do exist, just make sure you’re using several different websites, including LinkedIn, during your job search.

It’s also important to make sure you’re searching for the right entry-level position. It sounds like you’re ready for an Account Coordinator or Assistant Account Executive position but note that these positions are usually handed to interns or people with connections, so don’t be too discouraged. There’s a girl at my agency that was a recent grad like yourself with little experience and no connections. She went door to door to every agency to drop off her resume in-person and followed up resiliently until she landed the position she wanted. Little standouts like that take you very far.

The most important part is to not give up. The minute you start doubting yourself is when you’ll start going backwards. Yes, you might feel down now because you’re still  living at home, but the experience you have under you belt is amazing. Any PR professional hiring would love to see someone with editorial experience. Be confident in yourself and recognize that the right door hasn’t opened itself just yet. One day you’re going to miss those days living at home.

Best of luck! Xx A

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