I hated my first job out of college. My manager worked 20 hours a week, when he was supposed to work 40+. He was horribly dishonest with customers, then made me clean up his mess. He went on vacation my first summer there. He asked if we could trade off, I would do the Saturdays in June, he would work Saturdays in July. I said OK, and began planning my July. At the very end of June, he transferred, thus throwing me under the bus. In addition, I was doing the two things I specifically did not want to do. Sales and retail.
So, why not just get a new job
I tried, oh how I tried. However, it just wasn’t in the cards. In 2009 I graduated with my business degree (we know how wonderful the economy was then). I also moved to a small town in Minnesota for my husband’s education. It took me six months to get my first job out of college. (I’ll write more about that experience in another post 🙂 ) We were flat broke, our savings ran out just as my first paycheck came in. However, that didn’t stop me from looking! and all I heard was crickets….So, no new job yet. So, how does a bad job work for your resume? You have to make it work!
Step one: figure out what job I did want
Now, if the job I did want was available, I would have applied already right 🙂 What I’m talking about is specifically what did I want to do? I knew I wanted to get into marketing, but what exactly did I want to do in marketing? What skills would I need to get the job? After much research, I felt the best position for my career trajectory would be a marketing coordinator. (A real marketing coordinator, not a sales position called ‘marketing coordinator’.) I knew that finding another position likely wasn’t in the cards while I was in Minnesota. However, I knew I was moving to Wisconsin in a year, so I would use that year to build my resume.
Step 2: Find out what skill set was necessary for said position
First, I researched what skills were needed to get a job as a marketing coordinator. Then I incorporated them into my current position. Proven ability to use marketing to create business growth was a big essential. Creating marketing materials that would drive sales was also essential to getting said position. I knew I needed to prove that I could take those skills from my previous position and transfer them to a new position.
Step 3: Putting my plan into action
My current job was primarily sales. So, when we had downtime I focused on marketing. Corporate would not let me make physical marketing materials. Since they were done at the corporate level, so I incorporated what I did at my first business into my resume. I began by researching what companies in the area could benefit from the company I worked for, that we were not doing steady business with. I went to those business owners, and told them what we had to offer. It wasn’t as simple as just talking to business owners. The process of gaining their trust took time, especially because many of them did not like my former manager (I didn’t either). I had to consistently keep showing them what we could offer their customers, and the benefit to them, via our actions.
The result was a 30% increase in growth. In addition, we also had a substantial jump in our service scores from customers. That branch of bad car company gained many new clients. Many didn’t even know we existed, so a lot of it was just a matter of us getting our name out there. After a year of hard work, I finally had proven that I could create business growth and increase sales via marketing.
Step 4: Hunting for the right position
When I moved to Milwaukee, I chose to start officially looking for another position. Most positions required two years of experience. However, I only had 1.5 years. I did not let this stop me though! It meant I had 90% of the necessary qualifications 🙂 I was at a bit of a disadvantage not having any connections in Wisconsin, but I didn’t let that stop me. I began searching, applying, and following up! I had nothing to lose (other than my current job), I currently was employed. Besides, my options were stay at a job I hate, or get a new one. So, I was going to get a new one 🙂
There were frustrations when I began my job hunt in Wisconsin. More than once, I would apply for a job, and it would be given to someone else. But, that same company would call me asking if I wanted the sales job they had since I worked in sales. I’m thinking, if I wanted that sales job I would have applied for it. I didn’t, because I don’t want to work in sales. It felt like a bait and switch. The interviewing process can be very difficult while you have a job. You have to take personal days, and if people ask, you have to just say its a personal day and no more. If during the interview, if you realize the job is not for you, you are out a personal day. The interview process is also quite nerve wracking 🙂
The End Result
Don’t worry this has a happy ending 🙂 I did finally land that position! It took a few hard learned lessons. One being not to take another job, just because its not your current job. It can be worse. However, it should be noted I not only got the job, I also found an industry I’m very fond of as well. It all ended up for the best 🙂
It can be so hard to feel like you can’t get out of job you hate. I completely understand where you are coming from. However, it is possible to make it work. Especially, if you are new in your career like I was 🙂 Figure out a plan, execute the plan, be patient, be persistent, and you will be on your way to your dream job 🙂