This is not news to those who know me, but I am an avid rule follower.
In high school, I was involved and studied really hard. I got into a good university where, again, I was very involved. I also studied really hard there. I did internships because, well, that’s what you do in college. You do internships and then you graduate, and then you get a job.
When the Associated Press informed us that the Oxford Comma was out, I wholeheartedly joined the movement. When they said that we now have to fully spell out state names, I reluctantly began typing out “Illinois”.
So, there have always been rules to follow. A set path that we go down, expectations to fulfill.
The problem is that times… well, they are a’changin’!
College graduates no longer get job offers simply because of their degree. Unfortunately, that extremely expensive piece of paper is not our invitation to work full time at a fab agency.
In the communications industry, a whole bunch of companies now require internships. So, we college graduates have to accept lower pay and a lack of benefits for these trial periods. And while internships are certainly unpopular among many parents (you need insurance! and deserve better pay!)… we understand that they are a necessary evil.
While unfortunate, there is a silver lining. (There always is!)
The companies are testing us out, yes. But, this time also allows us the time to test them out. See if we like the company – its size, culture, clients. Location, people, workload. It is a great way to experience the industry and feel it out. Figure out where we belong.
I’ve done lots of work in public relations and marketing. But, what niche do I want to pursue? Well, I have definitely been able to narrow that down after my internships. There’s a learning curve, which certainly has been aided by this process.
So, there is no one telling us exactly what to do. We have just about 40 years of work ahead of us, and it’s up to us to figure out just what that work will be.
And if that means following your heart, so be it. Maybe you want to accept a job with lower pay, fewer benefits or lower stability because you know it’s right. It’ll set you on the right path and build the career of your dreams. Do it. Do it, because you never know where it may lead.