As I begin my third week in my first post-college career, I decided to reflect on how I got my job as a marketing communications specialist at Monroe Veterinary Associates as well as what I’ve learned since starting two weeks ago.
How I got my job
Ironically, although I am a strong advocate for career networking, I got my job using a “traditional” method: Finding the position on CareerBuilder and applied. However, the difference between this position and other positions I applied to is that I sent in a paper cover letter and resume rather than applying online. Mostly, I did this because this is what the instructions said to do. However, I would urge job seekers not to forget about snail mail and follow-up phone calls for highly desired jobs. Many recruiters will receive hundreds of email or online applications, but few people send an accompanying hard copy via snail mail, so it may be an effective way to get noticed.
A few tasks I’ve completed in my first two weeks…
Of course, my first few days consisted mostly of getting to know the organization and the job better. I spent time going through old virtual and hard-copy files to learn about the past. Then, I did some catch-up work, which included phone calls and emails to colleagues and solicitors who had been working with my predecessor. During my first two weeks, I’ve written and distributed a press release, pitched a local journalist, submitted site updates to the web master, monitored hospitals’ Facebook pages and collected veterinarian-authored articles for our sponsored Pet Tales publication within the Messenger Post Media. Those are just a few things, and I really like the variety so far.
Top five lessons I’ve learned in my first two weeks…
- Communicate in the most effective method, which is often NOT email, although that may be easier for you. It’s often more effective to visit someone’s office or call someone on the phone. I would add that my phone and verbal communication skills have already improved tremendously.
- Speak up, especially when it comes to matters of your particular job, such as media relations or social media. People like to receive help from someone who is a quote-unquote expert in their field. Use that expertise to help your company or organization. After all, that’s why you’re there!
- Take breaks from your desk to walk around for a few seconds, and take advantage of the time you (hopefully!) have for lunch to take even just a five minute walk around the building. Sitting for so long not only makes concentration more challenging come 3:30, but it also is bad for your health.
- Get to know your industry and your local audience, if you’re new to the area. I know nothing about veterinary services but am enjoying learning more about what veterinarians and animal care professionals do. I’m also gaining even more of an appreciation for the Rochester area.
- Introduce yourself to as many people as you can, especially if you’re in marketing or communications. This has been a challenge for me because I’m not the kind of person to introduce myself to people I don’t know. However, the more people I know, the easier and more effective my job will be.
For those of you who just started a summer internship or job, how did you get it and what have you learned so far? If you don’t have a job, what is something you wish you knew about having a job?