Monday, July 25, 2011

Attain a Position, or Create a Position?

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately on non-traditional jobs and entrepreneurship, partly because of articles I've come across recently, and mainly because of my ongoing job hunt. After reading articles like this one: This 21-Year-Old Just Sold Her Startup for $100 Million, it makes me wonder, could I go the entrepreneurial route? It's risky, it's a long shot, and it may not pay off, but I think everyone should at least try it at some point in their lives. Why not now? I really don't have anything to lose while I'm still looking, and what if it did take off? Almost every communications-related role model I have is someone who started their own successful business. Something about building a passion from the ground up into a viable business or organization is amazing to me and would be unbelievably satisfying. This is becoming more an more common among college grads given the current state of the job market and the forward-thinking nature of our generation.

This thought process started with things I like to do, strengths I have, experience I have, and also what the needs of businesses and organizations are. At first I thought about being a go-to for businesses or organizations to contract out to for social media assistance. I love doing social media campaigns, and thoroughly enjoy conducting research and planning to find how to best utilize social media for the goal and audience of the client. This is something I have experience in as well. However, I also really enjoy writing and editing. I minored in English, worked in the campus writing center, and am currently the writer/editor for the OSU College of Dentistry. Additionally, I enjoy non-traditional marketing, market research, and event planning. Combining all of these passions into the above mentioned contractor-type position ends up sounding a lot like cramming an advertising or PR agency into one individual person. The difference I think, is cost, which would be a lot lower than hiring an agency to step in, and also the amount of and type of attention each client received. Obviously the volume would have to be fairly low unless others were eventually brought on, but it would be more spontaneous and wouldn't have to be for any set amount of time. I guess it could also be compared to a freelance or contributor type position, but with more research involved, with more specification from the requester, and with a wider variety of services.

So the real question is, would anyone be interested in hiring a freelance/contributor/social media manager/consultant? When someone realizes they really need an extra person to help with an upcoming event, but doesn't have enough time to hire an intern and can't find a volunteer; when someone has 12 writing assignment requests and only enough time to finish nine of them; when a business has heard social media can boost sales and engage their audience but they don't know where to start and can't afford to hire another employee... I can think of several businesses and organizations off the top of my head that could definitely utilize it because they are either just getting off the ground and don't have the funds to hire someone full time for these tasks yet, or are established but need extra help in a particular area without having to create a new position.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


It's been a month since graduation and though I'm currently holding a full-time temp position that I am really enjoying, nothing is secure as of yet, so I've been continuing to look. Other than screening the typical job sites like Career Builder, (which I feel at little more than a shot in the dark), I really have been reaching out to my personal and professional networks to see if I could make any progress by establishing connections that way. I've had a few leads so I would definitely recommend that method to any recent grads who are still on the prowl. It's always better to have a mutual contact to use as reference, to introduce you, or to connect you on LinkedIn. I'm interested to know how my fellow Communication graduates are fairing. I've heard from several young professionals that it took 6 months or longer in recent years to find a job, and many of them grew frustrated and took post-grad internships. I'm not opposed to this as I feel it is a great opportunity to grow and learn in the profession you're in, and also enables you to remain in practice and keep an updated portfolio for future interviews.

It's amazing how much you learn once your out of school and no longer juggling classes and homework, a job and student organizations, events and fundraisers; now rather than practicing what I'm studying for a few hours per day while at my internship, I'm doing what I went to school for 40 hours per week and loving every minute of it. I'm studying social media campaigns and university marketing techniques, writing press releases and news articles, managing social media-- all the things I liked to do before but was constrained time-wise because of school. Though I don't know what the future holds and have no idea where I'll be in a year or even in the next few months, I needed a job like this to confirm the fact that I chose the right educational path for me, and to ensure no mater where I'm headed, I will enjoy what I'm doing.