Career Perspectives: My First Real Job – How Did I Get Here?

By Breanna Banford, Social Marketing Specialist, Enterprise Business Group

To kick off the first post of three in the “Career Perspectives” series, I will begin to explain my entrée into the corporate working world shortly after graduating from college. The four “Perspectives” posts are intended to show an all encompassing look at what it’s like to work in an enterprise – where do you start, where you are now, what’s next, managing, and finding your strong suits.

For me and many of my millennial peers, we intend to find what we’re passionate about as soon as we can and incorporate it into our careers. There is never a moment when I stop wondering, “how can I grow, what can I do next?”

Colleagues collaborating on a laptop in a shared workspace
Image Credit: Getty Images®

As the next generation enters the workplace, you’ll notice some changes. There’s a greater desire to have a balanced work life and personal life. The bottom line is that we want to be happy and enjoy having flexibility to be more creative and productive. Often, new technology allows us those luxuries. In addition, millennials (myself included) want to work collaboratively on an even playing field with our colleagues. Trust me, we have good ideas too and can offer some perspective as a newbie among the tenured managers and execs in the corporate environment.

Like most college grads, I worried about my job situation after graduation, but didn’t want to settle into a job I didn’t like just because I got a paycheck every week. Many of my peers were already enrolled in graduate school to pursue an advanced degree or to avoid the rough job market. Although that was an option, I knew that wasn’t right for me yet. I wanted to get out and experience the working world as I’d been dreaming for so long.

I was lucky enough (networked my butt off) to land an internship in the public relations department at Xerox, which then lead me to my current position in the Enterprise Business Group. I transitioned from an internship in public relations to a job social media marketing only 9 months after graduation. It was never something I anticipated, but realized after working in PR, marketing would be my next foray. So far, I’m loving every minute.

My tips for getting started:

  • Find your passion – what drives you to wake up every morning? Translate that to what you want to do in your career
  • Network with people in the industry every second you can – you never know who’s standing in front of you in the Starbucks line…
  • Get your foot in the door – if you can’t get your dream job just yet, find a position that can lead you there
  • Once you’re in, work hard and push your limits – you’ll be thankful in the end because your perseverance will pay off

…Take Xerox CEO, Ursula Burns, for example. She started out as an intern 30 years ago and look at her now!

How did you get started in your career? Looking back, what advice do you have now?

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