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How to: Job Hunt Proactively During a Crisis

Is it possible? Grady alumni provide words of encouragement and advice to Grady students and graduates

By: Gracie Hamby

Summer Internships canceled, full-time offers rescinded, company-wide hiring freezes—where does this leave us as eager young professionals? 

We all crave to get experience under our belts. But, it’s hard right now. It’s hard when you’ve worked so tirelessly to get this degree, but it seems like no one cares now. It’s hard when it feels like no one is hiring. It’s hard when you’re not getting emailed or called back. It feels discouraging and disappointing—and rightfully so. 

We reached out to Grady alumni to share the wisdom that they have gained through years in the industry with us all. From agency to corporate life, each of them expressed their advice and opinions on the issue based on their varying background and expertise. However, they all had one commonality in their messages—to motivate all Grady students and graduates to press on despite current adversity. 

Here’s a look into what they want YOU to know right now: 

Maria Stagliano, Account Coordinator at LEVICK 

“You have your whole life to work. Don't be too worried if you don't get a job just yet.” 

Maria, a 2019 Grady graduate, stresses that patience is key right now in your job hunt. She wants all Grady students and graduates to know that she feels for them right now. She knows it’s not easy, and it's perfectly okay to admit that. She tells all recent Grady grads to rest assured knowing that they are more essential now than ever before. Communications professionals are dire as companies try to leverage their internal and external messaging amidst the current pandemic. Maria encourages all recent graduates to rethink their goals both professionally and personally. If you can afford to take on a part-time job or internship, take it. This could turn into a full-time offer later on, as many companies and agencies will appreciate extra help brought on during an unprecedented time. At the end of the day, Maria says to relax and let yourself enjoy quality time with friends and family during this time of unknown. 

Maureen Stevens, Corporate Event Planner at McKesson

“There is no shame in wanting to find a job – in a competitive job market, you really have to put yourself out there and market yourself.”

Maureen, a 2010 Grady graduate, encourages recent graduates to look at companies they are interested in that are hiring, and see what jobs may be currently available for their skill level. She asks graduates to keep in mind that a lot of companies allow you to switch roles internally fairly easily. Maureen says that in times like this, it’s important to have the strength to apply to a job opportunity that is outside of your normal comfort zone. From her experience, your first job won’t be your dream job anyways, so aim to diversify your skill sets. Maureen recommends that all recent graduates email and send resumes to anyone that they can think of and always ask for help. Never be afraid to reach out to a friend of a friend, because that person may know someone who can help you in times like these. Lastly, she advises all recent graduates to regularly check the LinkedIn job postings pageand network, network, NETWORK! 

Elizabeth Roberts, Senior Communications Specialist at Cox Communications

“Know the difference between what is within your control and what isn’t.”

Elizabeth, a 2014 Grady graduate, shares that her best advice for tackling the job market right now is to show that you are consistently pursuing the field that you want to enter. Find creative ways to build your skillsets such as picking up freelance work, certifications, or volunteer hours. She advises to always keep your portfolio up to date, especially right now. When the perfect job comes along, you’ll want to be ready! Elizabeth wants all graduates to know that Grady has prepared you for all that is out there and companies know the prestige that comes with hiring a Grady graduate. The Grady network matters and encourages all graduates and students to reach out to Grady alumni at companies you’re interested in, as they might be an influential introduction that lands you a job. It’s important to stay optimistic and remind yourself that there's a light at the end of this tunnel! Starting now, make your mental health a priority if you haven’t already. 

It’s time to hunker down one last time, dawgs. You have made it this far, so why stop now? With the support of our Grady colleagues, alumni, faculty and staff, we are unstoppable. 

Talking Dog congratulates all 2020 Grady graduates. 

We also want to send a special thank you to Maria, Maureen and Elizabeth for their willingness to invest in Grady students during such a busy time. 

Still itching for more? Feel free to reach out to these dawgs on LinkedIn!

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