The Dreaded Job Hunt (and 5 Ways I’m *Trying* to Survive It)

*cue music from Psycho right before that woman gets, like, stabbed*

I have eaten a full bag of Andy Capp’s Hot Fries and I’m on my second cup of caffeinated beverages for the day. I’ve cried about three times before noon.

This all probably sounds very familiar if you’ve been in the realm of the dreaded “job search.” You’ve possibly Googled, “How much does a kidney sell for” and trust me, I’m right there with you. I’m reading endless resume tips, scouring the depths of sites like Indeed, Monster and Journalism Jobs to no avail, and repeatedly questioning why employers require 5-10 years of experience for entry-level jobs (???).

Finding a job is hard. Finding a job in journalism is harder.

Picture this: You’ve spent four glorious years at a university. You walk across the stage at graduation bright-eyed and hopeful of the future. Then, it’s like everything comes to a screeching halt. Classes are suddenly over. After that, you move nearly 800 miles away from everything you’ve ever known. You try and search for jobs in your field and nothing pulls through. Job hunting begins to morph into a metaphorical claw machine; sometimes you win, but most of the time you lose. Except the metaphorical claw machine of journalism is now on fire. And you’re on fire. And everything is on fire and you softly say to yourself with feined reassurance, “Everything is fine.”

So, what do you do? You sigh heavily, pour yourself the biggest glass of wine in existence and settle on taking a BuzzFeed quiz to find out what type of pizza you are based on your astrology sign. Self-deprecating, I know.

While this all seems daunting and scary (which—I won’t lie to you—it is), there are a few things that I’m doing to make this process a little less taxing for my steadily declining sanity.

1. Sign Up For Emailing Lists

One thing that I’ve found to be super helpful when searching for jobs is to add emailing notifications of new positions when they open up. Usually, websites like Google or Indeed will allow you to use specific keywords when searching for a job. For example, the terms “journalist” or “editor” or “freelance Stranger Things theory writer” might be suitable.

2. Look For Jobs That Will Use Your Degree

There is nothing more frustrating than going to a careers page and seeing “General Manager of Sonic Drive-Thru” in your recommended jobs (I know from experience). Try honing in on jobs that will not only challenge you but will also apply the things you learned from your time in college. Why settle for a low-paying job when you have a piece of paper that cost you roughly $60,000 and showcases years of tears, stress and coffee-induced all-nighters?

3. Find Something To Occupy Your New-Found Free Time

Say “so long” to the days of midterm papers and final exam cramming. As a real adult with no more college classes to attend, you now need to find things to fill the void. Try taking up a new hobby. Find a new video game to play through. Finally stop procrastinating and get to work on your blog and YouTube channel that you’ve been wanting to do for years… (Did you mean: psychological projecting?)

4. Don’t Give Up

It’s so easy to admit defeat when you feel like you are repeatedly hitting a brick wall. However, you can’t get discouraged every time you don’t get a call back or you don’t get past the first round of interviews. Easier said than done, I know, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb on his first try, and other cliches like that. The point being: don’t give up, even if you feel like you’ve exhausted all options.

5. When All Else Fails, Network

Some of the greatest job finds have come from who you know, not what you know. Well– okay, it’s a bit of both. Reaching out to potential employers just to have lunch or to tour the facility is a great way to keep your name in their heads and stand out from other candidates, even if it doesn’t lead to a job right away. Chances are if they have an opening later down the road, they’ll give you a heads up. Plus, people know people who need to hire people and that’s always nice.

Sometimes, it takes a little extra initiative to be employed. If you’re a self-starter and don’t like conventional rules of the workforce, being a freelance writer or your own boss might be the road for you. Regardless, I’m going to try and use these tips as much as possible until I’ve landed a job I love. I hope you will, too.

Yours truly,

Allie

Taking a Sick Day and Dropping a Class (Life Update)

Hey kids, here’s a pro tip:

Don’t get sick on the first day of your new internship.

Saturday night, my sister came home after a while of not being home. Maybe a week and a half or so. I have since taken refuge in her room because I moved away from campus housing. To clarify, it was completely and 100 percent not my choice to take over her room. However, Saturday night she comes home, realizes that my other sister is using the guest cot and decides to camp out on my floor. Little did she tell anyone that she was extremely sick.

Guess who ended up getting said “sick?”

I was in a contaminated room with her for probably close to ten hours or so, because I had to get up for work the next day (Sunday). So, I’m at work and everything is fine. Even yesterday, everything was fine. Then at about 7 or 8 p.m, I start feeling a tickle in my throat. You know the lump that all of a sudden springs up on you and you’re left wondering, “Where did that come from?” I figured it was nothing more than a little sore throat that would be gone in a few hours and went about my business. I knew I had to be up early to get to Naples by nine, so I started winding down for bed and talked to my boyfriend a bit. The throat got worse, and at about 10 p.m. I felt like the flames of Satan himself were inside my esophagus. I was absolutely writhing in pain by 11 p.m, and at midnight I knew that I was down for the count.

I got up at about 4 a.m. and walked into the bathroom, praying to God that this would go away by 7 a.m. when I had to actually be up for work. My nose was stuffed, I was breathing out of my mouth (which only hurt my throat more) and I hastily began gargling as much hot water as I could.

I don’t know why I thought that would work. Maybe burn the bacteria out?

I don’t know.

I wake up again at 6 a.m. and it felt like the world was coming to an end. My eyes were slightly swollen, my throat felt like I was swallowing glass. Every bone in my body hurt. I did the only thing I thought to do at the time.

I called in sick on my first day.

And not only that, but I called out for the only two days this week I was supposed to work because I didn’t know when I was going to feel better.

From what you can tell, this was not a Mean Girls’ “I can’t go out, I’m sick.”

This was full blown WWIII happening inside my body.

I’m finally okay enough to lie back and write out this post because one of my only three options is to write, play Crafting Mama on my DSi or watch Pewdiepie on YouTube. Or sleep, but I don’t feel like going unconscious for the time that I could be writing.

Also, because I wanted to share about how I dropped my very first class in my nearly four-and-a-half years of college.

I was in the process of getting myself set up for a little course called Computer Softwear and Technology (GCS 1100). Everyone that I have talked to about this class said that it was one of the easiest courses they have taken, especially because it’s as simple as getting a certification in Microsoft PowerPoint. I’m already pretty good with technology, so I was ready to finish this class in like two weeks max.

When I started logging into the course, I realized that I missed a little introduction post. I did that, then logged into the website that we were going to use for the class called Cengage. After logging in, I realized that the access code for the course –– ACCESS CODE, not even a textbook –– was going to cost $194.75. 

To your right, you will see an example of the absolute petrification I exhibited when realizing not only did I not have enough money to even begin to cover that, but also that I missed an ENTIRE WEEK of random assignments I had no idea were due.

Cue “Surprised Patrick” meme.

I let out a slightly-less-than-dignified, “F–k this” and promptly dropped myself from the course. Granted, after checking the academic calendar, I found out that yesterday was the final day to withdrawal from a course. Great timing.

On any note, after the last 24 hours, all I truly want to do is eat a good amount of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream and maybe have a good cathartic cry.

Yours truly,

Allie

Meet the Beautifully Brilliant Mind Behind “Seven Swim,” Hannah Marjon


I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Hannah Marjon, 20, as she shared the challenges and experience of becoming her own boss with her swimwear line “Seven Swim.” Here is Hannah’s story:

Allie: When did you first have the idea that you wanted to own your own business? And more specifically, when did you know you wanted to make swimwear?

Hannah: I have wanted to start my own business for a long time now. I would always start businesses, like dog day cares and things like that, when I was younger. I started seriously playing with the idea of starting my own business around a year and a half ago. I have always known that I wanted an unconventional job; I just didn’t know what format that job would be in. Being my own boss seemed like a good start. The idea for swimwear came when I was reading an interview with Moana Bikini owner, Karina Irby. In the interview, she talked about when she decided to never work for someone other than herself ever again. I love fashion and growing up on the beach every weekend has given me a solid respect for the perfect bikini. I’m going to have other jobs in my life, and I’m a public relations major and I do want to pursue that still, but owning my own business was something I always wanted to do so I figured, why not do it now?

 A: Where did the name Seven Swim come from? Does it have any significance to your life or to the company?

H: Once I had the concept to create my own swimwear line, I went through a few hundred possible name choices. Nothing stuck. I came up with some amazingly awful names. Seven is a word my boyfriend and I use. I can’t really explain how it started or exactly what it means to us because it represents a concept between us. However, I started saying “Seven Swim” to myself, and I sounded kind of nice. It stuck, and I kept it.

 A: Can you tell me the process of making one of your swimsuits? From start to finish, how is it created? What materials do you use? How are they manufactured?

H: The night I decided to do this, for real, I sketched my designs. I decided to start with seven pieces because 3 tops 3 bottoms and a one piece seemed like a nice first collection. I hadn’t even decided to name it Seven at this point. I had never sketched a swimsuit before. I looked up what swimwear sketches should look like; what measurements to include, what figures to draw them on, everything. There would be a million and one different types of swimsuits I would create if I could, so for the first seven I had to boil them down to super minimalistic designs that would be the starting point for my line. I wanted these to be pieces that would go with pieces girls already had in case they didn’t want to be a full set or wanted to mix it up.

Next came finding a manufacturer. I can’t sew to save my life so finding someone who could was imperative. I knew most of the bikinis I ordered were manufactured in Thailand so I started there. I don’t know if a lot of these places don’t have websites or what but I could only find like 2 manufacturers in Thailand. I ended up widening my search to any country. I emailed about fifty manufacturers in the next two days. After about a week, I found my lovely manufacturers in Brazil. They use eco-friendly / bio degradable nylon.

Getting my first patterns and samples made was one of the more painful experiences I have ever been through. My manufacturer had to think I was crazy. They would send me a picture of a sample they had made, and I would send about fifteen completely disorganized emails back with notes.

Finally, we somehow got the patterns done so they sent me the samples. I cried out of happiness when I received them, and shot off another 20 emails with notes on things that needed tweaking on the samples. I placed my first order once they had redone the samples about 15 times.

The only time I have ever missed class in my college career was the week I was waiting for my 300 pieces of swimwear to arrive at my apartment from Brazil. Customs is the worst thing that has ever happened to this planet. I cried and cried and cried when they called me to say I needed to send more forms and more this and that to get the pieces through customs.

When they arrived, I literally just hugged the boxes which were disgusting after what they had been through. I almost hugged the courier.

A: Where did your idea for the styles of your swimwear come from? Are all of the designs original or was there someone helping in the design process?

H: All of the designs are original in the sense that I start to finish designed them, but they are obviously influenced by the big swimwear trends right now. The cheeky bottom, one piece, triangle top; they’re all super popular right now and I wanted to reflect that in my designs.

A: What were some of the challenges of starting your business? Were there any people that thought you wouldn’t be able to do it as a college student?

H: There are challenges literally every day. I work on Seven like it’s my full-time job. For some reason I kept thinking it was going to get easier or less hectic once I had received the suits from the manufacturer, but that was wrong. I have never emailed, been on social media, or had so many phone calls in my entire life put together as I have in the last 10 months.

I’m sure a lot of people still think I can’t do this as a college student, but whatever, I’m doing it.

A: What were the proudest moments you’ve had with the business so far?

H: When people post in my suits!! I get so so excited every time someone who has bought a suit posts in it. That’s when I’m like, “Okay, this is all going to work out.”

 A: Can you tell readers anything exciting that you are working on? Any future projects or promotions that you are looking forward to?

I just placed an order for a restock of the items I have sold out of and in new colors! I’m so excited to start getting some color in the collection. I also have already started sketching my next collection even though that won’t come out for about a year. It’s going to be super bomb though.

A: Any final thoughts?

H: I am so excited to see what the future of the brand will be because I feel like it’s changing every day. It’s my child.

Follow “Seven Swim” on Instagram and Facebook, or visit Hannah’s site Seven Swim to browse the “Fire Collection.” Pieces start at $40. Subscribe to the “Seven Swim” newsletter to find out when new products are in stock. Apply to be a Seven Babe online for discounts and ambassador perks.