Let me start off this blog post with a statistic. Did you know that the Department of Labor reports that workers ages 18 to 34 change employers (or occupations under the same employer) an average of 10 times? That’s shocking. It really throws out the window the notion that anyone will be working for the same company out of college ‘til retirement.
Over Spring Break, I did a lot of soul searching, and after thoughtful consideration, I decided to resign my position as an advertising representative at our campus newspaper. I had always thought I would be working for the paper until I graduated, but I think life (or at least my college life) has something more in store.
As much as I love working as an account executive selling advertisements to campus organizations and departments, I decided that being a salesperson is not what I want to do with my life. Yes, I have enjoyed my time at the paper. And indeed, I have developed a new sense of professionalism, work ethic and insight into effective advertising. But I haven’t been writing. In fact, at a recent newspaper advertising conference, the recruiters representing different newspapers across the nation all commented on how my writing experience was quite unusual for someone wanting to sell newspaper ads. That’s when I realized, I needed to move on.
I felt as if I was pursuing something that I ultimately had no intention of doing. I want my resume to read, “strategic, analytic writer who can build positive relationships between your organization and your publics.” Not, “dedicated salesman.” Sure, we all have to possess a little salesmanship in any job. That’s how an accountant gets new clients or a public relations firm acquires business. Even in a job interview, you have to sell yourself. However, I do not want to be cold calling on potential accounts or prospecting business in a geographic territory.
I feel incredibly free and vulnerable now. I have to account for a new stream of income for the next school year, but I have more time now to pursue activities that will help me achieve my professional goals. So my advice to students is do something you are passionate about. Yes, I learned a lot from my job at our campus newspaper, and no, I don’t regret a second of it. In fact, it is because of that job that I am even more convinced of what I want to do. So go out and experience what life has to offer. Otherwise, you may end up missing an opportunity.
Life has got many plans for me, and I look forward to gaining a multitude of experiences. So even though I may not be devoted to selling ad space in our newspaper until I graduate, I am proud to be part of the job change statistic.