When entrepreneur Melanie Feldman first graduated college, she had no idea how to navigate the job market fresh out of school. While her education taught her how to format a resume and nail an interview, she felt unequipped for actually getting her foot in the door.
“It’s such a vulnerable time where you feel a lot of pressure, because the candidate pool for entry-level jobs is one of the most competitive environments a person can experience,” said Feldman. “How to network and advance your career is learned and expected for candidates well into their career, but hidden and mysterious for beginning professionals.”
To help bridge the “network gap,” as Feldman calls it, she and her business partner Anna Schuliger founded Going Places, which shows emerging and young professionals how to get hired in today’s job market with their Get Hired Course.
“It is a part of our mission to create equal opportunity into entry-level roles regardless of where you grew up, where you went to school or how strong your initial network is,” Feldman said.
It is a part of our mission to create equal opportunity into entry-level roles regardless of where you grew up, where you went to school or how strong your initial network is.
Melanie Feldman, co-founder, Going Places
Looking for work during COVID-19
Finding a job post-college is hard enough, but throw a global pandemic into the mix, and it feels nearly impossible for many recent grads.
“Understandably, in order for companies to survive this era, they need experts and ‘the perfect fit,’” said Schuliger. “The definition of a ‘qualified candidate’ is much more strict, so you have to be more aligned than ever.”
Schuliger recommended being especially intentional when choosing potential employers, ensuring they have the foundation to withstand the pandemic.
[Read: Job Hunting in a Pandemic? How to Improve Your Chances of Landing a Job]
Additionally, it’s important to embrace the virtual environment. Job seekers now have access to remote-work positions that otherwise would have required being on location pre-pandemic.
“It creates competition with a wider candidate pool, but there is also more opportunity for you to find something that fits perfectly,” Schuliger said.
Despite the economic struggles the country is facing right now, there are also many ways aspiring entrepreneurs can advance their career or launch their own business during this time — one of the most important being networking.
“Leverage the people who are currently around you, and who can uplift you and give you positivity during the struggles of moving forward — whether in your career or beginning a new business,” said Feldman. “People forget to think about other people when they start out on their own business venture, and that’s natural as you try to figure things out. But if you can make each interaction valuable for both parties, you will see everything around you flourish and grow.”
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Published March 29, 2021