What are your job responsibilities/duties?
A full-time job search effectively simplifies one's life: all responsibilities and duties are tailored to achieve the single goal of finding the right role. In my case, that target role is in the area of revenue generation, supporting quality, in-demand content. My primary responsibility is to set my daily and weekly priorities appropriately in light of the kind of work I want to do, and then follow through with diligence and resolve.
What does a typical day look like?
In truth, there are no "typical" days. Each day includes a unique mix of the following: pursuing inbound leads, reviewing and updating various profiles, expanding my network, following up with existing contacts, researching target companies, and exploring continuing education and volunteer opportunities. Freelance sales work fills any gaps with cold calling, follow-ups and proposals.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
I've truly enjoyed getting back to my roots and re-establishing what kind of work I most want to do, then building a process that will get me there. A job search is a roller coaster, but my next employer will benefit from the personal growth I've experienced in the past several months.
What is the most difficult aspect of the job?
There's no sugar-coating it: lack of income is tough, especially at a stage of life when debt and dependents are part of the picture. Fortunately, financial planning and a supportive partner have allowed me to stick with my process.
What on-campus activities were you involved with? Where did you gain relevant experience?
While I wasn't fully vested in AAF, I did participate in enough activities to learn that the agency world wasn't for me. My other on-campus activities were mostly tied to musical performance, which provided me with a creative outlet I still value to this day. Experience came from summer agency internships and the campus print edition of The Onion, which still provides great resume fodder!
How did your experience at ILLINOIS and in the College of Media prepare you for your professional life? For this specific position?
My degree in advertising has provided useful leverage for me during my ad sales career. People take you more seriously as a sales professional when they see you are immersed in the philosophy around your product. Advertising and content are inextricably linked, and I still regularly use the principles from both my advertising and journalism courses at U of I on a regular basis.
What advice do you have for students interested in this field?
No one thinks about the part of their career when they will be "between jobs", but it's likely to be a reality for most professionals. Continue to keep tabs on the job market, even when your current position feels stable, so you're always aware of your own value in the marketplace. Set aside enough cash to cover expenses for a few months. And network, network, network!
What is one thing that you know now that you wish you had known when you started in the field? When you graduated from the College?
Ad agencies are an important part of the world of advertising, but not the only part: that world is immense beyond measure, and contains many paths to success. Also, I was told how important networking was, but didn't really grasp it until later.