Chris: Welcome to the Third Edition of the David James Group Podcast Stir and Tell Podcast. Today, we have a new DJG account coordinator, Anna Souhrada. Welcome, Anna.
Anna Souhrada: Hi Chris. Thanks for having me today.
Chris: Sure. The reason we are having you on is because you wrote a really nice blog post for us right after you started about some of the challenges you faced and overcame during your job search, and we thought it’d be great if you could pass those tips on to those behind you that are in their senior years now, are still in the job search. They could probably benefit from your advice. Why don’t you share the info that you’ve got from that blog post?
Anna Souhrada: Yeah, so I wrote about seven tips that I felt would be the best tips for when you’re a senior in college that you want to take when you’re looking into entering the job force. The first tip I’d say is to apply anywhere you want, but do your research on companies. I came across a lot of companies that presented themselves as PR or marketing but ended up being not that, more of a sales job. I think especially when you’re going into public relations and marketing, you need to be aware of those.
Chris: Yes. Truth in labeling is important in the job search.
Anna Souhrada: Yes it is. My second tip is don’t accept the first offer you receive. As not everyone knows, I got two offers in 12 hours and I was about to accept the first one, not knowing I would get another one. You definitely need to wait on offers even if it’s the first one in many months because something might pop up. You also need to sit on that offer and make sure that what you are going to be getting at your new job is what you want.
Chris: But what about the pressure that you’re going to get from your parents, and your friends, and just your own anxiety. You know, you’ve got a job offer. You got one in the bank here. Why would you wait 36 hours, 24 hours? Wouldn’t you be worried about losing that opportunity to somebody else?
Anna Souhrada: Yes and no. In my case, I had an offer that was presented to me that other people were also receiving. I wasn’t the only person they were hiring, so they allowed me to sit on the offer for a couple of days. But I also think that you should sit on it and discuss with your parents because they kind of know what you should be looking for in a job offer. You know, salary is great, but what else are you getting out of this new job? Especially when you’re leaving college, you think that anything is great, but you really need to take things slow and look at your options.
Chris: Right. Be methodical and make the right choice for you.
Anna Souhrada: Correct. My third tip would be read over all documents you receive and make sure that you are careful when filling them out. I have had experience in just retail jobs of filling out tax forms, but it’s a different ballgame when you are a new hire at a real company and there’s more than just your tax forms. You really need to look over everything and make sure that you are filling it out correctly. So, yeah.
Chris: There will be a quiz on the DJG employment manual at the end of this podcast.
Anna Souhrada: Yes. See, exactly.
Chris: Aren’t you glad you read it?
Anna Souhrada: I am. I did read it actually, which is something that you should be doing along with filling out your forms, reading the handbook and knowing all the rules. Even though I had interned with you guys last summer, I was still needing to read up on what an employee is, because it’s totally different from employee versus an intern. Good point.
My next one is to dress to impress, at least on the first day and in interviews as well, just because your first impression always matters when you first enter your new job. Even though they may say it’s business casual the rest of the year, it’s always nice to just show up spiffy on your first day, and in interviews as well because it puts a good front forward of who you are.
Chris: Do you think college graduates have a hard time dressing for job interviews on job performance in context?
Anna Souhrada: 100%. I was in the Public Relations Student Society of America and we would go on tours to go see agencies, and we struggled with a lot of people who would come on these tours not knowing how to dress. Girls would wear too short of skirts or too revealing shirts, and guys would dress too casual or not know how to wear a tie. I definitely think it’s important to learn about how to dress, no matter what kind of profession you are going into, especially for interviews.
Chris: Excellent advice.
Anna Souhrada: Yes. I try. Five is to leave early and arrive early. Although I had interned here last summer, it had been a while since I’ve made a commute out to Oakbrook. Definitely leave early, especially if it’s a new place because you can’t anticipate what traffic will be. And arrive early because it’ll be a busy day, probably, your first day, and you’ll want to show up early and not be late, because if you start off on the wrong foot being late, well then that shows a bad impression of who you are.
Chris: You know the old rule, on time is late. Five minutes beforehand is on time.
Anna Souhrada: That is correct.
Chris: That’s coach Maxie speak.
Anna Souhrada: Oh, wow. There you go.
Six, don’t be afraid to ask questions and take on new tasks that you’ve never done before. Questions are always great in any job that you have in your life. I was always told to ask any questions, and sometimes I wouldn’t take advantage of that, but especially when you’re a new person, you really want to know all of the questions and all the answers to those questions. Along with new tasks, you always want to be forthcoming that you are willing to take on new tasks and that even if it seems like a challenge at first, that you can do it because then it shows that you can handle more than you are given. Because they might give you the bare minimum when you first start your job, but you’ll want to be able to take on more later on.
Chris: In the real world, not everything fits into a neat job description or a resume point either. Sometimes things happen, clients want things, and we need to do that,
Anna Souhrada: Right. I’m an account coordinator, but I do social media and PR along with that. You might start off as one role, but me personally, I was never afraid to go into other roles because I liked to have a little bit of everything on my plate. So if you’re like that kind of person, then you will want to take on new tasks, and try different things, and try new things because you might not be doing it now, but later on, down the road, you might be asked to.
Anna Souhrada: My last tip is to enjoy your new job. It’s an exciting time, graduating college and starting your career, essentially, and you should enjoy it and be happy with the decision you make, even though there’s a lot of pressure to get a job right away now after college, you should want to be excited to go to work every day and work with the people that you’re working with, and to just live in the moment.
Chris: Are a lot of your friends still job searching?
Anna Souhrada: Some of them. I think most of them have found jobs. I don’t know if they’re great permanent jobs, but I know that everybody is working,
Chris: If we looked at the picture of the PRSA students that visited our office last November, how many of those kids who are seniors have jobs now, would you say?
Anna Souhrada: I’d say a good majority. I wouldn’t say they had jobs right before they graduated. A lot of people, I think, found jobs after college, which I think is something that is a stigma that people, at least my senior year, I thought that I was supposed to have one right before I graduated. But there were a lot of people that I know who are still interviewing, including myself, after I graduated, so to know that you’re not going to have one, potentially free when you graduate and walk across the stage, but maybe a few months after.
Chris: Great. Well, thanks so much for your time. The blog post is on our website right now, davidjamesgroup.com. Thanks for joining us and kudos to the Illinois State University for producing another fine graduate.
Anna Souhrada: Yes, thank you again.
Chris: Production crew, Dan Jasker, Maxie, Mottlowitz and Anna Souhrada. We will be with you probably in the next week or so for episode two.
Chris: Signing out.