Tips from Someone Who’s Been There: Picking the Career Not the Job

This week we are sharing a Guest Blog with you from a former CCO marketing intern. She has had unique experiences finding her way into a career path that she now loves and wanted to share some of the tips she’s learned along the way with our viewers. We hope you gain some insight and helpful tips through this blog from our fellow Boilermaker. Thanks for sharing, Hannah!

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Tips from Someone Who’s Been There: Picking the Career Not the Job

 Hi there!  My name is Hannah and I’m a former CCO Marketing Intern and recent inductee to the real world. I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned in the last few years that I wish I would have known when I was in the senior year scramble looking for my first post-college job. After leaving one company I chose for the job, I moved to Kimberly-Clark. Kimberly-Clark has been wonderful for me personally and professionally.  After a lot of reflection I’ve boiled it down to four key factors I recommend considering before you sign on to a new company.

Culture

I remember talking to recruiters and using culture as my throw away, ice breaker question. I didn’t give their answers too much thought, but now I realize that culture is absolutely critical to liking your life and job.  You can get a feel for the company culture by talking to employees, or checking out their website. A culture where you feel you “fit” is critical. Ask questions about how the company tries to solve problems. Ask what qualities in a person make them fit or not fit at the company, even ask about how the recruiter’s boss reacts to a problem. This is a highly individual choice so think about what you want in your work environment. Asking about the office environment directly is another great way to find these opportunities. At Kimberly-Clark we have flexible work arrangements and summer hours. These policies really set the tone for a workplace of respect, responsibility, and flexibility.

Career Opportunities (Professional Growth)

One mistake I made was not considering the long-term opportunities. As you talk to employees at the company, get a read on where people who take the role you are looking at ultimately go. Part of what sold me to sign up with Kimberly-Clark was the potential and encouragement for cross-functional moves. I’m currently in Supply Chain which is the polar opposite of my last role in Marketing. It has been a wonderful learning experience for me. I highly encourage finding a company that allows you the opportunity to go beyond the field of your degree.  Another way to gauge career opportunities is to find a few employees in LinkedIn at that company and see where there career paths have gone within the company.  Ask recruiters how their companies have encouraged their own professional growth. It can come in the form of supporting further education, creating experiences in the job that allow you to grow your skills as a leader, or even opportunities to network with other employees.

Opportunities for Personal Growth

One of the hidden benefits for me was the personal growth opportunities at Kimberly-Clark. I had no idea how much these contributed to my overall happiness with my company. We have employee resources groups that have helped me meet new friends, discover the area I live in, and develop new hobbies or skills. Work life balance is key to personal growth and I’ve found a lot of opportunity at Kimberly-Clark.  When looking at companies be sure to ask about the personal growth recruiters have found at their companies. Have they developed good relationships with the people they work with? What are some new skills or hobbies they picked up at their new job? Does the company encourage charitable work? How do employees have fun? These may seem like insignificant questions but they are just as important as the question “What will I do at your company?”

Location

Location was something that I always thought was a negotiable aspect. That was until I found myself in a tiny town with no people around my age.  I realized then there is a difference between living in a city and living 2 hours away from a city. My current city while by no means a Chicago has many of the amenities and qualities that make life outside work enjoyable. I’m not saying that small town won’t work for you, but I recommend evaluating the location you’ll be living in for the following aspects:

-small town or large town

-cost of living

-age demographics

-access to hobbies (ex. Gyms, hiking, oceans/lakes)

-distance from home if you like to travel back a lot

 

Hopefully the above points will help you in your search for your career and happy life after Purdue.

Good Luck and Boiler Up!

Hannah

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