I currently hold three different positions. Two utilize the journalism degree I earned at W&L. One is my career. How did I land all three jobs? I hustled.
There’s no reason to wait around for a job posting or wanted ad. I learned how to hustle out of necessity while I was in Lexington. After my sophomore year, I had to stay in town and find a job. I just started going door-to-door, business-to-business. I landed a job at Southern Inn and at Crossroads Music & Movies. I didn’t follow any leads or use any connections; I just walked in, started talking to an employee, and asked if they could use any help over the summer. Of course, it might seem easier to land a seasonal job while you’re in college. But my job at Crossroads led to me managing the store and six employees during my final two years of college. That opportunity wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t taken a chance and walked into the store after hitting up at least ten other businesses in Lexington that day.
After graduation, I moved to Cincinnati. The job I moved back here for wasn’t what I expected and I was in need of a change, quickly. The local paper wasn’t hiring, but I sent a resume in anyway. I was offered an opportunity to write one high school football season preview as a stringer. Now, I write about five stories a week covering high school and college sports in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
As a football player at W&L, the homepage on my laptop was D3football.com. I reached out to the site’s editors, told them about my background, and offered my services should they ever need them. I started by writing a conference preview for their Kickoff season preview. A few years later, I was writing features both for Kickoff and during the playoffs. Now, I write a weekly column covering three conferences (including the ODAC), while writing several features both pre- and post-season. I also cover the Stagg Bowl in Salem each year.
So reach out and find what you love to do. Don’t wait around.
While these jobs are enjoyable and allow me to use my degree and make Bob de Maria proud, I needed a career. I had a friend who worked in IT at a law firm. I sent in my resume. They weren’t hiring. I got an interview. There were no positions open. I interviewed. All of a sudden, a position opened up. I thought I’d work there for a year to make ends meet while I figured out what I was going to do for a living. After two years of working there, I took the LSAT and started going to law school at night. I told the firm I’d continue working there for my first year of law school, then explore my options. I never planned on staying there, but I kept moving up. While many of my classmates scrambled to find jobs after graduation, my loyalty was rewarded. There was no position open. They weren’t hiring. An attorney position was created for the kid who six years earlier needed a stable job when he was a single father fresh out of college whose life was a stressful mess.
Why have I been able to move up in each of these three roles? I’m not good at saying “no.” I remember what it was like to struggle. When I was a 19-year-old college student with a son to raise, I had to hustle. That work ethic hasn’t left me. You don’t have to be in that kind of situation to create your own opportunities. I’ve seen too many friends content to apply for job after job that they find through Career Services or other conventional means.
Only you know how much value you can bring to an employer. When nobody’s shopping for you, you need to go out and sell yourself. Don’t wait around. Hustle, hustle, hustle.
Adam Turer (’06) is a Litigation Attorney at Lerner, Sampson & Rothfuss and a feature writer and columnist for D3football.com. He also writes for the Community Press & Recorder, Gannett’s weekly local newspapers in Cincinnati and northern Kentucky. Adam is a vice president of and team manager in Anderson Township Little League and coaches basketball at Summit Elementary. You may have seen him co-starring with Adam Richman in Man vs. Food Nation: Cincinnati. Adam lives in Cincinnati with his wife, Candace, and son Caleb (9). You can follow him on Twitter at @adamturer.
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