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By Antonio Neves

Six years ago, I graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. And then, nothing happened. Like nothing.I couldn’t get a job to save my life and here I was with an expensive degree in my hand from the best “J-School” in the country and solid work experience behind me. But no one seemed to care. It probably didn’t help my cause that unlike many of my classmates who left NYC to accept jobs in smaller markets, I chose to stay and brave NYC and an extremely competitive job market with seasoned journalists. Again, nothing happened. Here’s what I didn’t do: panic. I’m lying, I did some, but then, I got focused.

If you find yourself in this position, here are a few recommendations to get through this patch and thrive when you come out of it.

1. Do What You Got To Do

Here’s the deal. Unless you have a trust fund or substantial savings, you may have to take a short-term job that you don’t necessarily love. Why? To pay the bills and get by until the job you do want arrives. During rough patches early in my career, I worked temp jobs, retail, catering gigs, bartending gigs and more. What I didn’t do was take a staff job that was “good enough.” Those are the jobs you can get stuck in and before you know it 2 years have passed and you realize you’re not doing what you want to do. In the interim, do what you got to do. (Learn how a ‘A Walk-On Mentality‘ Can Help You Stand Out)

2. Get Focused

During this down time without a job is a great time to get focused and really identify exactly what type of career that you want to pursue.

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