Harrison Kratz is the Community Manager for MBA@UNC, a top online MBA program from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Tweet Drive. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter, @KratzPR!
Before I start off, I can’t say I am a seasoned veteran or am an expert on how to land your dream job, but I can offer one bit of advice to any student, young professional, or job-seeker: Expect the Unexpected. I think this is easy to say, but its not about an opportunity presenting itself, its whether or not you’re ready to answer that opportunity and take advantage. Things change quicker than ever, and what may seem like a life project now, could be a thing of the past next month.
Where I was 20 Months Ago
To give you perspective, 20 months ago I was sitting in a 9-5 internship with really no idea how to break out of the mundane routine that I was entrenched in through this position and school in general. At that point, I decided to continue my education in PR through a little venture of mine, Kratz PR & Management. Once I started this entrepreneur route, I thought that was the only route for me and that I would be doing Kratz PR for the rest of my life. (Yeah, right.)
Clearly I didn’t realize then, what I do now. It’s crazy to think that in those 20 months I’ve gone from a naïve student entrepreneur to the organizer of a global charity campaign, to as the Community Manager for the MBA@UNC, the online MBA program at the University of North Carolina.
The reason why there seems to be so much change and turnover is because during those twenty months, I’ve been able to move swiftly and prepare myself for the next step, even though I rarely had any inclination of what was ahead of me.
The Pieces Do Finally Come Together
Back on July 1st, I submitted my resume to my current employer. The timing must’ve been perfect, because 2 phone interviews and a test assignment later; I was hired 7 days after I submitted my application! I’m still in shock that it all happened so fast and now I am working professional in the greatest city on earth.
But I guess that’s the world we live in… We have the potential to make decisions and create opportunities faster than ever. In the job hunt, you have to be ready for anything that comes your way because you just never know what might work out. If you don’t get that “dream job” you applied for, don’t sweat it… That right fit is still out there and it could’ve presented itself yesterday. I know I sound like a broken record, but today more than ever – you never know.
If you told me that I would be working here a year ago, I would’ve said you’re crazy. 2 years ago, I wasn’t even thinking of leaving Philadelphia. Ever.
The Five Year Plan is Dead
Point is that there is no longer such thing as the five year plan. As a matter of fact, the two-year plan seems to be fading more and more now as well. Our world is changing and not only do our skill sets and knowledge have to adapt, but also our approach to our careers in general.
For further example, 12 months ago, I had no idea who Kyle Harty was. Now, I can fully say he is a brother to me, the Community Director for my Tweet Drive campaign, and my soon to be roomie in New York (Congrats on the new gig Kyle!) I love thinking about this because you never know who you are going to meet that can fully alter the path that you were on.
That’s the fun part though and that ‘s what Kyle and I have gone by both in our career paths and with Tweet Drive. We may have no strict plan for what we’re doing, but we’re going to have fun navigating the map of a career in communications and set ourselves up to take advantage of any opportunity that may come our way.
I apologize if I’m naïve or my personal experiences are not practical, but professionals must start preparing themselves for the abandonment of a 5 year plan and turn to the short-term thought process that is precedent within today’s world of social media. It’s an exciting time, but also more important than ever that we don’t get grounded by simplistic visions. I mean, in literally a week you could be moving to an entirely new city. When you expect the unexpected, you know never what opportunity you may find.