back to top

11 Pieces Of Valuable Career Advice That Will Help Future-You Land Your Dream Job

The real world is waiting — be ready! Get inspired by these true stories of people in the workforce, and find the perfect fit for you at Morgan Stanley.

Posted on

1. Go the extra mile.


"During my last semester of college, I applied online to a prestigious internship at a publishing company. After a screening phone interview, I was invited to interview onsite — but they let me know they understood I was still in school and it would be fine to do another phone call if I couldn't make the trip. I told them I'd see them soon and drove the three and a half hours to Boston for the interview. I ended up landing it, and they later told me they were impressed I'd come in for the interview and felt it showed dedication and drive. That internship was the first step in a successful career, and I've never regretted those three and a half hours!"

—Jana P.

2. Build your résumé.

NBC / Via

"I made sure that I built up my résumé while I was still at college by doing internships during my time off. At the time, I don't think I even recognized the value of those experiences, but it meant that by the time I graduated, I already had a lot of 'real world' professional experiences to talk about in interviews, and it made a huge difference. I found interviewing easier each time because I had a wealth of experiences to talk about. Plus it meant I felt much more confident in my capabilities on the job when I got it! In one case, I interviewed for a temporary internship and instead was offered a full-time position and higher title!"

—Priya M.

3. Stay in touch with old teachers.

ABC / Via

"After college, I had a really hard time finding a school that would take a chance hiring a first-time teacher. I emailed my old acting teacher from high school and asked for some advice, and he actually told me they were opening a sister school to my old high school. I've been working there ever since! Keep in touch with your old teachers; they still want to help you succeed!"

—Kristen P.

4. Don't underestimate the value of an internship.

Faye Kahn / BuzzFeed

"All of the internships I had in college were unpaid, and they were still really valuable. My last internship fulfilling merchandise orders for a record label turned into a full-time job as a web store coordinator after grad school in Florida. I showed up every day and made an effort to ask what else I could do to support the team outside of my daily assignments. Those things seem small, but they show your value. If a job opens up, a hiring manager is more likely to ask the person who wants to take on more responsibility and does their new work well."

—Kim F.

5. Help out.

ITV / Via

"I always volunteered to help out my superiors at any job I had. Eventually, when they left, I already knew half the job anyway and almost always walked right into the higher position. You do that enough times and your résumé starts looking really good to future employers, regardless of the field."

—Josh C.

6. Get your foot in the door where you can.

BuzzFeed Violet /

"I didn't want to settle when pursuing my dream job but had some trouble getting my foot in the door with the opportunities I was really passionate about. Instead of letting it get me down, I signed up with a temp agency that had placements within my industry. By getting some shorter term assignments, I spent a few months learning the ins and outs at different companies, honed in on what my true strengths were, got practical working experience, and made tons of connections in the industry that eventually helped me land my dream long-term job."

—Angelique D.

7. Work hard for something you really want.

BuzzFeed Violet /

"After graduating from college, I had zero clue what I should do for work. I was applying for PhD programs at the time but was ambivalent about whether or not the academic route was for me, so I wanted to get some real-world career experience first. So I started sending my résumé everywhere at random — it was not a successful technique. I decided to switch up my methodology, and instead of applying widely, I chose to focus a lot of attention and care on one application. I tailored my résumé perfectly to the job, spent days on the cover letter, and made my poor friends and family look over all my work. I got the job. I learned that spending the extra time and care on one job was much more effective than seeing it as a numbers game."

—Hannah C.

8. Don't be afraid to explore other paths.


"Don't be afraid to quit. I went from one job I loved to a job that made me miserable — absolutely miserable. Four months in, I knew it was not the job for me. Because it was only my second job, I didn't quit outright, but over the course of the next eight months I applied to every job that looked remotely like it was in the career path I was aiming for. I learned a ton about writing cover letters and interviewing, and I eventually landed another job that was exactly what I was hoping for.

"You don't have to stay in a job that makes you miserable. Make your exit plan and get the heck out of there."

—Kaye T.

9. Put yourself out there.

BuzzFeed Violet /

"When I first graduated from college, I would carry my résumé with me everywhere and hand it out to anyone who would take it. I handed it off to a women who oversaw an advertising team at a happy hour one night, and she hired me the next week. While I didn't have a ton of experience, she recognized that I was willing to put myself out there and I'd be a great fit for her team."

—Coleen C.

10. Stay humble.

"The biggest lesson I had to learn while post-college job-hunting was to stay humble and try not to think any opportunity was beneath me. Interviewing is definitely a skill you have to develop, and if I didn't start pursuing all potential leads and going to interviews for jobs I knew I really didn't want, I would have never been able to become as competent as I am now. In my first job as a temp at a startup, I grew and learned so much about the working world. As I moved up higher in the company, I realized I had definitely overestimated my post-college skill set and would have failed miserably if I had actually landed one of those jobs I idealized when applying."

—Tyler H.

11. Be persistent.

NBC / Via

"When I graduated from the Journalism School at UNC Chapel Hill, I knew I wanted to work at an advertising agency — and I had my heart set on GSD&M in Austin, Texas. I scoured the Tar Heel alumni list to figure out if there were any graduates that worked there and formed a friendship with a guy named Michael who was a senior member of the digital media team.

"Michael told me it was really difficult for people out of state to get an entry-level job at GSD&M because UT Austin had one of the best journalism schools in the nation, but I was determined and refused to take no for an answer. I booked a plane ticket from North Carolina to Austin and told Michael I'd be sitting in the lobby for two days in the hopes someone could meet with me. My tenacity and investment paid off, and after one interview, I landed my dream job! And the rest is history."

—Celine R.

Want to learn more about how you can make a difference in the world? Morgan Stanley's Program Finder can help you find a role that's right for you.