Entering the Workforce After College

Kathryn Anagnos describes the job-hunting process amid the pandemic

By Janey Maingot

Staff Writer

Kathryn Anagnos, a customer care and social media reporting specialist at Publix, discusses her experience entering the workforce after college and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In January 2019, shortly after graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Advertising from the University of Florida, Anagnos pursued her first post-college job as a bartender in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

Seven months later, she decided it was time to put her degree to use and became a salesperson at AutoNation Ford. Having limited knowledge of vehicles, Anagnos realized the career choice was not going to be fulfilling. In leaving her job to become a waitress, Anagnos stumbled upon a better opportunity. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic began shortly after.

“My first advertising-related job came from a restaurant interview. The manager interviewing me at the time also owned a small marketing company. When he saw my resume, he noticed that I had recently graduated with an advertising degree from the University of Florida and that I had certifications in programs that were useful to his business. I was offered two jobs on the spot. One as a waitress and the other as a social media manager,” said Anagnos.

“When COVID-19 hit, I lost two jobs and my main source of income. I had been working at two different restaurants that had closed down, and the marketing company that I was working for wasn’t paying very much or doing very well. I started applying to as many marketing jobs as I could in the Tampa Bay area,” said Anagnos.

Due to the pandemic, in 2020, large companies were partaking in hiring freezes, and it became very difficult to obtain a job. Unemployment rates were also rising at an alarming rate because of businesses being forced to shut down due to the virus, creating more competition in the job market and fewer positions to fill. This was a rough economic period for society. Remote jobs have become more prevalent in light of this situation. 

“It felt like a lost cause looking for a job during this time, and I thought that I was never going to find a good entry-level position in my field. Instead of depending on other companies to give me an opportunity to rise in my career, I decided to take things into my own hands. I signed up for Fiverr and started freelancing. I was doing social media management and advertising for multiple small businesses for several months. This improved my resume, and the next time I tried to apply to larger companies, I was hired right away. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but it was the foot-in-the-door that I had been waiting for,” said Anagnos. 

Anagnos was given a position at Publix as a social media customer care agent in April 2021. Three months later, she was promoted to her current position as a customer care and social media reporting specialist. 

When asked what advice she had for graduating seniors, Anagnos said, “Stay patient and persistent. The right opportunities will come.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.