It can be a daunting prospect leaving the bubble of University and emerging into the big bad world of work. Not all people are lucky enough to be able to walk into their dream job as soon as they finish Uni and I am one of those people. From my time in unemployment this time and over holidays etc I have learnt a few things to help survive the black ominous cloud that comes with being unemployed. It can be easy to become bored, despondent and feel like you are fighting an up hill battle but I have come up with 5 tips to surviving this (hopefully) brief spell of unemployment before you embark on your journey to your dream job.
1. Do not get despondent. Giving up won’t get you a job!
This is sometimes easier said than done. No the first 30 jobs you apply for may not get back to you but make sure you don’t let this get you down. If you give up you certainly wont be finding a job any time soon and even when the perfect job does come along you will be so unmotivated you’ll come across all wrong to your employer. Keeping an upbeat frame of mind will enable you to look at each job application differently. Don’t forget it is tough to find a job at the moment, if you’re not successful it may not be because they didn’t like you but there were 100,000,000,000 other people going to that one position!
2. Keep your mind active.
So you’ve applied to all the roles you could find that day what do you do? spend the rest of the day on the sofa watching Jeremy Kyle? No do something that will keep your mind active. I want to work in a marketing agency so I frequently read articles and follow relevant marketing influencers on twitter. Basically keeping up to date with what’s going on in your industry. This will not only help keep your mind active it will also come in handy if you get a phone call at 5pm asking you to come in for an interview at 9am, you will have up to date knowledge of the industry and won’t have to work till the early hours researching. Try and do what it is you want to do as a career while you wait, for example I like writing so I write this blog. I understand it isn’t always that easy, if you want to be a submarine engineer there isn’t many opportunities in day-to-day life to just work on a deep-sea vessel, but you can still read up on the topic and make you your skills are kept sharp and ready to be used.
3. GET UP!
I think this is one of the most important points. get up, get out of bed at reasonable time, get dressed. DO NOT BECOME A SLOB! As time goes on it can be very easy to slip into a routine of getting to bed late / early hours of the morning and not waking up until the afternoon. What if you get a phone call from a prospective employer at 10am? You’re not going to sound employable if this wakes you up and you are groggy and tired. As well as this if a job pops up out of the blue you will not be ready to work if your body clock is set to late nights/ late mornings. So get up, showered and dressed at a reasonable hour. Make sure you don’t stay within the confines of your house. Get outside, even if it is just for a walk. If you read take a book to the park. It is very easy to feel like a caged animal after 72 hours of only having yourself and the 4 walls for company.
Don’t think that by sitting at home constantly refreshing your browser that you will find a job. Get out there and temp. Yes it will mean you have a little less time to trawl through the endless job sites but it will improve your employability, increase your skill range, get you talking to people (which in turn may give you more opportunities) and minimise the chance of you feeling despondent. It’s not healthy to stay indoors all day and not only will having a temp job get you that much needed money boost, it will also show prospective employers that you wont just sit around and you’re willing to get out there and work hard. With regards to temp work, personally I don’t care what I’m doing as long as it is getting me A. out of the house and B. money. It is a little different with contract work, this needs to be more focused towards what you want to do in the long run as these are commonly for an extended period. So get out there and show the world your talents even if that means sitting on a reception desk for minimum wage for 2 weeks, you don’t know who will walk through that door!
5. Be Realistic
You’re a graduate. Yes you have gone to University for 3 or 4 years but you still have to work your way up, so be realistic in the jobs you are looking for. Don’t ignore a job because it’s not in your desired pay bracket, you never know there may be a chance of quick progression or they may offer you more if you have the right skill set. If you like a job and it will give you chance to move forward in your career read through the job description further. You will have to put the graft in to get into your perfect career just think of jobs at this stage as a foot in the door or a stepping stone to your ideal role. Equally don’t sell yourself short. Don’t just apply for everything and anything that relates to your degree. If you don’t think you want to do it, don’t apply for it. It just wastes your time and the company’s time. As a side note for this if you’ve applied for a job and gone off it but they offer you an interview, go along, you never know if you liked it once after talking to the company you may like it again. As well as this it never hurts to get some interview experience.