6 Things To Do If You Can't Find A Job After You've Graduated
by Fatin Hafizah. |
You’ve attended all the classes, got the degree, and now it’s time for the most daunting task: finding a job. Hands down, even after five years of working, searching for a job is always a scary task, especially if you have just graduated. On top of that, not being able to find a job straight away while watching your friends complaining about their “crazy hours” and “not being able to get enough rest” just makes it worse. Well, fret not, because here are six things you can do if you are still searching for a job.
1. Find a part-time job
I know finding a full-time job would be the first instinctive thing to do after you have graduated, but if you haven’t had any luck, perhaps consider finding a part-time job while you wait. Having a part-time job is a great opportunity to gather new skills as usually, it allows you to work in a different track than what you have learned and allows you to get out of your comfort zone without giving yourself too much of a risk. Other than that, you will also get a small but steady income to help you stay afloat.
A friend of mine worked as a barista after graduating and now has ample knowledge about coffee and a little bit about the business. These two pieces of knowledge will come in handy should she ever want to open a coffee shop in the future. So, don’t be afraid to give yourself the opportunity of doing something you never thought of doing, as you never know the good it can bring you.
2. Apply for jobs and be open
If I could turn back time to five years ago, I would probably say to myself to not be too picky and be more open. One mistake that I had while searching for my “ideal” job was being too specific in my job search. I knew I always wanted to be a lifestyle writer, but unfortunately, life is not like those rom-com movies, and no, you can’t simply just be a columnist without any experience.
It took me a while to realise that all I needed to do was to expand my search. Instead of searching for my ideal job, I started to search for jobs that fit my skills and capabilities. Only by taking up these “not-so-ideal” jobs, it has led me to where I am now.
So, identify your skills, know what you are good at, and be open. Keep on applying and give that job a shot. For all you know, you might even enjoy it and besides, you never know where it might lead you. Allow yourself to be surprised.
3. Stick to a schedule
Block a couple of hours in your daily schedule to job search. You can also use this time to update your resume as well as your online career profiles such as JobStreet and LinkedIn. By setting a specific amount of time daily to search for jobs, it will increase your chance and help you be more productive and systematic. It’s okay if you don’t find anything new or if you feel like everything you do is redundant. The key takeaway here is consistency. By being consistent and disciplined in your search, you will increase your chance of finding new opportunities.
Besides, this will also prevent you from being in front of your computer 24/7 wasting time on the Internet when you can use the time to be more proactive and take care of yourself as well.
4. Maintain your existing network
Maintaining your existing network is as important as creating a new one as well. Before you cut everyone off and disappear into thin air, I urge you to keep in touch with your lecturers and friends even after you have graduated. Of course, I am not telling you to talk to them every day, but if a friend creates a WhatsApp group, it wouldn’t hurt to participate in it.
A friend of mine used our WhatsApp group to advertise job openings that she stumbled upon and a few of my friends are working together in the same company today simply because they decided to keep in touch. Maintaining your existing network will also help you to find job opportunities that are not even listed. A very important rule to remember: everyone in your network is important. You will never know who will be able to help you in the future.
5. Build new skills
A lot of companies nowadays like to hire people who possess different skill sets. Having multiple skills will not only improve your resume, but it will also help you in increasing your value. Most companies will appreciate someone who has an extra set of skills as this will show your versatility as well as your ability to adapt.
For a little real-life example, my cousin applied to become a geologist and her position requires her to know how to scuba dive. Fortunately, she had already obtained a scuba diving certificate which she took for fun while waiting to be employed. This impressed the interviewers so much; she was hired on the spot. This goes to show that building a new skill is as important as honing the skills you already possess. If you have the means to learn anything new, please don’t be afraid to do so.
6. Be positive
This is probably the hardest thing to do but the most vital one. I know it is easier said than done, but nothing good will come if you let yourself stay in the ditch. Of course, you are allowed to be sad but don’t let that feeling linger. Hang out with your family and friends to blow off some steam.
You don’t need to bottle it all up and bear the burden alone. Besides that, remind yourself that trying multiple times is always better than giving up and not trying at all. Last but not least, when things are overwhelming, learn how to take a break, not quit! If today seems bleak, there is always tomorrow. So, wake up and try again, and again, and again.
Finding a job can be a daunting and stressful task. It is never fun and it can take a toll on you. In the midst of all this, I hope you will find the time to take care of yourself too. One thing's for sure: there are always opportunities out there as long as you are willing and ready to take them on.
It might take a while and it may not be exactly what you have in mind, but if you keep on persevering, you will get it. Life always has a funny way to give you something more than you deserve. Good luck, go-getters!
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