With graduation having come and gone, it is now time to truly face life after school, for this year’s graduates. The hardest part is the wait between the end of college and the beginning of your career, because this wait is one that can go by in a flash to those who are lucky but can also feel like an endless void ahead. The easiest thing to do when it feels like there is no end in sight is to just give up, but that is hardly the right choice to make out of so many. Not everyone is the same, and no two industries have the same job market, but there are things that everyone can do to make the wait seem less terrible.
S T A Y M O T I V A T E D
When I was waiting to hear back from potential employers I found that staying motivated was one of the more difficult tasks. If you go long enough without needing to do something, it can be hard to find will to do anything. Designating time for certain tasks can help keep you motivated. Set up specific times for applications, review your resume, and touching up cover letters. You don’t need to spend all day, every day, applying for work, but a little every day goes a long way.
S T A Y B U S Y
There are only so many applications and so much cold-calling one can do in a day, or even in a week. Job-hunting takes time, and a lot of that time is waiting in between applications to hear back from potential employers. Staying busy is a key factor to keep from driving yourself crazy. Not all of us were lucky enough to hold part-time jobs through to graduation so some have nothing at all to do but apply, apply, apply.
Volunteering within the community and/or within your desired job industry is a great way to show employers you care for the community around you as well as clearly show your interest in your field. It gives you some kind of experience while also representing initiative on your resume while you are not working. Even if you are, it is a great way to build more positive references for future applications.
A N Y J O B W I L L D O
Volunteering builds references and experience, but not your bank account. Expenses will eventually take their hold and OSAP will not go away over night. Part-time jobs in retail or food services are not ideal, but will put money in your pocket to handle the basics until your career job comes around. Whatever position you land does not need to be forever, just to act as a safety net. It is better to last a few months in a job you aren’t in love with rather than worrying over what to do in the meantime.
J U S T T R Y
Every now and again you’ll find a job posting that sounds perfect, but you maybe miss one of the half-dozen detailed requirements. Of course, this depends on the industry, but what is one out of six or seven? Go for it. Apply for anything you think you could even remotely qualify for. Worry about not getting it when the job is offered to you. The worst that could happen is you don’t get it. You never know what opportunities will come along.
G O B A C K T O S C H O O L
I know, I know. You’ve just finished school and perhaps going back is the last thing on your mind, but education is never a bad thing. I have my diploma in film but after months of unsuccessful job hunting, I decided to look at other options. Coming back to school is the best thing for my career, and it could be for yours.
Going back does not mean you’ve given up. It also does not mean you have to return full-time. Sometimes more schooling is as basic as night classes or online classes. One at a time while you work out the rest.
The point of the matter is, no matter how things go, remember you always have a choice. Don’t give up. Keep moving forward. Now that you’re a graduate, the whole world is ahead of you. Go out and see it.
– RJ Richardson
1st year Business
Follow RJ @RJakeBlack
Welcome to RJ as a guest blogger on the ABC:Alumni Blog Connection. RJ is working in the Alumni Office this Summer, assisting with social media management and writing for various mediums.