You’ve been finished a month already and have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about what it is that you hope to do with the degree you just learned you got a first class in. What is it you want to do with your time?
You begin graduate job hunting. You apply to what it is you’ve always wanted to do. You make a conscious decision and you stick to it…for a while. Your CV is sharp looking and adequately full, your cover letters are passionate and specific. Your applications are all going good…until they’re not.
Until you’ve spent so long staring at a job page that you’ve lost the enthusiasm that you began with. The cover letters are less focused on the person specification and have become more copy-paste from the previous ones. That’s okay, right? Because they’re all in the same sector…Maybe I’m not right for the sector. The doubt creeps in. You feel desperate. You apply to absolutely anything and everything.
One email breaks the silence. ‘Unfortunately…’ you read the whole email. A rejection but a nice one. Then the rest come flooding in. ‘Sorry to inform you-‘, ‘Lack of experience-‘, ‘Wide-ranging applications-‘, ‘unsuccessful this time-‘ STOP. Your head is full of negativity, some passive, some simple, some highlight your inadequacies, knocking your confidence.
You try to be positive and you try again. Until seventy five applications later and twenty four rejections, the rest ignored entirely, you are tired. You re-read your applications, wondering if there’s something wrong with you, if perhaps you’re not as well-written or specific as you thought…no, it’s fine. They’re all fine. So what is a first class graduate supposed to do about a lack of full-time office experience if no one will give the first chance to gain experience?
Graduate job hunting is a worrying time. We’re all in different situations. Some of us feel the pressure of our parents if perhaps you’re living back at home but expected to sort yourself out soon. Some of us have extended accommodation from university and are trying to find our feet before the rug gets pulled out from under them. Some of us, like myself, stepped off the rug just in time and set up a life with savings but know we have to get a job before the money runs out.
So, it’s okay to get frustrated. I’m not going to shy away from the subject, I literally sat in my bathtub with the cold shower on sobbing for an hour. That was the lowest point of all this for me.
Do you remember when the teachers at school would tell us that it’s okay if we didn’t know what we wanted to do yet because some jobs hadn’t been invented yet? Well I realised that my job has only just been invented. What I’m trying to say is, don’t disregard your loved ones telling you the rejections are for a reason because they are sometimes! Think outside the box. When I typed in social media I didn’t know it would open the doors that it did. I realised it was a job I am more than qualified for.
I know we can get so negative and pessimistic and that’s understandable and sometimes we get scared going to interviews but if there is one thing you remember, let it be this: they’re not out to get you, they need someone, they want you to be the right person for the vacancy. All they need is a little reassurance from you and you can perfect the technique of telling them you’re right for the role.
Graduate job hunting for exactly what you want is a long process and it can easily knock the wind out of you. All you can really do is try your best, maintain the confidence in yourself because you need it to sell yourself, repeat your experience like a mantra to reassure them you’ve got this, you’re reliable, you’re perfect. Remember what sets you apart and say it. In the mean time, be careful with money and use your time wisely and believe in yourself!
I wish you all of the luck in the world, I really do.