It’s September and it seems like everyone is going back to school. Except for unemployed or underemployed university grads.
It may seem that the world world is going back to school. Everyone except you.
You graduated from school. Whether it was secondary or post-secondary, your school days are behind you. With your degree in hand, you are looking forward to starting your career and moving out of the house. You want to get on with your life.
But reality is your university degree is not worth what you thought it would be.
Your degree got you this far, but it is not where you want to be. Perhaps you don’t know where you want to be – but you know it’s not where you are.
For the first time in many, many years you didn’t have to buy your back-to-school clothes or supplies. Your parents didn’t take a picture of you on your first day of school. You didn’t even start a new job this month.
Instead, you’re still at the job you have been working at for years or trying desperately to find a job in your field.
5 tips to help get you through this time of year
1) You are not alone.
Believe it or not, there are millions of people all over the world who are not going back to school. Think of the people who are newly retired or have started parental leave or are looking for employment. “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
2) Change it up
Now is a great time to evaluate your job searching strategies. As Dr. Phil would ask “how’s it working for you?” Are you getting interviews? If not, maybe you need think about changing your resume. Are you getting interviews but not securing the position? Now may be the right time to assess your interviewing skills.
3) Get networking
Networks can be incredibly helpful for the job seeker, but the most important part of networking is knowing exactly what you want. Once you have figured this out networking can be a significant piece of the job search puzzle. But you must be strategic about it.
4) Use your resources
I am constantly amazed by the amount of incredible resources that are available to people. Twitter is a fantastic tool – just #career advice or #jobsearching or #resumes – whatever you can think of, there is probably a hashtag created for it.Check out these sites for some career guidance: themuse.com; quintcareers.com; talentegg.ca; jobpostings.ca. You can also check out a couple of other resources to help university grads in their employment search.
5) Keep going
I know job searching can be hard, frustrating and downright disappointing. Keeping a positive attitude can be a challenge when you get yet another “thanks, but no thanks” rejection or when your parents don’t seem to appreciate how hard you are working. But, and it’s a big one, employers don’t want to see your frustration and resignation. That is a guaranteed way to not get the job.
Bottom line, it’s weird and strange and uncomfortable. But instead of dwelling on the past, take this time and really appreciate the present moment. You have worked hard to get where you are. Spend time with those you love. Stay in the moment and breathe.