Once senior year rolls around, the deeming thought of getting what they all call a “real” job creeps closer and closer to the deadline you never thought would actually appear.
And when graduation comes with no job offers and no ideal career lined up, the feeling is very similar to that of dropping your freshly printed senior thesis, unstapled, on a windy day. It’s hard to grasp. You’ll chase it down. You’ll find a staple. It just takes the right steps to weave around the people in your way, and, hopefully, someone will help you.
Take your time. This is the best advice that was ever given to me after college. Time is key. There is no need to rush to find an unfulfilling job; this will only lead to you jumping from job to job, trying to fill a space that just needed time to adjust.
Search, search, and keep searching. Be weary of saying yes to the first job that comes your way — unless it’s the one you really want. In all honesty, jobs are everywhere, whether we like to believe it or not. Although it’s a certain pain each time you tweak your resume, each time the date at the top slides to the current day, each time blank spaces are filled in in your 100th cover letter. It will get you something, some day, and it will be something you love. Don’t settle for a paycheck. Love your company. Love yourself when you’re an employee. Work that uniform.
Weigh your options. Of course, pay is the one thing that everyone (or almost everyone) goes for first. We all want the most money, right? We were taught that the more money we have, the more powerful, the more successful, and the happier we will be. This is not the case. Don’t work for a check; don’t leave work each day with anything less than a smile. It’s okay to take the job that offers less money but allows you to practice what you love to do — because then you will be rich in happiness.
Make connections. Keep in contact with your professors from college, with your old managers and you’re past coworkers. Sometimes, your $100,000 education can be nothing more than a piece of paper if you don’t use your connections. People are what you need when it comes time to find a job. Someone you know will always know someone else who will be able to help you out. Help other people, and they will help you.
Use your resources. Practice the skills you’ve learned in college and in past jobs and use the tricks you’ve learned along the way. Keep reading, strengthen your vocabulary, and experience vast and diverse skills. Take advantage of opportunities that come your way because there is always room to grow. Employers want you because you’re different.
Keep a good attitude. It’s tough to find a job, and it takes a lot of time and energy to even get an interview. Keep your head up. Time. It takes time.
Don’t stay at a job you don’t like. We’ve all been here (for too long). It’s heartbreaking, to say the least, to be at a job that makes you completely unhappy — that makes you want to cry just thinking about your next shift. Get out of there. Run. There is no point in keeping these kinds of jobs. You’ll thank yourself in the future when you’re at a job where you can leave laughing.