POV: You’ve just started post-grad life, you’re unemployed, and anxious to know how things are going to work out. It’s understandable! You’re in a season of big change. Until this point, you’ve been going to school for most of your life, where you’ve been constantly told what to do and when. Now you’re starting the job search, which may feel out of your control, but it’s not! You may be looking for someone else to employ you, but you are still in charge of creating your own path. You just have to rely on your knowledge, capabilities, and decision making to lead you into a career and lifestyle that you love.
My first piece of advice – control what you can. Maybe you can’t control who will hire you or when, but you can control your routines, attitude, work ethic, and effort put into your search.
Before anything else, use your free time to do some soul searching before making big decisions. Before you enter the job pool, make sure that you know what you want. Know what you’re passionate about, the tasks you like doing, the strengths you possess, and which careers support and accommodate the lifestyle that you’re looking for.
Set some post-grad goals and/or create a post-grad plan. Make a note of short and long term goals in all aspects of life, not just career. Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? Will you be trying to purchase your first home? Will you be starting a family? Where do you want to live?
These will obviously change over time, but accounting for your other life goals can set the tone for your ideal job. For example, I know that I want to make my own schedule and be present with my family in the future, so I’ve chosen a career that allows me to work from home and be my own boss.
Treat searching for a job like it’s your job. If you don’t want to spend months looking for employment, you’ll need to put in sufficient time and effort. Block off a certain amount of hours during the day and solely focus on job searching during that time. This way, you’re prioritizing over procrastinating.
Set routines. If you’re going to treat the job search like a job in itself, you need to plan your day around it! What else do you want to accomplish? Set a routine for when to wake up, when to get your exercise in, when to start “work”, when to socialize, etc.
Do at least 3 productive things every day. More than likely, you won’t instantly find a job. And sometimes, searching without results can feel discouraging and unproductive. So make sure that you’re doing 3 things every day that make you feel proud of yourself, then write them down! That way, you’ll have a record of your progress.
Find a temporary job until you find the right one, if necessary. If you are in a position where you need to worry about where the next paycheck is coming from – find a temporary job. It may not be glamorous or your ideal position, but it can get you through until you do find your end-goal career.
Give yourself grace during this time! This is uncharted territory for you, and you won’t instantly figure out the lay of the land. You don’t have to have everything planned out or immediately jump into an extremely successful career. Take a deep breath and use this transitionary period as a chance to discover yourself and your wants!
That’s all that I have for you! Just keep one last thing in mind: Don’t live for the future. Plan for the future, but make sure that you are present and enjoying the life that you are currently living. What’s meant for you will come in it’s own time! xoxo