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Not every single one of us is going to come out of college with our dream job. Most of us are going to go through a very awkward stage, which includes an awful moment when you realize you have no clue what to do with your diploma hanging on the bedroom wall.
While it may be easy to sink into a self-pitying syndrome when all your friends are posting about their new amazing full-time jobs, do not fear. You are not alone. It can take months or even years to really get to where you want to be, despite your internship experience and amazing resume. Instead, absorb these tips for transitioning postgrads.
1. Accept it.
So you aren’t the CEO of a company yet. Maybe you’re even living back at home with your parents. Who cares? Accept your reality that you haven’t gotten that job yet in your field. Remember when you were so “over” college and just wanted to graduate already? Hold on to that feeling and realize that most likely your friends who have their “amazing” first full-time jobs aren’t making it yet either. It takes time.
2. Be flexible.
Your degree may be able to be used in more ways than you think it can. Go to university and city job fairs. Apply for as many jobs as you can on CarreerBuilder.com and other job websites. A lot of people get trapped into thinking that applying for a handful of jobs every day is good enough. Your full-time job is looking for a full-time job. I know it’s the ultimate postgrad cliché, but you have to network the hell out of your life. Go anywhere there might be potential employers. You have to put yourself out there. Be open to friends and family about your struggle. The more people you speak with, the better chances you have of finding your window of opportunity.
3. Spice up your creativity.
When you are in interviews, think differently. Write down your goals and share them in your interview. Do you have a dream to own your own business some day? Express your thoughts and watch as their faces light up. You have goals, damn it! This shows that you aren’t just job hunting, but have ambition and ideas. Ideas that they could use if they hire you, which makes you even more valuable/employable.
4. Persistence is key.
You applied for a job and three weeks later and you still haven’t received a response? Send another email. Don’t be afraid to contact the employer or recruiter again. Follow up on your interviews immediately after you have them. Literally right after. As soon as you’re in your car, whip out your phone and type up an email thanking the person who just interviewed. It’s just like dating. A “Thank you so much for your time” email right after the interview carries as much weight as that “I had a great time tonight” text right after a first date. You may or may not get a response. It doesn’t matter. Showing this persistence may just get you the job.
5. Go for it.
Apply for jobs that you think you have no shot at, or ones that you normally wouldn’t even consider because they’re not the norm. There are so many jobs that you don’t even know are out there. And while you are applying for these jobs, keep applying for your dream job as well. Now is the time to be brave. There is nothing wrong with reaching for the stars. The best part is knowing you went for it. Be patient and trust that your degree is going to get you somewhere soon. After all, it sure cost you enough.