Life after university is hard. Most graduates once lived carefree party lifestyles, not having to work or worry about what their parents thought. But then you move back home and everyone treats you like the last few years never happened, but that you also have a well-paying job.
The truth is, most graduates won’t get a good job for quite a few years! Many of my graduate friends work in fast food or coffee shops. These are the furthest things from their dream careers, I can assure you. But what can you do as a graduate to smooth your path towards a decent job?
INTERVIEWS, INTERVIEWS, INTERVIEWS
Ah, that dreaded word. It sends a shiver down my spine every time I hear it. If you can’t tell, I’ve been to plenty since leaving university. But it does get easier. Which is my point, here. It doesn’t matter how many times you’re rejected, you have to consider that it is experience for your next one.
To think, you may have been declined by that first job for that seedy magazine firm, but that interview trained you for the next one!
What do you want to work in? If you want to write or program, you’re going to want to keep your skills honed. Many interviews in skilled or creative lines of work will need a portfolio or an on the job test. Keep writing or programming and keep your skills honed.
If you want to work in an academic field, read journals or draw diagrams.
While this is along the same lines as my previous point, there’s a big difference. In this section I’m advising… no, ordering you to publish your works online.
There are plenty of places you can post you online while protecting your intellectual property. For academics, you can publish your essays and research. For creatives, there are places like Youtube or Patreon.
But this isn’t just about getting internet famous! This is actually a great thing to put on your CV, regardless of whether you’re making bank or not. This tactic is a great way of showcasing your work to future employers as they will no doubt investigate your website if you show them to it. Remember: They want to know as much as possible about your skills.
KEEP UP TO DATE
Researching the latest fashion trend is key to becoming the next Tom Ford or Coco Chanel. Knowing whether people are into zombies still, or werewolves now are key to your next big screen hit. Do people still love Ryan Gosling? Is hair metal still in?
These are all questions phasing professionals across the globe. Keeping on top is knowing your competition. And as someone trying to get into a competitive business, you have to know their industry. It’s no good going into an audition when all you do is read the lines. Films and plays are about context. So is business.
There’s no way around this little problem: money. Money is what keeps food on the table and a roof over our heads. Not to mention that you’re going to need money for your interviews. Keeping yourself looking presentable and getting there is not going to be cheap, especially if you’re going to many interviews a month.
So you will need a job.
But that’s not the only reason, oh no. You will definitely need some work experience under your belt, I’m afraid. No one wants to hire someone they can’t trust. Sadly, there’s no shortcut past it.
This is most people’s first thought, I believe. You need practical experience in your dream job! But there are many downsides to internships. Most don’t pay you and want you to have the experience to get more experience! It’s a complicated cycle, so they’re sadly hard to come by.
Recently, I found out about a two-year scheme that helps top graduates work towards finding their perfect job, following two years working as a prison officer! Similar to Teach First and Frontline, Unlocked gives experience and skills to graduates that they can transfer to many other career sectors.
The leadership development programme lasts two years and applicants work towards a master’s degree whilst working on the frontline, under existing prison officers. Participants also enjoy a good starting salary of between £28,456 and £31,453.
Supported by the Secretary of State of Justice, Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, many significant figures believe that this scheme can help reduce reoffending rates. I personally also believe that this – and similar schemes – will help reduce graduate unemployment and give people the experience they need to get the jobs they want!
Applications are currently closed until Autumn 2017.
Leave a comment below and tell us your tips for getting your dream job!