The Reality of Post-Grad Politics
I'm not talking about election-type politics. I mean, if that's your thing, go for it. That's great. What I mean, though, is the reality I see many a twenty-something face head-on after graduating from college or university. And that's competition.
It would be lovely and idyllic if we could all walk out of our graduation ceremonies with a diploma in one hand and the keys to our new office at our dream job in the other, but that is just not the case. In fact, many people can't find a job at all after graduation. I have lots of friends who don't use their degrees, though to defend that many jobs do simply require one to have a bachelor's degree without more specificity than that. However, I want to walk out of my graduation with something more. I would like a job to be waiting for me. It doesn't have to be my dream job, but it would be nice if it wasn't where I am now. I'd like a change of scenery.
I have quickly come to the realization that this is going to take an astronomical amount of work. This is not just due to the fact that getting a good job requires connections and a good resume, but also because the (over)qualifications of many of my peers completely astounded me and outshone me. Upon applying for a few scholarships with what I thought was a pretty impressive CV and being shut down, I knew I was going to have to really up my anty.
If you're in the same boat, it's okay. You are not alone. You are going to have to work, though, and work really, really hard. I mean hard. Don't worry- it's all going to be okay.
Here's a few tips from my own experience that might be able to help you out.
1. Network, Network, Network...
I cannot stress this enough! Network is key in establishing connections to places you want to go and things you want to do. Often times, connections you make through networking can lead to opportunities you never thought possible. Cultivating relationships with those you network with is crucial, though. Think about it: someone who is really established in the community and might have a say in who gets that summer internship is going to have a lot of young undergrads trying to swoon them. Go the extra mile. Be the one they remember.
2. Do a Project
This is not as common as it may sound, but it can be extremely influential in terms of helping you to land a great job or internship post-grad. Look into whether your school offers research opportunities through which you can create your own project. Otherwise, get together with others who have similar interests and see what you can come up with. Employers who can see that you have put in your own initiative to doing something bigger than a class assignment and more real-world will see that as a huge asset.
It's simple! Rack up those volunteer hours. See if you can find some that may be related to your bachelor's degree. Either way, employers will see that you take time to do things outside of school and that you are well-rounded.
4. Try to get an Internship
Harder than it sounds, but internships are often great segues into a steady job post-grad. Try taking a look at websites which catalog which internships are available in your town. You can also try phoning a place you're interested in to see if they take interns. You might be surprised at the results you get.
5. Be Resourceful
Seriously! This is one of the most helpful things for me personally. Often times, I will have people say to me, you get everything! I get nothing! Why? Here's why: I put my name in the hat.
That's it! Simple as that. Putting yourself out there, making those extra phone calls, putting in time to do a project or ask for help or start something on the side- these are all great ways to get yourself into the public eye and in the world of opportunities.
If you are feeling intimidated right now and like you just don't think you're good enough or it's too much work or the competition is too big, please just give yourself a pat on the back. You are doing the very best you can and you are an amazing person no matter where you go in life. If these tips helped you at all, please let me know in the comments! It all means something to me.
Until next time,