I start a lot of these posts with the words, "As a recent college graduate..." because that's what I am right now. I recently college graduate and that means I'm doing what a recently graduated college student does: I'm looking for a job in my field. I have done countless applications, follow-up questions, and interviews. Some of my efforts almost lead to a job (though I'm still looking). However, many of my applications essentially went in the wind. While I am weary in my efforts, I haven't given up. And I've learned a couple of things. Here are some tips.
1. Be willing to do other work while looking for your dream job.
While I'd love to be traveling the world right now producing video and studying culture, I need to work to keep myself alive. So I'm working on a farm as a brewery waitress and kitchen hand. It's not the most glamorous job, but it pays the bills and keeps me busy. Jobs in service work or lower paying white collar jobs are totally commendable IMO. You learn how to deal with people as well as oddball life lessons on the way. For instance, I'm really good at balancing things on one arm now. We call it the "waitress arm".
2. But don't stay there for too long.
Listen to Shia. It could get really easy to settle into a routine with a job that's okay. Trust me, I'm getting comfortable doing what I'm doing. But I want to go to graduate school. I want to travel the world. I did say tomorrow yesterday. And so did you. You have to move.
3. Apply for as many jobs as you can.
During my breaks at the farm, I scroll through the LinkedIn app on my phone applying for one-click jobs in my field and saving jobs that require more preparation for later. It's constant and it's annoying. But this way I'm doing something and getting my name out there. It's a good experience to have. Like, really. For a couple of random applications I put in, I've participated in phone and email interviews. I was even invited to Chicago to interview for a position I didn't end up taking. But as always, it was great for my confidence and later endeavors.
4. Put additional effort into the jobs that you're especially interested in.
With one-click job sites like LinkedIn and Indeed comes great responsibility. I get really lazy when there are jobs that I can just send a prepared portfolio and resume to. And I hate cover letters. But it's a good way to get to know an organization as well as your own skills. So again, just do it.
5. Be patient.
I graduated in May. May. My supposedly millennial attitude tells me that I should have a job by now. The hardest part is the wait between the initial application and their decision. And it really sucks. But all that we can do to get there is keep walking. Even with all of the stumbles.
6. Have fun on the way.
It's difficult to convince myself to spend money and spend time with friends when I'm still not doing what I want to do. There's always that I should be working chant in the back of my head. But you're still living. So rather than spending time preparing for a good life in the future, spend time having a good time now. Provide yourself with distractions and fun before getting back to work. Because you will get there, just not right now.