Dear (currently) jobless college senior,
Hey how's it going?
Actually, don't answer that. If you're a college senior who doesn't have a job after graduation I know how it's going.
You're stressed, anxious, and just overall fed up with the job search process. Well, join the club. We meet daily from the hours of sunrise and sunset. The meetings usually consist of a lot of anxiety, eating our feelings, sometimes there are tears, and constant moaning. Sounds enticing, right?
So long is the innocent freshman question of "what’s your major?" and in its place is, "what are you doing after graduation?" Oh, the simple joys of getting asked this question by every single human being that decides to strike up a conversation with you.
If you are the few that had summer internships that turned into jobs, kudos to you. I can only assume that you will be working at a bank or are an accountant. I don’t envy you. As much stress as I have about having a job, I would never want to trade places with you in a zillion years, but that’s just me.
For the majority of us seniors that don't have jobs yet, don't worry you're not alone. It's also only the beginning of February (not sure if that makes you feel better or worse about the situation). In my mind, I know that I still have time to breathe before I start freaking out. I guess maybe I should figure out what I want to do first.
If you know what you want to do then congratulations you're already halfway there! The sky's the limit or really your connections are the limit. You also may not know where you want to live in the United States of America or whether you want to go abroad.
What should you do first? Find a job? Pick a location? Crawl up into a ball and question life for a few hours?
My answer: I have no clue.
No one is going to hand you a job. Welcome to reality. The real world is a bi***. Toughen up and get ready for it.
Trying to find a job is a hard process. I'm not going to try to sugarcoat it because it stinks!
The professional world is shockingly very unprofessional. You send your resume and cover letter out and no one gets back to you. You realize that you don't have any professional clothing. Interviews make you sweat like you’re in the Sahara desert. Linkedin is your new best friend. You don’t even want to talk to people for the fear of receiving their pity glances when you say you don’t have a job. All applications ask for 2+ years of experience. Blasphemy. There are SO many options and yet you discover that you are unable to find a job.
It's tough, but remember it can always be worse. No matter how bad you have it or how apprehensive you are about getting a job, know that some people don’t even have the opportunity to go to college. Be fortunate instead of complaining.
There are a few things I have learned from Target cashiers, my parents, and random strangers that find out I'm a senior in college. Maybe these pieces of advice can help you navigate through this tricky time.
1. The real world isn't all that it's cracked up to be so enjoy college while you can.
2. You are going to have many jobs before you find the job you love.
3. The first job you receive may not be the one you want but it pays you money.
4. Sometimes we may have to settle to anticipate something greater in the future.
5. A job is not going to be handed to you on a silver platter.
6. It's not what you know it's who you know.
7. No job is too little; we all have to start somewhere.
8. Staying at home after graduation isn't the worst thing to do. Bright side: it’ll help save you money.
9.On the flip side, this is the time to go out and explore the world and find out who you are.
10. It will all work out in the end; it may just happen sooner for others.
11. Don’t compare yourself to other people’s success.
12. You have a support system; utilize it and ask for help.
13. Say yes to all opportunities that come your way (unless you’re asked to be a prostitute or drug dealer, say no to that).
14. You’ve made it this far here’s to hoping it can only go up from here.
15. Most importantly always have your kitchen stocked with wine.
As the minutes, hours, days, and months tick by and graduation rapidly approaches us remember that the best is yet to come. Life is not going to end if you don't have a job after graduation. Once you do get a job you're going to kick yourself in the butt for your constant stress, worries, and tears. I promise you that.
Apply yourself every day, make LinkedIn your home screen, ask for help, don't get discouraged, and always ALWAYS keep chocolate and alcohol handy during this period in your life.
Have a positive mindset. Believe that you have the ability to get a job.
A (currently) jobless college senior