When you graduate from college, the one thing your years of schooling don’t prepare you for is what comes with the inevitable job search — you know, what to expect, when to push forward with a contact, and when to drop a lead all together.
It’s hard out there, and somebody should have warned me that I needed to start looking for jobs sooner than I actually did. And what to do when I can’t find a job right away! Because trust me – competitively playing Pokemon till 3 AM is not the best way to spend your time, especially when you lose most of your battles.
The job market is tough and rude as all get out. People won’t email you back, people won’t bother checking in, and people will definitely string you along for days or even weeks at a time. It’s nothing to do with you, it’s just the nature of the beast. You’ll ask yourself if you did something wrong. You’ll start to second guess yourself. You may even email and ask them if you did something wrong! Only, you won’t get a response. And you may never know the answer why they didn’t want you in the first place.
People are going to try and trick you into taking a job that pays way less than you deserve, but work you just as hard for one you do. It’s probably because you’re young, a recent graduate, and you don’t have enough experience.
They will tell you that this job will be another great addition to that resume of yours. The work you do there will really be such a good opportunity for you! That’s their reasoning for you beefing up your resume while you starve and work yourself to death as a glorified underpaid intern. I can guarantee you that if you were a few years older, had just one or two more years on your resume, they wouldn’t have pulled that, but people think they can take advantage of us younger folk.
People are going to forget you if you aren’t pro-active. If you have made some connections (like say your mom got you a phone call with the president of some company or something) don’t sit around and wait for them. If they have set up a time for you to call them at wait for that. But if they get busy (because they’re adults and sometimes things slip through the cracks) and the phone call is pushed back, the email isn’t sent just yet, or the coffee date needs to have a rain check, don’t wait for them. Don’t sit around and go, “Oh well!” Make the call yourself. Email them first. And set the date. If you call them and they’re busy, ask when you can call them at a better time. Make sure the email is polite, but forward. And make sure you check in on the date because remember: excuses will always be there for you, but opportunity won’t.
You might not find a job for a few months, I know I haven’t yet. But you can’t let these sort of things get you down either. There is a kind of hidden joy in not having a job yet. You have so much free time to focus on just yourself — to hone your dreams, learn more about yourself, find new hobbies, catch up on things school distracted you from, and much more.
Now, I’m not saying you should be happy you don’t have a job and that you should ease up on the process, I’m just trying to tell you to ease up on yourself, because it’s hard. It’s a lot of work. And it’s not the most fun thing you can do. And frankly I’m tired of seeing people tell me that Bill Gates was once like me. Because right now I don’t feel like Bill Gates or I’ll get there since yet another job lead has just lead me on for two months only to drop me.
So you don’t have a job yet. That’s alright, no one told you it was going to be this hard. But hey, you’re doing it and that’s what counts. Take pride in that, keep plugging away at it, and know you’ll get there. So long as you keep on trying, you’re making progress.