When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
When life gives you a degree, it isn’t going to be so straightforward making that lemonade. You’re going to make mistakes towards finally accomplishing that refreshing glass of lemonade. That’s ok though, because is making lemonade really that straightforward?
Here are the following mistakes you will make or have already made since or when you have graduated.
I have a degree now & that’s all I need to get a job
Your degree isn’t very credible without any relevant or specific work experience in your desired career path. Getting paid or unpaid work experience may help with bettering your chances of getting that job. As it will help you to gain the practical skills required for your field, which you can then list on your C.V.
Comparing yourself to others
The only person you need to be comparing yourself to, is the person you were yesterday. It’s not a competition on ‘who can get a job first after graduating,’ because I guarantee everyone’s struggling in that race. This is something I had to learn & am still learning. What you have to remember is that we all progress at different times. You’re not behind, just because it may seem that everyone else has got a job already, or got their ‘life together.’ As long as you are doing the things you need to do to get a job, you’re on the right path. Focus on what you are doing well & what you can improve on. Just focus on you.
Sending out C.V.’s aimlessly
You need to consider to be doing more than just sending out your C.V. & cover letter. Employers want to see more than your degree, previous education and previous work experience. Your C.V. may boost your creditability, if you demonstrate to employers further work experience, additional training programmes related to your field. This could make you a more desirable and experienced candidate, tripling your chances of getting an interview and getting the job! The internet and networking is your best source to find out what you can do, to guarantee you a job in your desired field.
Going back to university
Unless it is necessary to your field or you’ve had a change of passion, then going back to university may be the right choice. However, going back to university aimlessly, may not be the best solution in figuring out what you want to do.
Cutting all ties with your university
Just because you’ve graduated, doesn’t mean that you are no longer eligible to use your university resources. A large majority of universities help their past students to get into employment. Where do you think those employment success statistics for universities comes from? Certainly not out of thin air! If you had a career service at your university, use it! They could be your best source for getting a job!
“You have to support your dreams, till your dreams can support you.”
It isn’t ideal or may not be pleasant to take a job that isn’t in anyway relevant to your field. But a job is a job and bills need paying! And how do you intend to survive on just sending out C.V.s? Also, it looks very undesirable to an employer if you are not currently employed, regardless if your current job isn’t relevant to your field. It’s better for you, to have a job whilst you are applying for your dream job.
Not keeping your options open
A large majority of graduates, have ended up in completely different professions, in comparison to what they had graduated in. & that’s amazing, because there are a lot of transferable skills from your degree and experience, which can be applied to different fields. Consider opening up to exploring other ventures, you may surprise yourself.
Being a Negative Nancy
Life after university is anything but a walk in the park, it’s a jungle out there! You will be faced with rejections, tanking interviews and what seems like a lifetime till you actually find a job. & it’s natural to start to feel emotionally frustrated and wanting to throw in the towel. But you’ve just got to keep on soldiering on. You know it’s all going to come together eventually.
Not putting in the work
How are you going to get a job, if you’re not doing anything towards getting a job? You need to be applying for jobs frequently, gaining work experience, updating your C.V., cover letters etc.
Taking time off
This is a controversial one……. It’s become the norm to go traveling and take some time off, after all the blood, sweat and tears. & I’m no way disputing that. However, consider how much time you are taking off. Because it won’t be too long till your competing with a whole new bunch of fresh faced graduates.
Don’t sweat it about making or have made any or all of those following mistakes. Mistakes are all part of the initial goal, just as long as you are learning from those mistakes. Also, it’s helpful to have articles like these to remind you once in a while 😉
Written by Vanessa Rodrigues