“I would if I could, Britney, but GOD, nobody wants to hire me. But now that I have you here, may I just compliment you on how amazing you’re doing because let’s be honest when you went craycray in 2007 nobody thought you would recover and you did so splendidly. I’m just so happy for you also you look great and Work Bitch is tacky but awesome, ok bye xoxo Self Help Hipster”
If there is one thing that makes me want to dive into a cabinet of Prozac (with a bottle of liquor), it’s the astounding amounts of young (ambitious) people that are unable to find a job right now. I mean, here you are, with your awesome diploma and your general awesomeness, and the world promised you the studying would help you land a job. But instead it just went “PSYCH, HAHA, GOOD LUCK.” and went on ruining the planet.
It sucks. I know some people hate on working, but I believe working and having a job is great, and healthy. It’s good for you in terms of self esteem, structure and being active. It gives your day meaning, it gives you a sense of purpose and let’s not forget…it gives our bank account some good ole’ financial filling.
But getting a job these days? Not the easiest thing in the world. Even with a fancy degree, you might be out there looking for a while.
We have a lot of qualified people out there, and in the current climate job hunting is like Christmas shopping in a crowded mall. Not gonna lie to you kids, we might have to go at it for a while before we get somewhere.
I also know it’s all the rage to start up our own business, own you own company, and be all cool and entrepreneurial. I’m not going to tell you to do that.
One, if that’s really what you want to do and you have the marketable skills necessary for such an endeavor, you’re probably already doing that. Good for you. Two, you can register a blog as a company but a registration does not mean the money magically starts rolling in.
Three, 9-to-5 job are getting an unnecessary bad rep. Which is bullshit. Not only because if we all went Entrepreneur ™ a lot of important stuff wouldn’t get done, but also because “normal” jobs can be great. They can teach you an incredible amount of valuable lessons and working a ‘regular’ job can lead to an amazing career too. It’s perfectly okay to want one.
I love teaching. It’s like crack to me. I’d do it all-day, every-day (except for weekends and holidays. ;-)) From September to November I’m doing two courses at the same time, which expands my schedule of part-time teaching to a full time job for two months. I love it. I have to revert back to part-time by the end of the year, but if they wanted me to? I’d teach here ALL the time. Forever.
Unfortunately, all tutors have contracts limited to 3 years of employment: I will have to find a new job between now and next September. I have some ideas, but for these ideas to work, I will still need people to hire me.
So I’m writing this article a little bit to remind myself how to do it, but also to help you. You’re young, you got your degree (or are in the process of getting one), you’re ready to rock and roll. Now you just need a job to rock and roll* in.
1) Before you do anything (rash), stay at your (part-time) job while you job-hunt. A little financial security and day structure will make it less stressful to find something new.
2) If you like your current internship or part time job, especially if it is relevant to your education, be all assertive and enthusiastic: Ask around if there is a position available for you. Who knows who can call in some favors to help you.
3) Similarly, write to places you worked at or used to intern for. If you weren’t a total disaster at what you were supposed to do (as well as somewhat likeable) the fact you worked there before will be a positive thing that might make the difference between getting rejected or getting invited.
4) Know the websites you can use to find relevant job openings and check them once in a while. Don’t drive yourself too crazy with it by checking them multiple times a day. A couple of times a week would be quite enough to stay on top of things.
5) Send out a letter of application to every worthy job opening. It keeps you in shape, it helps you practice your application skills and it keeps you busy. It creates more opportunities too; if you just look at potentially interesting job advert, nothing will happen.
6) To make step 5 a little easier, make sure to create a basic template of your letter of application that you can build from. It helps if you always have something ready that only takes some filling in and adjusting whenever you want to apply somewhere.
7) Ask some of your supersmart or ambitious friends if you can see their (successful) letters of application. Learn a few tricks of the trade from the brainiacs in your surroundings. Ask them for help about job interviews too. Knowledge is power. Smart friends are awesome.
8) Expand your search field by not immediately dismissing jobs with a downside or a slight disadvantage. Now is not the time to be picky. Look in different fields, different towns, even the job that has 50% of the work you love and 50% of the work you think of as ‘meh’. You might find it’s not so ‘meh’ after all or that you can expand the 50% of the work you love eventually.
9) Oh, and apparently LinkedIn is a really good thing to have. I still need to get on that, but people keep telling me it’s a smart move when you’re looking for a job. Even when you don’t really know what is going on on your profile.
10) Change your perspective. Yes, it’s hard to find a job. Yes, that sucks. But we’re driving each other and ourselves CRAZY by talking about it incessantly! It may be hard, but it’s not impossible. The only difference is ten years ago, maybe you had to send out only 10 standardized letters with an average resume. Now you have to send out a 100 really good letters, preferably with a kick-ass resume. Things have changed. It is what it is. You can fight it, so get with the program.
Most importantly, don’t lose hope. While the circumstances may be less than ideal. people do find jobs. Some even find jobs relatively quickly. People get hired every day, there are tons of things you can do for a living and you can be a great and valuable asset to a company or organization. Right now you have to cast out more nets and wait a little longer than you’d like, but eventually you’re bound to catch something.
Good luck out there, babies. Oh, and if you know a cool (teaching) gig you think I’d be qualified for, holla at your girl.**
*I am firmly of the opinion that whether it’s law, physics, teaching, cleaning or serving people food, if you love what you do and if you’re good at it, you can be a total rockstar in any field. The Mick Jagger of Microwave fixing. The Keith Richard of IKEA.
**In a past life I wanted to be gangster.