Gone are the days where it’s a cut and dry situation when it comes to looking for a job. We don’t all get the grades, finish Uni and walk out smugly into our dream career, no matter how it used to be for our parents’ generation. It’s a shame when you think about it – you’ve put the work in, so you want to reap the rewards. But it’s time to face facts – a degree or higher education in general is now often not enough, and you now need more. But what can you do?
It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know.
Connections, connections, connections. It might seem a little sleazy to turn an innocent and casual social affair into a bit of a networking event with ulterior motives, but it’s got to be done. Dream of working for a major fashion mag, and you remember your friend Holly saying her friend Marie works for Vogue? You’ve just got to get yourself a few invites to hang out, obviously. I’m not saying that you should bring things up within the first ten seconds, but she’d be someone good to have on hand. Always be looking for opportunities, no matter where you are.
Reach Out, Using Your Initiative
You might have a degree in Journalism, and think that’s enough to get you an editor position at your favourite newspaper. Newsflash: It’s not. Build up your experience so that you have PLENTY, outside of your qualifications. If that means an unpaid internship, slogging it for hours for some crappy website, or whatever else, then so be it. Once you’ve done that, don’t be afraid to boldly contact companies who you think could genuinely benefit from your skills. Whether you’re pitching a one-time piece or idea for freelance, or you have a full time job in your sights, sell yourself, so that they remember you, even if they’re not looking right now.
Don’t Give Up So Easily!
Great, so you’ve checked the big sites like Indeed, right? Great! Except now you need to keep going. Local job sites like Hales Group are a great place to look across a range of industries, and then there are specialist grad ones like GradTouch, too. Twitter and Facebook might not seem like the first place you’d look for a job, but you’d be surprised, try and play around with some hashtags for ideas. Consider taking a job that might not seem like your ‘forever’ job for some more experience or insight. It will give you a head start in the game, providing it’s at least a little related. It looks way better than gaps in your CV, anyway!
Consider Going It Alone…
This one seems scary, but providing you’re disciplined, why not go into business for yourself? You might have a skill already you’re doing nothing with, but this is your time to shine. There are such a broad range of things you can do – from selling things to selling yourself. Already a designer, writer, blogger, or craftsperson? Start monetising it and making a profit! You can even get some super awesome, quirky promo videos done to make you stand out from the crowd (video is the BEST marketing tool, after all) – companies like Posh Gecko will be happy to get you started on this with a swish & smart promo video!
Don’t give up hope. If you’re just starting out in your late teens, early twenties, thirties or even beyond, remember it’s never too late. There are always options, and there are loads more things you can do in your life. Move abroad for a year, travel the world, or even career hop. The world’s your oyster!