And now, to the post:
You worked hard to get your degree, and now it’s in hand. You weren’t able to find that first job before graduation, and now you’re getting worried and discouraged. How do you keep your spirits up and yourself motivated to keep on looking?
Unfortunately, sometimes it’s necessary to temporarily look outside your preferred field to land a job when you have little or no direct experience in it. Try a related occupation, knowing that you will be expanding what you are currently able to offer prospective employers.
Look in a different employment environment. If you have a degree in psychology and want a job as an alcohol and drug counselor, try applying for a position as a youth counselor or in a hospital as a counselor. The positions are related to your field and can still offer related experience.
Use your college minor, if you had one, as a temporary job focus. If you were an English major and minored in political science, apply for positions in a lobbying firm or directly with a politician’s office. The English major can play well into that scenario as a speech writer, perhaps.
If all else fails, look outside your field of new-found expertise. Use temporary agencies to generate some kind of income for yourself.
Narrow your focus. Look beyond corporate America for your job. Smaller businesses need expertise, too, and you can gain experience and build your professional reputation just as easily by a tremendous, positive influence you may have in improving a smaller business.
Accept part-time positions as you continue to search. The hours worked will pay some expenses, and you have built-in hours available for interviews and additional searches.
If you’re still not satisfied, choose a favored charity and volunteer in a degree-related fashion. Qualified help is almost always welcomed with a smile, and if they don’t specifically need your expertise, they will still welcome your efforts, and your working with the organization builds self-esteem as you continue your job search.
Apply for internships—short-term positions that may pay only a little, but most do offer a wage. Gain experience in a mentored environment and build a contacts network.
Combine volunteerism and internship ideas: Offer to work for free for two weeks. If you show promise, do the job well as a beginner, and work diligently, they can hire you. If not, they write you a letter confirming the short-term internship in a related field. You gain experience and add it to your resume.
Advertise your services as a freelancer. Almost any job today can be outsourced for the right price. When you have difficulty finding someone to sign a paycheck, create your own. Any amount you legally gain is an amount well-earned. The temporary self-employment could even build into a lifelong career path.
Join forces with a friend or family member who can offer as much to an enterprise as you do and become a limited or full partnership if going solo at this point is too daunting.
Become familiar with your local and the federal requirements, taxes and restrictions, though.
As a job search extends beyond a few weeks, almost any new graduate can start to feel discouraged and depressed, losing more motivation as each day passes. Don’t let yourself sit and mope. Get out of the house and use some of these ideas to kick start your drive or spark your own ideas.
About the Author
JC Ryan is a freelance writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them search for online degrees that can help them reach their goals.
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