Finishing education can be stressful for any number of reasons, not least of all the fact that you may not know where to start when it comes to job hunting. Will you ever find your dream job or will you have to compromise on the role you want, just to get on the ladder? Should you take the first offer that come along or hold out for that role with the ‘x factor’? Finding the perfect job for you can be a real challenge, particularly when you consider that you may be racing against the clock to into the workplace before financial worries take their toll. These five steps should help streamline your job search and get you from helpless to happy in no time.
Ask yourself: did I enjoy my previous position?
If you’ve recently finished education, chances are you’ll have recently done some kind of work or work experience. Even if you had a part-time job just for a bit of spare cash, you still need to ask yourself: did I enjoy my previous position? Whether the answer is yes or no, that should help you to narrow down your search. For example if you worked in a shop and enjoyed meeting lots of different people, maybe an office-based role isn’t for you. If your previous job, course or vocation left you unsatisfied, however, then perhaps the time is right to consider additional training to open more doors for you in future.
Think: am I adequately qualified for this post?
By the same token, now is the time to question whether or not any roles you’re considering are suitable for your level of skill and experience. If you aren’t experienced enough, then you may find yourself quickly at sea even if you are lucky enough to be offered the position. If you’re too experienced and skilled for the role, however, you’re likely to become bored and unfulfilled – it’s important to find the right career match for you. Job advertisements often specify the exact role requirements, so make sure you read them thoroughly.
Question: what do I enjoy / what am I good at?
Many graduates find that after several years studying a subject, they aren’t as enthusiatic about it as they once were. Hence the popularity of the Gap Year! If you’ve decided to reconsider your career trajectory, and question whether you would be happier doing something slightly different it’s worth remembering that an investment banker isn’t likely to make the transition to astrophysicist overnight. The great thing about the creative industries is that people often move from one to another as many of the skill sets are transferrable. It’s important to be realistic, however, and to expect to have to enter a new industry at a much lower level than you might have entered the one you were originally trained in. Consider what it is you actually enjoy doing and what you have a knack for. Careers advice services can help you to win more interviews and send off more successful applications, but a successful career transition is unlikely to occur without lots of hard work and maybe even additional training, or new qualifications.
Examine: look at all vacancy posts in detail
When applying for a new job, be careful to examine vacancy posts in great detail – all may not be as it seems at first. A position that appears to be the dream job on the surface may actually prove to be unsuitable, either in terms of salary expectations, working hours, or some other aspect. Question whether the employer is really invested in hiring more staff – if the post is lacking in detail, too terse or unspecific then it probably isn’t the right job for you. There’s no harm in looking elsewhere.
Consider: getting help
More often than not, it’s worth facing up to the fact that looking for employment on your own is difficult. It may be that you’ve trawled so many jobsites you feel you’re never going find the right position for you. You don’t know what you’re doing wrong and you’re starting to lose hope and the will to live. You might feel like you’re ready to take on the big bad world of work alone, but sometimes, it pays to have someone on your side to help you look – refining your search to only the right areas and helping you to perfect your CV and interview technique to give you the best possible chance of landing the job. There are lots of career services available, so it’s worth directing some of your online job search time to scout out the right one for you.
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