From the moment I started fiddling with this blog I knew that this was something that I wanted to write about.
Applying for jobs at any stage in your life is daunting. You’re putting yourself out there to be judged on your skills and abilities, quite often skills and abilities that you’ve spent a lot of time (and money!) gaining.
It’s a time consuming process and it’s both physically and mentally draining – continuously trawling endless job websites, wondering if the positions advertised are actually real, editing your CV and cover letter to suit every application (running out of space on your hard-drive because you’ve edited so bloody many) and then the wait… but nothing.
And that’s the worst part, the part that really makes you think ‘why bother’. So I’ve racked my brains for everything that I can think of to either stop you hitting that metaphorical brick wall of self doubt or how to climb over the fucker once you get there. I’m no expert, I’ve ploughed into that wall many a time and sat and cried at the foot of it but if I can stop just one other person from feeling how I felt, I’ve succeeded.
1) Your 1st job doesn’t have to be your dream job.
A university lecturer told me this in my 3rd year, just before I left, and my god she was right. It may well be that you land your dream job straight away and if you do, fantastic! But most likely, you won’t, and that’s more than okay because you’re out there now, gaining experience and funding your shopping addiction (if your name is Lydia)
2) Be a sponge.
We’ve all seen that ‘be a unicorn’ quote right? It’s wrong, be a sponge. You might hate your current job with a passion but you’re there for the foreseeable so make the most of it. Ask questions, absorb as much information as possible and soak up every drop of experience you can possibly get. There’s no such thing as ‘bad experience’.
3) Don’t let yourself get disheartened.
You’ll probably send out a lot of CVs and receive a whole lotta nothing in return. This is my pet hate and it’s gotten to the point where I have promised myself that if I ever run my own business I will go out of my way to respond to anybody who applies for a job with me. It’s rude and annoying, a quick “thank’s but no thanks” generic email would take 30 seconds to send so ask yourself, do you really want to work for someone who can’t spare 30 seconds for a potentially, fabulous candidate? I know I don’t.
4) Know your worth.
You’ve worked your arse off for whatever skills and qualifications you currently have and you deserve to put those into practise, however… applying for senior level jobs the morning after your last dissertation all-nighter might not be the best decision. You know your abilities and what you’re capable of so don’t underestimate yourself, if you’re after a challenge – go for it!
5) It’s okay to be Clueless.
Being fresh out of uni/education can be daunting. I had no idea what I wanted to do all through my A Levels and for 90% of my university course and only now am I content that I’m on the right track. Fear not, if you are newly graduated you have at least 65 years of work in front of you, that’s plenty of time to figure out what you want to do *crying face*…
6) Be Positive!
The most important of them all. I’m not positivities biggest fan, our paths cross less than ships in the night. Me and my BRF are happiest socialising with Steve the Cynic and Negative Nelly. When it comes to the job hunt, if you aren’t positive about yourself and you don’t believe that you’re the best person for the role, why should anybody else?
You’ve been tapping away at the keyboard for a couple of hours, tirelessly amending CVs and cover letters, draining each job website, hoping for the one to make itself known. That’s enough for one day, don’t over do it, you deserve that glass of wine, scratch that, I’d say you deserve the bottle!
I realise that this is a huge post and if you made it this far, thank you, but it’s an issue that’s got me so down in the past. If I can help you crack a smile when it feels like the break you need just isn’t coming along then I’m a happy girl!