Why Don’t You Have a Job Yet?
It only took me 7 and a half years to graduate. Why did it take me so long? Oh, I was just busy working, because I didn’t want to get out of school and be broke and in debt and have to boomerang back to my parents’ house and not have anything to do. (And also because just when I thought I was done with it all in 2010, my university suddenly decided that I had to come back for one last 2nd year intro course, just to take me down a notch. Thanks for that.)
I realize that the way I did things doesn’t work for everyone, it even took me a few tries to get on my feet while trying to simultaneously balance school and work (heck, I even spent one year working full-time and doing full-time school. Don’t ask me how, because I was pretty much a zombie that whole year and I’m still not sure how I survived).
You might instead decide to focus exclusively on your studies, maybe occasionally taking on some light work to help line your pockets, but mostly just powering through so you can all the sooner burst out into the world all qualified and bright-eyed and full of youthful energy.
And hey, that’s great! But no one should ever be so naïve as to expect her dream job to fall into her lap just because she has a degree. In fact, with academic inflation being as it is (let’s face it, jobs that just needed a high school diploma before now require a degree, jobs that once needed a degree now require a Master’s, and so on and so on) just about anyone applying to the same entry-level job as you probably has the same undergrad qualifications as you. Universities are churning out thousands of you every year. I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but you’re not special.
So you’ve graduated (or are about to graduate) and have zero job prospects. Which is why I’m glad that I came across this article on Thought Catalog. A few of my favourite tidbits:
1. “Where is your internet presence? Anyone who wants to be successful in a creative field needs to have a website. It’s so easy, so if you don’t maintain one, it tells me you’re lazy and unmotivated. And if you’re lazy and unmotivated, why would [anyone] want to work with you? [...] People are less interested in what you’ve done. They want to see what you’re doing right now.”
2. “Most companies you want to work for don’t do classified ads — they want you to come to them. So, give them what they want and check their career pages daily. Make this the first thing you do every morning when you wake up. Don’t even get out of bed until you’re done! I would spend about three hours job hunting and sending out applications every morning.”
3. “Then, I would spend another six-to-eight hours writing. This could include updating that blog you now have, but you should also be pitching every media outlet you can think of to build up your portfolio.”
My mentor’s advice: “Be hungry, but humble.” You might not get a paid job (or even a paid internship) when you’re fresh outta the gate. And the chances of your blog making any money or your YouTube video launching you to creative fame is slim-to-none. But just do whatever you have to do to get your foot in the door, and I promise you it WILL get easier thereafter.