Congratulations! You are now a graduate, a young and vibrant perspective specialist. Whatever that means.
However, you are about stepping into a group of tired, frustrated, angry unemployed people – membership is free and you can remain one for as long as you wear the unemployment tag.
Admit it – you don’t have the experience, and don’t try to fake it.
I’ll assume you are reading this because you don’t have a job to groom your skills. It’s not a weird thing after all, most graduates are in your shoes; perplexed with too many choices and no idea how to go about their careers.
Except you are a self-taught programmer or you are into some kind of vocation that keeps your head above water, you are just as confused as a kid tying his shoelaces for the first time. But that’s why I’ll spend the next few minutes making you forget school and face the reality ahead.
Firstly, it’s a tough world out here, you’ll work yourself thin, get prepared. Your first few jobs would most likely be horrible. No. HORRIBLE…
You’ll work more, be paid less. That’s fine. Or worse still, you’ll work more and expect nothing, not even a “thanks bro”. It’s fine. That’s the price you pay to garner the experience you need for a great job. Don’t get me wrong, there are fabulous jobs out here with mouth-watering perks, but you are better off not hanging on to that hope and get to work. You’ll be more refined and qualified for the dream job thereafter.
Check Forbes list for “most successful jobless fresh graduates” .. Oh wait.. There’s no list for that. That’s right, success doesn’t come cheap.
You are mostly responsible to you and your folks understand you are finding firm foot, but that’s the problem; you are most likely going to enjoy spending money if you get a great job. IF. Otherwise, you are better off saving much more than you spend. If school life was luxury above priorities, you need to reverse that wheel, this approach only works for a pipeline cash bank. Unless your folks are not fed up with your constant whining about being broke, you’ll need to cut back on the frivolities.
Your degree was probably a hype.
“A degree in Sociology is all you need to be the superhero in top firms…” Meh.
“Banking and Finance is the course for the future, employers will leave their desks to come look for you wherever you are. Like seriously, this is goldmine.” Meh.
“Law? Law?? Now that’s a course!” Meh.
Employers hire you to solve a problem, meet a need and not merely for your degree. A good degree is a first step; get experience, write professional exams, explore career opportunities, write codes, design apps; by all means don’t just walk around with a degree to your name.
Social media is not a career.
No need to explain why but that you’ve been with Mark Zuckerberg since Facebook doesn’t make you the next best thing in the webspace. Unless you have a clue what sponsored posts, bidding, aggressive marketing, adwords, analytics mean; keep the “Social Media Expert” title from your résumé.
Speaking of résumés;
A four page résumé for a fresh graduate is more jazz than value to put it mildly. Employers know you are fresh out and at best think you a promising prospect. They’ve also seen it all; the amateur arrogant job seeker with all hype and no qualifications, the desperate schmoozing job seeker with a litany of apologies for a cover letter, the carelessly written résumé with the requisite experience and skills . Your résumé won’t be the newest thing yet.
Solicit a mentor’s guidance, get help with a more experienced friend or sibling to own a proper résumé and cover letter. Don’t look stupid on paper.
Lastly, you need people.
Your parents, friends, siblings, alumni association, neighbour; someone you know could be your link to a great job or to the job you need to qualify for a great job.
Never underestimate the power of your network, you need people to move up the career ladder fast.