Except that all-encompassing search for a job.
You’ve tapped your network, sent hundreds of applications and even invested in your first corporate wardrobe. But your inbox sits quietly; mocking you; daring you to get your hopes up.
You’re graduating without a job offer, and you don’t know what to do next.
Here’s a look at five productive ways to find that first job sooner rather than later… and at the same time, invest in a fulfilling long-term career.
1. Keep Looking!
Don’t give up! Even when taking time to invest in your career, don’t ever stop looking.
Set aside time each week to ask for feedback on your resume and cover letter. Identify industry blogs and websites you can read to stay up to date on what is happening in your field. Set up a Simply Hired job email alert so that you are always aware of the latest opportunities in your field. You can also set up alerts for industry-specific news and job websites using a “recipe” on IFTTT.
2. Don’t Immediately Jump Into Grad School
There are plenty of good reasons to go to grad school. However, postponing the real world isn’t one of them.
The last thing you need to do after graduating is take on more student loans out of fear of not having a job. Not having a job offer isn’t the universe’s way of telling you to get a new degree… it’s an opportunity to try out different ideas and investigate the right opportunity for you.
3. Schedule Networking Opportunities
It may be tempting to invest this time power-streaming your favorite show on Netflix, but avoiding human contact is the worst possible way to approach this jobless time.
Instead, meet and form relationships with as many people as possible. Tackle formal opportunities with local networking chapters (MeetUp can be particularly helpful here, but choose carefully). Further establish and nurture relationships with your personal network of friends, family and fellow graduates. Get your name and face in front of as many contacts as possible, and then follow up on LinkedIn to cast your career net wide.
4. Start an Online Business or Blog
Maybe you shouldn’t wait for a “job”? The Internet is an amazing tool for developing an income.
Research your field and brainstorm different ways you can make an income, even if you only start with a few hundred dollars at a time. This may take the form of active freelancing in which you practice a particular craft such as freelance writing, or it may take the form of passive ecommerce or product development. If you have time and a computer, the sky’s the limit.
And you will be learning valuable (and marketable) skills for your resume, such as digital marketing, copywriting, graphic design, social media marketing and website design.
5. Shadow Someone in Your Dream Job
Ask any successful person: The reality of your dream job is often far different from what you imagine when you first graduate with a degree. R
each out to someone established in your field and ask to shadow them for a day or a few hours. You don’t necessarily need to have a personal relationship with them first. Reach out by email and respectfully explain your situation. Be authentic and complimentary and provide an easy out if the person is very busy or not interested. There is no harm in asking, and you may build a valuable relationship along the way.
No job? No problem. Make the most of your time after graduation by exploring your options for networking, building an income and further researching the right career for you. You may find yourself hot on the trail of an even better opportunity.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Simply Hired!
About the Author: Sarah Greesonbach a career transition specialist and freelance writer. Her work has been featured on AOL Jobs, YAHOO! Small Business, and Brazen Careerist. She released Life After Teaching, the career transition book for teachers, in 2013, and provides content and strategic communication consulting services through Greesonbach Creative.