Monday, May 5, 2014

Life After Graduation- Dealing with the Stress of Not Yet Having a Job

 Written by Lauren Lind

Life is about to change drastically if you are graduating this week. You are about to enter the real world, where nine to fives are the norm and mid-day naps are no longer acceptable. The real world can seem daunting and you might feel like you need to have your whole life figured out. The stress of not having a job or a plan figured out after graduating can be overwhelming to say the least, but let’s not forget that you have just spent the last four years working hard to earn your bachelors degree. You will now join 30% of the US population by having your diploma. That is a huge accomplishment! Be proud, take the time to celebrate, and realize that the world is open to you.

Here are some tips to help you make it through hard post-graduation times:

Take a deep breath. No really…do it. Everything is going to be okay. You, like many other recent college grads, also do not have jobs lined up yet.  What will ultimately set you apart is your resilience and determination when it comes to finding a job.

Make a bucket list. You aren’t tied down to a job yet, which can be a beautiful thing for the time being. This is the time to figure out what it is you want to do and do it. You can try on different career hats by interning after college or even volunteering for a cause close to your heart.

Schedule an appointment with a career counselor at Career Services. This can be a really great starting place when it comes to figuring out what your options are and you can begin to come up with a plan.  Career Services will be free to you as an alumnus for the first two appointments (and $30 each appointment thereafter), so take full advantage of the wonderful services we have to offer.

Tailor your resume and cover letter. Ditch the generic resume and cover letter and set yourself apart from your competition with a tailored resume and cover.  For the best results, tailor both of these documents to each job you are applying to and hit on the keywords listed in the job description.

Use your online job searching tools.  You can start looking on Career Buffs, Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn and other job searching sites for opportunities. Set a goal for yourself of applying to at least a certain amount per week and follow up with those you have applied to.

Network. Find networking events in your area and have your parents and family friends spread the word that you are looking for a job.  You never know who will

Make a spreadsheet for jobs applied to and connections you have made. A great way to stay organized in your job search is to keep track of the jobs you’ve applied.  Make a spreadsheet with the jobs you have applied to, the dates and who you have followed up with on specific dates. You can also track people emailed or connections that you need to follow up with from networking.

Find your stress outlet. It could be running, painting, making music, journaling,  but whatever it is, make sure you set time aside in your day to give your mind a rest from job searching.

I know these times are exciting and terrifying all at the same time if you are graduating this week. Be proud of yourself and realize that with some hard work and determination, you can and will find a job. Don’t forget to enjoy life in the process. Call Career Services to schedule an appointment at 303.492.6541 or make an appointment online if you’ve graduated less than a year ago.