Graduation season is upon us, and with it comes the heaps and mounds of posts telling graduates what they should have done while in school and what they should do now. Bloggers are rarely invited to give commencement speeches, so we have to make our own opportunities to dole out our own pearls of wisdom.
The MyCorp Social Media department is pretty young – one of us only graduated a year ago, another of us got out two years ago, and our final member is still in school. We’ve noticed that our generation is particularly freaked out about getting a job and, since we’re employed (hurray hurray!), we decided to try and give our younger readers some advice.
Just be warned; your next few months are going to be rocky.
1. Don’t stop sending out resumés, and never stop talking.
We noticed something a little disheartening amongst our fellow graduates within the first few months of receiving our diploma – they give up. Fast. Sure, they’ll start out by sending a nice, fat stack of resumés to their dream jobs and laugh about how none of them ever called them back. Then the next week that stack will get a little lighter, and a little lighter, and a little lighter, and suddenly they are complaining that no one wants to hire them, but are only sending out a couple of resumés a day.
If you’re unemployed, your job is to find a job. And man is it going to bite – it is going to be one of the most draining, depressing experiences you will ever have to live through. But eight hours a day, five days a week, you need to be monitoring job sites, sending introductory e-mails, and re-writing that resumé so it fits exactly what those employers are looking for.
Network as much as you can – that does not mean sending a Facebook message to someone you took a class with that is now working in a position you’d like. Talk to your professors, see if they can give you any leads, and never stop looking for someone’s hand to shake. It’s going to be rough, but stay at it.
2. It is okay to be underemployed if you’re still looking for something better
One of the members of our department – we won’t say who aloud – worked full time at a fast food chain before coming to work here. It is okay to be underemployed, to scrape a living by, but don’t let that become your life. These little jobs we take to make ends meet – retail, food service, coffee vending – they end up taking over our lives. We are so drained from logging in forty hours that, at the end of the day, the last thing on our minds is sending in another resumé.
Again, it’s going to bite, but don’t let that happen to you. Spend a few hours before bed looking for new posting, new nooks you might be able to squeeze yourself into. Don’t be ashamed of having to work while you look for work. But, whatever you do, don’t take an early night.
3. Be proud of your degree!
Did you get a degree in something that you’ve been told has absolutely no bearing in the real world? Something like sociology, or art, or history?
Let us put an end to that rumor right now – anyone who has told you that is full of themselves; every degree has relevance. Each person that gets churned out of academia has four years specialized training. Humanities majors spend four years perfecting their ability to write and analyze – an Art degree teaches you how to move past artistic blocks, be creative, and remain dedicated to a project. The worse possible thing you can do is walk into an interview and talk down your degree, to say that you should have done business or management or finance instead.
You’ve accomplished something that you should take a lot of pride in, and honed skills that are relevant in hundreds of fields outside of what that paper says you have a BA in. So congratulations! Now start applying for jobs, and don’t stop until you get one you like, even if it takes a bit.