College graduates have always had challenges landing their dream job after graduation, but with a quarantine and subsequent frozen economy, students graduating this May are encountering more of a mountain than a mole hill. While we’re in the midst of this current national emergency, what can those who are fresh to the workforce do? While there is much out of our control at the moment, here are a couple things to keep in mind so that you can keep your job search momentum going.
The old saying “beggars can’t be choosers” rings true in the current job climate—but can have the added benefit of leading to jobs you wouldn’t consider otherwise, so get creative! If you ever thought about working out of state, or thought about working from home for a remote company, it’s a good time to experiment and see if it’s something you’d want to consider in the future. Remember, there’s lots to learn at this time—most of all about yourself! What sort of work/life balance do you want? With a myriad of options, it’s a good time to look around and check your options. Also, now is not the time to be unyielding when it comes to your salary.
I know! You were ready after graduation to go and get a job where you’re bringing home the big bucks. If you’ve been aggressively applying to jobs without success, consider an internship—especially with a company you’ve had your eye on for future employment. It will give you insight into the company culture, and experience—and hopefully a couple dollars too. Keep in mind that internships might be work from home for the time being. Also—one of the most fruitful things that can come from investing your time and energy into an internship is…
If you’re a hard worker with a positive attitude; people take note and remember. Maybe you end up with a 3-month internship that doesn’t lead to a job right away—it’s ok—really! When the economy’s engine gets going again, you’ll have a letter of recommendation and experience under your belt, but most importantly connections in the job arena that you’re interested in. If you don’t get an internship, there are tons of ways to connect online with alumni past and present. Follow people with careers that you aspire to and reach out. If they don’t get back to you—oh well! But you’ll never make new connections if you don’t try!
4. Gain New Skills
To be perfectly honest, this may be a good time to go to graduate school (if that’s something that is on your to-do list.) If not, there are plenty of online classes and certificate programs that give scholarships to make it more affordable for you to attend. Sharpen any skill that will give you an edge when you enter the workforce. Also, remember you’re young! Your career plans can take a divergent direction. Was there a secondary career you were considering? Explore by taking an online class in that field to see if you’d like to pursue that further.
5. Be Patient
Let’s get real: this is a weird time for everyone. It is a frustrating time, but like many things in this world—this too shall pass. Until then, make a master list of all the jobs/companies you are passionate about so you can reapply later when things improve. Remember, your vocation doesn’t define you, it’s something you do. If you don’t get your dream job tomorrow, you may have to do something else in the meantime. Don’t worry—better days are coming.