Being a college student is one of the best experiences in a young adult’s life. Because while in college you're surrounded by friends who share your goals for success, and your passion for life and having a good time too! You joined clubs, sororities, fraternities, and other groups that matched your interests and abilities. You worked hard pulling all-nighters to complete assignments some of which were only worth half your grade. You spent countless hours studying for your final exams. But what happens after the joy of graduation day, after you've removed the cap and gown? What happens now that your degree, which you are super proud of is framed and hanging so neatly on your wall? What happens when the only life you've known for the past 4-5 years is no more?
You've been searching for a job, but each opportunity so far has gone up in smoke! At this point, you're questioning yourself. “What have I signed up for?” “Why didn't anyone prepare me for this?” “Did I choose the right field?” You're also missing your friends and the good times you shared while in school. Yet some of your friends have already settled into their new careers while you are still struggling with landing a job interview. It happens. While in school you had a game plan. You knew what you wanted to do and where you wanted to end up. But now as a postgraduate, you're having a hard time activating that plan. And you're still jobless.
Post-graduate blues happens to many graduates. The cap and gown are now hanging in the back of your closet. Your once dependable books are now sold or packed away collecting dust. Your new reality is that you now have new adult responsibilities. This huge transition that you once thought was years away is suddenly weighing you down, looming over your head.
Don't worry too much! You are not alone. The transition from college life to employment in the ‘real world’ is a hurdle that all graduates must face.
So why not beat the post graduate blues today! Unless, you are lucky to have a cushy job lined up, you along with your tens of thousands of fellow graduates will have to continuously redefine your brand until you are able to land a job. So, figure out a new game plan to deal with your current situation. Instead of worrying about remaining a jobless degree-holder, start focusing on new interests and opportunities that can enhance your life as a post-graduate.
Congratulations! You've made it through the easy part! Now here are some ways you can beat the post graduate blues.
Whether you are back home or starting your new life in a new city or state, get out there and mingle with other college graduates. Missing your old roomies is normal. But what is not normal is becoming depressed about this life change that you cannot control. Meetup.com is a perfect way to meet others that are into the same things as you. Think about it as a new-found sorority or fraternity outside the University’s perimeters.
New graduate? No job? No problem! If the job search is not working out in your favor, explore other alternatives for work. Recent graduates are perfect candidates for new internship and volunteer opportunities. Many employers are looking for recent graduates with a student mentality who are passionate about their work and eager to give creative input. Look for paid internships if you want to earn extra spending money. Internships.com is an excellent source to find internships and/or recent graduate positions. These internships can lead to permanent, full-time jobs and will also look great on your resume.
So you’re a recent graduate; what else is new? This is the perfect time to learn a new skill that could help you in your job search. This could also lead to valuable networking opportunities where you'll meet other professionals who could be helpful in your future job search. Besides, a new skill or trade outside your field can definitely provide you with leverage. It doesn’t have to involve new student loans because it can be a do-it-yourself (DIY) type of training. Lynda.com offers a nice selection of online courses, anything from web development to photography, for a small monthly fee. You'll be surprised how getting into something new will boost your confidence.
Above all else, never stop exploring and don't settle just because you don't have a job. You are young, fresh, and ambitious. You can do anything you set your mind on doing. So why not use the skills you've been learning for the past four years as a student to offer a needed service that others will pay you to do. No matter what level your degree is (A.A., B.A., or M.A.), it’s yours and you own it. If you are great at content writing, create a niche writing for blogs or newsletters. If you can build websites offer this as a service to small businesses. Great at Math? Brand yourself as the greatest Math tutor in your city. Be creative! Elance.com is a great website to showcase your freelancer portfolio. No matter your field or concentration think beyond the 9-5 job for opportunities to earn money. If you can do that, you will soon be driving traffic to your own business.
Yes, transitioning from being an all-star college student to another unemployed individual is hard. But as a graduate, you can create your own opportunities. Remember to always assert your independence. No matter the size of the obstacle, know that there are countless ways to turn your situation into a positive one.
About the Author
Workplace Learning Solutions LLC is a professional development agency. We work with individuals at all levels of the organization - from the Job Seeker through the CEO. Our articles target individuals who are interested in improving their professional image, advancing their careers, and finding a good balance between life and work.Back to Candidate blogs