After College…what next?
I can still hear the dreaded question “What are you going to do”? echoing in my ear around the weeks leading up to the final exams and all the way through the summer. My main aim was to get through the exams, I felt didn’t have time to think about the future and secretly hoped that some guardian angel would transcend with the perfect job for me, just when I needed it. Unfortunately the angel never appeared, no matter how much I begged.
Looking for work unless your lucky can be hard work, your days can very quickly turn into weeks. Here are some tips to make life a little easier after college:
Treat finding work like your actual job. Write down the main tasks you want to complete each week and set yourself an overall weekly priority. Realistically schedule how much time you can give to each activity.
Some of the areas that needed to be examined are:
CV and cover letter, Interview training, Job boards, Linked In, Recruiters, Up to date Industry Information, Current Affairs, Volunteer, Job Bridge, Open Days, Fairs, Networking, Training, Home Learning, Socialising and Keeping fit.
2. Explore Options
Look at what skills you have to offer and the area of work that you want to go into. If you don’t know what you want to do, start exploring what areas you might be interested in. Think about the things you like to do or the subject you love.
Examine who is hiring and the qualities and skills they are looking for. If you do not match the skills required, look at how you can bridge that gap in the short term to reach your long-term goal.
Be willing to explore different roles and work environments at different times in your life. Very few people find their dream job right away. The lucky ones find a job that allows them to develop their skills, understand themselves and those around them more and guide them after a period of them on to what might be their calling.
The luxury of being in a world where a job is no longer for life (apart from some civil servants), is that it is expected and appreciated that you will change jobs and careers. So if you are not very sure what to do with the rest of your life, ask yourself what skills would you like to develop, what would you like to learn more about and where.
If you are feel you could do with some outside support consider contacting a Career Coach.
Get to know your preferred industry as much as you can. What are the current challenges, what changes are expected to take place. What jobs are available now and hope to be in the future. What type of employer would you like to work for and what type of person do they generally employ.
When you are researching examine the type of information you are drawn to. If you don’t know what you want to do, follow your nose!
4. Keep in Contact
It is important to keep in touch with old friends from college, school, work etc. and to keep meeting new people, as not only will it keep your spirits up but it will also help you learn about new job opportunities and types of work that you may have never considered. The most common way people find work is through someone they know, online communication has made it even easier, so no excuses!
5. Free Time
Use your free time to do things you enjoy such as keeping fit, reading, cooking and DIY. If you know other people who are out of work get them involved too. There are lots of interesting things that can be done for free, half the fun can be coming up with new inventive ideas.
Consider traveling to find work in your area of expertise. If you feel Ireland does not have enough opportunities for you right now, see it as a opportunity to explore what’s out there and who knows you might actually like it!