How To Stay Focused During Your Job Hunt
Whatever your circumstances, searching for a job can become tiresome and at times it may feel as though you’re getting nowhere. You spend numerous hours of your free time trawling the internet in search of positions that take your fancy.
Once you find a job that looks right for you you’ll spend more hours on the application which may never get acknowledged if you’re unsuccessful.
During the process you may find yourself questioning why you bother. Why you bothered to get the qualifications that you have when it’s so difficult to find a job. You start to wonder if the career statistics your uni fed you were bogus.
It can become soul-destroying knowing how hard you worked to get to where you are yet not being able to find the position or get an interview.
Here are some tips on how to stay focused during your job hunt:
Remember that graduate jobs are competitive
No matter which field of study you chose to gain your degree in, most graduate jobs are few and far between. Some are more competitive than others but regardless, graduate positions are hard to get your hands upon. It’s often disheartening when you read the requirements for roles because they ask for all the qualifications you have, maybe even more, then a few years’ experience on top of it all.
Consider looking for jobs from smaller companies who aren’t specifically advertising graduate jobs but are advertising junior roles. Some of these jobs aren’t advertised on the big job boards. Searching on smaller job boards and websites liked LinkedIn can help find such roles.
Consider doing things the other way round is a good idea; instead of searching for roles, search for companies. A quick google search of ‘marketing agencies in London’ brings up 930,000 results and many of them will be advertising vacancies on their websites.
It’s almost a full-time job searching
The time you need to dedicate to your job search is much higher than you think. It takes so long to research into the industry of your choice and find out what sort of role you’d like. You must take into consideration whether you will be able to travel there. Then comes the long winded and exhausting application process.
Therefore, you must allow for more time than you think. If you think an application is going to take you an hour, at least allow for two. You’ll be surprised how time consuming it is.
It’s a good idea not to become too fixated with job searching. You still need to give yourself time to see friends and partake in your hobbies. Allot yourself a set number of hours to go towards job applications, and stick to this.
Take advice but tactfully
The best thing to do after an unsuccessful application or interview is to gain from it. Ask them to provide you with feedback, and take this feedback to your next opportunity.
When it comes to applications, if you feel in your gut that you’re dedicating enough time and working hard to pursue your ambitions then that’s great. But don’t neglect the help surrounding you from careers advisers and recruitment companies as well as friends and family. Just be sure to choose the right stuff and ignore anything that’s going to hinder your prospects.
Everyone is in the same position
A lot of graduates will go back to their part time job that they’ve had since they were sixteen, or a job that they don’t want to be in forever for a given period after graduating. It’s how it is. Very few are immediately employed onto a grad-scheme or full time graduate role.
There are so many avenues to consider and this takes time to do so. Don’t freak out if you’re still working part time in Waitrose nine months after your graduation and the job search is beginning to feel like a bottomless pit of declined application papers. Your efforts will be worth it.
For now, stay focussed but feel good about having a purpose in your part time role or endless stream of unpaid internships. Many of your friends will be doing just the same thing.
You’re doing great
Whatever it is that you’re doing, remember that you’re doing great. Achieving a degree is fantastic, holding a part time position on top of your job search is brilliant, an unpaid placement is experience and attending interviews even if they lead to unsuccessful results is practise.
Your twenties are a time to figure out your path, where you want your life to lead and what you want to gain from it. A time to decide whether you want children and marriage or dogs and leave the babies to your siblings so that you can give them back at the end of your ‘shift’. You don’t need to have it all figured out by twenty five, you have time.
Relax and enjoy. Have ambition and aim to progress but don’t stress yourself out with timelines and comparing your life to others.
Remembering all the above factors is important to keeping your head during the stressful career search but remembering the last one is crucial. Don’t ever give up and know that you will get there these things just take time. The effort, tiredness and copious amounts of coffee will be worth it in the head.
Harriet Mills is an English Literature and Creative Writing graduate based at her hometown near Cambridge. She is an aspiring writer interested in features and travel writing. She is keen to pursue copywriting as a career as well as maintaining her position as a freelance writer. For more of her story check out her personal website.