I’ve been there. Actually, I’m still there.
You’ve walked across the stage, been handed the piece of paper that you’re probably in debt because of and you are on top of the world.
You’ve done it. You’ve made it. You’re assuming the next step in your life is about to begin. After the excitement wears off, you’ve probably started sending out applications.
You’ve perfected your resume, edited the cover letters, and you’re ready to take on a full-time job you’ve been preparing your whole life for.
Then the first rejection email comes. Then the next. And suddenly it’s been months/weeks/years since you received that diploma and you feel no closer to the full-time job you’ve studied and prepared for. So then you broaden your horizons and apply for more and more jobs- even ones not strictly your “dream job” by any means. But still, nothing comes.
You begin to feel embarrassed. You second guess yourself.
You doubt your worth. You question your abilities.
And each rejection letter chips away at your heart a little more each time until you want to stop looking but can’t because you need the income.
Today I wanted to share a little advice with you. I know how hard this is and how hard it can be on a person both emotionally and mentally. Because I’m still in the same situation, this advice is from experience and still tips that I have to remind myself again and again.
Advice for the unemployed college grad
You’re not alone
It may seem like you’re the only one from your college class or friend group that has yet to find a full-time job, but I promise you’re not. I know how it feels to constantly see your friends get accepted into jobs while you’re still tirelessly looking. And I know what it’s like to think to yourself: I’m the only one who hasn’t found a job. But friend, you aren’t! That’s why I crossed it out because you need to realize those thoughts are not constructive and far from the truth.
Unemployment is very high right now in our country. Whether you realize it or not, there are many people dealing with this same problem all over the US.
It isn’t a reflection of your skill and ability
I think one of the hardest things for me to handle is the questioning of my abilities that the rejection letters cause. It’s natural to originally assume it’s because you’re not good enough. Especially the way the system is set up when applying for jobs you usually have to have a certain amount of experience. But, of course, and a recent grad…you can only have so much experience.
But remember that it isn’t a reflection of your abilities. You didn’t necessarily get passed up on the job because you weren’t good enough. There are hundreds of factors that go into the hiring process; you cannot let your confidence suffer because of still being unemployed. I’ve seen people younger and less experienced receive jobs I have applied for and I’m not going to lie…it’s rough. It’s easy to start believing that you aren’t capable enough or good enough but that is farthest from the truth.
If I had a nickel for every time someone told me that I should be looking for jobs outside of my degree, I’d be rich. And what they don’t know is that I AM. I’ve broadened my horizons, I’ve been accepting to different offers, etc. etc. I gave up on getting my “dream job” a long time ago and have applied for anything that I am slightly qualified for and I’m sure you are too.
There is also a balance that I have to work on. The need for a job but the need to do something that uses that degree I’m still paying off. I’ve struggled with going out and just getting a normal job at a restaurant or something but my family and I believe God is leading me in a different path. And I know how hard it is to be a college grad and having to say you nanny, work at Subway, or are just simply unemployed. Whether you want to or not, look a little broader and keep applying for jobs. Don’t be too proud but don’t give up either. Through blogging and photography, I have been able to get a little income while still looking for a full-time job.
Don’t be ashamed
Another statement that is easier said than done, I know. If I am completely honest- I would say I have spent the better half of 3 years ashamed of not having a full-time degree-related job. Especially before I started nannying and doing more blog things/photography. It’s easy to let it get to you, and it’s easy to want to hide it for the very reasons I mentioned above. But remember that this isn’t based off your lack of abilities, God just hasn’t brought you the right job yet.
Hold your head high and still be proud of all you accomplished! You finished college and that’s still a huge task. Your job will come soon. Don’t give up. Keep praying for guidance and strength and I promise God will make a way in His timing.