What to Do if You Graduate from College and Can’t Find a Job
When you began studying higher education, you likely didn’t think about the struggle of finding a job. Most colleges don’t advertise the harsh reality of finding work in an increasingly unstable, oversaturated market. Regardless of what industry you’re in, there are thousands upon thousands of qualified candidates. How are you going to stand out? What if you get countless interviews but never an offer? It’s a reality for many students, and you may be in this predicament now or just trying to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Although this can be an extremely defeating challenge, it is not the end of your life. Career stability is important, but your own well-being and self-worth rest in more than just your job title. To help combat the turbulence, stress, and depression of not being able to find one, here are a few suggestions to help.
Begin Assessing Crossover Fields
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You likely had a specific career plan in mind when you chose your major. After you graduate, it’s common for many people to only apply for that specific title. Whether there aren’t enough entry-level positions or simply too many candidates, sticking to one or two narrow positions limits your options. If you studied psychology, for example, there are many options outside the field worth pursuing. People with social science degrees tend to have strong oral and written communication skills, research abilities and a deeper understanding of human behavior that can be valuable in business, marketing and consulting. Your degree may not be extremely versatile, but the skills you acquired in college are likely to benefit you in many ways. And truthfully, many don’t even care what you majored in as long as you hold a four-year degree and have relevant skills.
Contact Career Services
Nearly every college has some type of career advising in place to help both current students and alumni find work. You may have already spoken to a career counselor once, but contact them again if you’re not having any luck finding or getting callbacks. They can help you revise your resume, find opportunities and even connect you with a mentor. There are also free career counseling resources online that can help you identify anything that might be affecting your job outcomes. From resume building to interview coaching, there are sites online that can offer helpful tips and tricks that can help give you a competitive edge.
It may not be ideal, but find a part-time job to give you income and structure while you’re actively applying. So many graduates are afraid to settle for a low-paying job, but it’s not forever. Taking a waitressing job, working in retail or being a receptionist while you search for your dream career is a good way to stay self-reliant and avoid falling into depression. You should also look for internships in your desired field. Many of them pay as much as a part-time job, and they offer more valuable work experience to put on your resume. Some of them may even turn into job offers if you perform well enough.
Go Back to School
This is not a solution for most people, but it’s worth mentioning as many find their bachelor’s degree is not enough to acquire the job they want. Master’s degrees can be in your field or another, and provide you more work opportunity both while you’re in school and after graduation. When money is tight and you don’t see your degree paying off, returning to school can also give you access to private student loans. These loans are highly customizable and designed to meet not only your academic needs but help you cover the cost of other expenses as well. You may decide that a second bachelor’s is the better choice; your first step should be speaking to an advisor who can discuss your current career struggles and help you come up with an action plan.
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