You’ve donned your cap and gown, gotten your diploma, but you still don’t have a job. Now what? Before you panic, it’s important to focus on everything you can do with this bit of extra free time. You may wish you had headed right into a job after graduation, but if you take advantage of this time, you might be better off!
- Stay positive
If you’re upset by your lack of job, don’t let it get you down. It’s important to stay positive as you continue your search. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come already, and set realistic goals for yourself. It’s important to set aside time everyday to do something you enjoy – like exercising, painting, or spending time with family and friends. Keeping a positive mindset will also help you be more successful when you start getting job interviews.
- Reduce Your Cost Of Living
If you don’t have any income during your job search, find ways to reduce your expenses. Move back home or find roommates to share an apartment. Cut out unnecessary expenses. Create a personal budget to help yourself stay in track. You might need to pick up a part-time job in retail or another service industry during this time, but don’t let it get you down! Focus on earning the money you need, and applying to jobs during your free time.
Use your spare time to network with potential business connections. Find networking events through your university, industry organizations, or attend conferences. Set up informational interviews, or use LinkedIn to get connected to people who work at your dream company. It’s all about who you know, so take this time to expand your circle.
- Work on Your Skills
Yes, you just graduated with a degree. But there are always more skills you could work on to make yourself a more valuable employee. Take an online course in social media or writing, or learn how to use a software like Photoshop or Excel. Even if it doesn’t directly correlate to the job you’re looking for, having extra skills always comes in handy. Take the time to use the knowledge you obtained during school and turn it into something more concrete.
- Let Yourself Take Time Off
There’s a lot of pressure around finding a job right after college, but it’s alright to give yourself a break! Take time to relax, unwind, and switch gears from being a student to an employee. Most likely, you won’t have this much time off again until you retire, so enjoy it. Take the summer off, or even do a gap year, which is an increasingly popular option for college grads.
Maybe learn a new skill or hobby by taking cooking classes or guitar lessons. Dedicate yourself to community service or a volunteer project that you are passionate about. Travel to a place you’ve been dying to go to. If you explore something that interests you and you can talk about what you learned, most employers will see that as a positive thing.
Not having a job lined up right after you graduate is totally normal. Take the time to work on yourself and you’ll be a better candidate for your dream job when the time comes