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8 Empowering Steps to Take If You Can't Find a Job After College

Updated: Jun 2

College kids throwing their graduation caps, hoping to find a job after college

It's incredibly frustrating when you put in all those years of hard work in college, burning the midnight oil, stressing over exams, enduring those endless lectures... and for what? To graduate and feel like all that effort was for nothing! Like your degree is just a piece of paper tossed aside. It's a rude awakening when you enter the job market and realize it's not as welcoming as you hoped.

However, just because the job market is tough and there are millions of others like you looking for work, it doesn't mean you should give up on your dreams of a successful career and financial independence. This is just the beginning for you. Now is the time to think outside the box since traditional job hunting isn't working out.

Here are 8 things you can do if you can't find a job after college:

Undertake a Personal Project

A huge part of the reason it's difficult to get a job after college can be attributed to the fact that employers assume you do not have the required experience to fit their role. You can overcome this by undertaking a personal project that showcases the skills you learned in college and provides practical experience.

For example, if you majored in environmental science, you could initiate a community environmental project, such as organizing a local clean-up event or starting a recycling program, to demonstrate your commitment to environmental conservation and your ability to mobilize community action.

Highlight this project on your resume as part of your experience. Share your progress on various platforms, including social media, with your family, friends, and professional contacts. This proactive approach will not only showcase your abilities but also capture the attention of potential employers.

Copy Paste Your Succesful Peer's Strategy

Use LinkedIn to research the career paths of peers who are slightly ahead of you in their careers, typically two years your senior. These individuals are likely to be more relatable and understanding of your current situation, making them more willing to offer support and advice. Contact them directly and ask about their job search experience, including how long it took them to find a job, the role and company they were hired for, and the strategies they used in their job search. Their insights can provide valuable guidance as you navigate your job search journey.

Monetize a hobby

Since you'll need money for your day-to-day expenses, it's crucial to find ways to make money while on your job hunt. Trust me, it's easier to stay motivated when you're not stressed about finances. So, take a hobby you love and explore ways to monetize it. If you're unsure how to start, simply type your hobby into popular social platforms like TikTok or Instagram, followed by "how to make money doing..." You'll find plenty of ideas and guidance on turning your passion into profit. This approach not only eases financial pressure but also enriches your daily life and potentially opens up new career paths.

Diversify Your Job Search

Don't restrict your job search to just one type of position or industry. Explore various career options related to your field, as there may be roles you haven't considered yet that could perfectly match your skills and interests.

For example, if you studied graphic design, you might primarily focus on roles like graphic artist or web designer. However, expanding your search to include positions in advertising, user experience design, or even digital marketing could open up new avenues and opportunities that utilize your creative skills in different ways. Or if you majored in biology, you might initially focus on roles in research or laboratory work. But if you broadened your search to include fields like environmental consulting, science writing, or pharmaceutical sales could reveal exciting opportunities that leverage your scientific knowledge in unique ways.

Teach What You've Learned

Many graduates find their first job opportunity in teaching, and you could too! Consider teaching the coursework you've learned in college to students who are currently enrolled, or even high school students who are interested in your field. You can charge for tutoring sessions or for specialized notes that you prepare. This not only helps you earn money but also reinforces your own understanding and expertise. Teaching is an excellent addition to your resume, demonstrating your mastery of the subject and your ability to communicate complex ideas effectively.

Consider Relocating

Sometimes, the key to landing your ideal job might be in a different city or even another country. Keep an open mind about where your career could take you. Relocating to a city with less competition could significantly boost your chances of getting a job. While big cities often offer higher salaries, they also come with stiff competition. On the other hand, rural areas see less competition because many are moving to urban centers in search of better pay. As you're looking for your first job, focus on gaining valuable skills and building connections. Trust me, start with these essentials, and the money will follow!

Tailor Your Resume

Customize your resume for each application. Align your skills and experiences with the job requirements mentioned in the posting. This tailored approach increases your chances of getting noticed by employers.

Repeat and Adjust: Refine Your Job Search Strategy

Remember, job searching isn't an exact science. Be prepared to test different approaches and make necessary adjustments. For instance, if you're sending out cold messages on LinkedIn without getting any responses, consider changing your message's content or tone. Similarly, if you've been to several interviews without a callback, it might be time to enhance your interview skills. Analyze your performance, seek feedback, and identify areas where you can improve. Keep refining your strategy until you see the results you're aiming for.

The Next Step

Don’t let this just be another article you read without taking real action. Choose one of the strategies discussed and give it a shot. Like many people, you might have already thought up a dozen reasons why these tips won’t work. But really, what’s the harm in trying? If you've tried everything once and it hasn’t worked out, remember to rinse and repeat. Keep in mind the importance of adjusting your approach, as mentioned in the last point. The power of persistence and consistency can indeed work wonders. It’s in these moments of continuous effort that fresh ideas and unexpected opportunities often arise. Here’s to your success—I hope you land your dream job soon!


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