Tis' the season to be… well, not so jolly, if you’re one of the thousands of new graduates who will still be unemployed come Christmas. Or, indeed, if you’re a member of the one-third that are underemployed in non-professional roles. Or if you’re part of the two-thirds of young people who are employed but hate their job…
Luckily, there’s a brand spanking new year just around the corner, and 2017 might just be the year that your career finally takes off. Time to buckle down, wipe that slate clean, and go out and make it happen!
1.“In nine hundred years of time and space and I've never met anybody who wasn't important.” – The Doctor
The reality is that climbing the career ladder is tough. After all your hard work getting that lovely shiny degree, it’s pretty galling to find yourself at the bottom of the corporate heap. Yes, you’ll be given rubbish, boring tasks to do, and yes, you’ll make peanuts, but keep believing in yourself and you will get ahead eventually.
Never let anything or anyone make you feel unimportant. Rejections, bad bosses, and horrible colleagues are unfortunate facts of life, but that doesn’t mean you should allow anyone to treat you with disrespect. After all, if you can’t trust a fictional two-hearted travelling Time Lord for personal validation, who can you trust?
2.“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” - George Eliot
There is only one guaranteed route to failure, and that’s to quit. No matter what limitations you think you have, there will be people all over the world who succeeded despite having many more. Sure, qualifications and connections and money and talent are all helpful when job seeking, but none are essential.
Damien Hirst failed his Art A-Level. Steven Spielberg failed to get into film college (twice). Richard Branson dropped out of school. Oprah was fired. And so on. Stop seeing a bad grade or the wrong degree choice as impassable roadblocks, and you can start looking for ways around them.
3.“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” - Confucius
The problem with successful people is that they make it look easy. It’s not. Success doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it happen without hard work and innumerable previous failures. If J.K. Rowling had given up after the 12th publisher rejected her, or Dr Seuss after the 27th, or Steven King after the 30th, then our bookshelves would be an awful lot emptier right now.
When you set a goal, break it down into the smallest possible steps, and work on achieving each tiny piece one by one. You’ll be amazed how far you’ll come.
4.“When one door closes, another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” - Alexander Graham Bell
When we don’t get something we really wanted – a job or promotion or the number of the gorgeous summer intern – it can really, really suck. And it’s okay to take a little bit of time to wallow while we get over the news and lick our wounds. But then we need to move on. Pronto.
There are many different ways to achieve a goal, and the more routes we try the closer we get to succeeding. Often, setbacks become the learning lessons which ultimately help us triumph. So pick yourself up and try, try, try again.
5."Our planet, our society, and we ourselves are built of star stuff." - Carl Sagan
Turns out your mum was right – you are a star. Literally!
When you’re feeling blue because your career is in the doldrums, take some time to think about all the things that make you wonderful and unique and generally awesome. Building confidence and self-belief is important, because it is what will make you ace your next job interview, pitch the next great idea in a company meeting, or even confront your bullying co-worker.
Your 2017 is going to be incredible.
Beth Leslie writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency specialising in matching candidates to their dream internship. Check out their graduate jobs London listings for roles. Or; if you’re looking to hire an intern, have a look at their innovative Video CVs.