As a young job seeker, it’s easy to get distracted by the fascinating lives of your friends, who have seemingly secured their dream job – and it doesn’t help to roam through their social media posts which show the perks of their glamorous careers.
Comparing yourself to others only adds to the employment anxiety suffered by 26% of students and graduates.
Students have huge expectations and feel obligated to be rewarded for all the seemingly endless hours and library all-nighters they pulled when completing their degree. When university ends, graduates are wide-eyed with a degree in hand, languishing in their pursuit of the perfect job. The question is, is this obsession with getting the perfect job worth it?
Let’s take our favourite coffee sipping and avocado eating generation as an example – the millennials, of which 1 in 4 leave the workforce after a year, not so perfect is it?
A study by The Marketer’s forum has shown a mixture of reasons for young people leaving the workplace.
40% quit over little career development
25% didn’t enjoy the work environment
15% said they chose the wrong field; 14% said their job had no relevance to degree
42% thought university didn’t prepare them for work
43% picked a job for the sake of having a job and to avoid missing out on the dream job.
These statistics clearly show that the realities don’t always meet expectations; there’s a chance that your friends are concealing their frustrations behind the allure of a glitzy career, or you might just not be ready for your desired career.
This is why the job market is not at all what it seems. Employers are desperate to hire graduates and graduates are desperate to get a job, this is a perfect combination of a potentially toxic relationship ending in a mismatch of skills and interests.
Here are some ways to alleviate the job seeking stress:
It’s not a bad thing to take a break away from the job hunt; take time to talk to people about your frustrations, they might even be feeling the same way. As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved. You never know, your friends’ friends’ uncle might be looking for new staff in their company and you could be the right person for the job.
In the stress of searching for a job, don’t forget to continue with your hobbies. This will give you a much-needed break and reduce stress.
There’s no shame in taking a part-time or low-skilled job for the time being. It might not be what you want, but it will keep you busy and provide a regular source of income. This will also prevent a gap forming in your CV.
Even if you are still studying or have left your studies, there are a plethora of openings for short-term internships or work experience placements you can undergo.
A quick Google search will bring up a plethora of examples of websites where you can find opportunities to build on your experience and find out what you really want to do.
It’s highly recommended that you expand your abilities and interests beyond university. Travel abroad and get cultured, learn a new language, take a digital skills course or teach yourself some useful online programmes such as Google analytics. These are better ways of gauging your interests than just going by what you did at university.
In an era where innovation and creativity are rewarded, think outside the box, do something above and beyond of what’s expected. Perhaps there’s a gap in the market, and you have the solution – think of all the successful people that started their own business after countless rejections. Jack Ma was unsuccessful in 30 job interviews before starting his now multi-billion-dollar company Alibaba.
The important thing to remember is that as the aforementioned statistics indicate, there are other people in your position! You are not alone in your apprehensions, have a look at different student forums, there are plenty of students venting their frustrations.
It will be a difficult road and you will make mistakes, but in the end, persistence will pay off. Never feel like you are expected to get into a specific career route. Broaden your mind and your curiosity until you find something that you enjoy.
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