Does Compulsive Job Hunting Really Work?

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You're a graduate student on the way on the edge of looking for your first job? Here are three useful hints that you should keep in mind when job hunting.

I know. Much has been written already on this topic. Which job should I pick up? What are my assets? Do I want something that can offer me security, but which might end up being boring or standard in terms of tasks? Or should I look for a more dynamic occupation as a freelancer, which would allow me to do something different from others, perhaps more personally fulfilling, but less profitable and with the risks of an unpredictable scenario? This is what we, the generation of the so-called “millenials”, are constantly wondering about when it comes to job search. But did we really expect such a messy landscape right outside our university’s door? The target I want to address in this article includes people who, right after high school or college, opted for continuing their higher education path like I did. Of course the situation is not the same for everyone. You find graduates from engineering, physics, economics, political science, art, design, communication and so on; each one entering the work market have their own peculiarities, motivations and level of self-confidence. Therefore, here are three basic suggestions for job seekers when that peculiar moment in life arrives: university is over and finding a good job as soon as possible becomes a must.

#1 Be (And Stay) Focused.

This is the most important feature that will help you finding a job that would suit you well enough for the years to come, without much complaining regarding all the boring duties you may be asked to perform, your harsh multiple tasks or the ugly faces you will have to smile to. Being focused in your future job search will smooth the way for a less stressful life, because when you focus on the things you like, you can be sure that you will get what you want, sooner than late. And of course, being focused will help you being proactive in your new position. And this is not a small detail. Loving what you do daily will allow you to perform better both on the workplace and in your everyday life, outside of your future office. Life will seem easier.

It seems that most university students are just not focused enough on what they would like to be right after their studies. Some just pretend to get a job, as soon as university is over. They don’t even try to figure out what they would really like to do and they eventually embrace some sort of fatalism, with the certainty that the job of their life, sooner or later, will find them. Wake up! First of all, there’s not a job for life. Or at least, in my opinion, not anymore. Second, do your best to understand what you really like to imagine yourself doing and don’t procrastinate here, because it might lead to drama and existential crisis in the future.

#2 Dare.

You should fully embrace the idea that competition among fresh graduates is growing every day, and it will continue to do so. Higher education is getting increasingly accessible to more and more students across Europe. Dual degrees are also becoming increasingly fashionable. Entire courses are completely held in English and students who haven’t benefited from an Erasmus grant, or at any other international mobility training, may find themselves lacking some crucial academic experience. As soon as you will conclude your studies, perhaps complemented with an unpaid traineeship on your CV, you will realize just how tough competing with people like yourself is. Sometimes, you will feel discouraged, because you might notice that people seemingly even less qualified than you, will get better access to opportunities you didn’t have access to. You will perceive it as unfair, that they just found themselves in the right place at the right time. Well, this is not enough.

Being fatalist won’t help you get what you really deserve from life. You must fight. You have to do your best in order to achieve what you really think is the perfect match for you. No one will ever offer you something if you don’t try your best to be where you would like to be. If you like a company, just go there. Smile to the people you meet. Ask for a brief meeting with the HR manager. Hand in your CV. Then send e-mails, insist, keep track of your results. If you really want something, and you actually do your best to get it, then you most likely will. If it doesn’t work out: well, try not to feel discouraged. And try again, somewhere else. Just don’t wait for that thing to come knocking at your door.

The idea of starting a fight for your dreams might also sound scary. Do I have talent enough? Am I good to suit that position? I am way too insecure, I will never make it. Well. Believe me, just find your passion and follow it. If anxiety will stay, that means you’re not doing what you want to.

#3 Go Social. And Digital.

Try your best to establish new useful contacts. Do not disregard your potential participation in meetings, conferences and workshops. Or even dinners. Those events might seem uninteresting, and laziness might keep you stuck on your sofa for the whole evening, watching your favourite TV shows. But always remember that just one good contact can make a big difference. You see, that guy who seemed to be a lazy ass, sitting next to you, almost falling asleep every time during law class. Well, he did not seem that brilliant, but he attended a lot of extra-curricular activities at university, and did his best to be known right after the accomplishment of his degree, taking part at social events, campaigns, and so on. He accidently met a person who knew another person; who consequently scheduled a meeting with him; who asked about his involvement and passions; and then offered him that job he really wanted so much at that prestigious NGO. You see, he was not just in the right place at the right time. He put in the effort to be there, to socialize.

Do your best to come out of your shell. In addition, always bear in mind that we’re living in the digital era. If you start looking for opportunities around you, having a good LinkedIn will help. Join existing ad-hoc platforms for job seekers and create your own profile, because nowadays a lot is taking place in the online world. Probably more than what you expect. StartUs has its own platform too, and it’s offering a promising way to be noticed. To join up, simply put in all the relevant information regarding your job experiences, academic results, foreign languages’ knowledge, etc. You can be noticed. And you can receive daily digests on the calls and open positions in your areas of interests. You just need to apply.

Are you really employing your perceived best abilities to their fullest potential, wondering where your skills would be needed the most? Of course it is in your interest to make this clear before finishing studies; getting involved in extracurricular activities at university or specializing into some courses could be of great help. Students should indeed work harder on understanding what they’re best at and where their passions and interest are, trying to envision their dreams without too much procrastinating. This is why you should also have a look at the job market before terminating university. On the whole, being compulsive cannot really help. Sending four, five CVs, preparing multiple job applications per day might sound like a remarkable effort for you. But it clearly unveils the uncertainty of your goals. It is true that many people really don’t know what they want to do until much later, so some degree of anxiety might be a companion during the early stages of their graduate life. But this is also what entering adult life means, and some preoccupation will be functional for you to find your way.



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