The job hunt is often ruthless and cold.
Life after college is not always the picture-perfect scenario you see in movies. You’ll start to feel like you’re a failure, but that’s OK.
Unless you were adulting right and secured yourself a job before you graduated from college, the job search for your dream job in the real world can be really hard. And I mean really hard.
You’ll probably change your resume a couple of times and rewrite your cover letter to cater to certain companies a thousand more times. You’ll apply to hundreds of different jobs. Some jobs won’t even be in the realm of your major, and you may never get a callback. If you’re lucky, you’ll receive a courtesy email informing you that they, unfortunately, will no longer be considering you for the position. It’s during these times that you’ll start to wonder if college was worth it. You’ll start to question whether you should’ve spent thousands of dollars on something else instead.
But I’m here to tell you that these scenarios and emotions are normal. You’re not a failure, but it just takes time to achieve your goals.
Take the time after graduation to actually take a break. If you started college right after high school, as I did, it means you were in school continuously for 18 years. This means you are years overdue for a vacation.
I actually traveled around Southeast Asia after my graduation for six weeks. I was able to do this because I didn’t have deadlines and obligations to tend to, and it felt really rejuvenating. Using the time after graduation for vacation can help your mind mentally prepare for the cold journey of job hunting ahead of you.
After graduation, you might find yourself doing odd jobs that are not within your field as well. While searching for a new job, I worked part-time at Bloomingdale’s in order to pay bills and student loans that had no sympathy for my current crisis. Working a retail job that requires no college experience will probably hit your confidence like a bullet train. I know mine took a hit, but working this type of job will motivate you to work harder towards your goals. It’ll also make you feel productive and that you’re not mentally deteriorating at home, waiting for a callback.
Working retail and odd jobs after college is not embarrassing, nor is it a setback. It’s just an extra road you’re taking to your dream job.
If you’re not getting any callbacks from jobs, applying for internships in the meantime doesn’t hurt. Even if the internship is unpaid or only offers minimum wage, the experience will help you tremendously in the job market.
Eventually, you’ll receive an opportunity from a hiring manager who will give you a chance to showcase your skills. Even if you submitted thousands of job applications like I did, it only takes one response to open a door to a room of opportunities.
So if you’re like me and didn’t know how your life was going to go after graduation, take a deep breath, relax and laugh because everything is going to work out.