Graduation is overwhelming on its own, and figuring out what to do if you don’t have a job is scary. It’s not the end of the world, though. While it’s easy to feel like everyone has life planned out and has everything organized, trust me when I tell you that no one has anything figured out – whether they have a job upon graduation or not!
If you don’t have a job after graduation, the future can be scary and very unsettling. But rest assured that at some point or another, almost everyone finds themselves without a job. You will get through it! Here are 6 things to do if you find yourself unemployed right after graduation.
First off, congratulate yourself for finishing school! It’s a huge accomplishment, so take some time to celebrate and acknowledge your achievements. Only about a third of the US population has completed college as of 2017, so graduating is a much bigger accomplishment than you might be making it out to be. Part of being successful is giving yourself credit where it’s deserved. This is one of those times.
Take a minute
After you’ve celebrated, take a minute and process it. If you don’t have a job lined up, you will likely feel a lot of different emotions. It’s important to take some time to process them all!
If you find that you’re burnt out from finals, give yourself a bit of time to relax. Depending on your financial situation and how much financial stability you have, it might be worth it to take some time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate. This could be a couple days, or a couple weeks depending on your situation. Regardless of how long it is, taking some time to focus on yourself will help you mentally and physically as you step into the job search.
Look over your finances and determine a game plan
When you’re newly out of school, it’s important to look at the big picture to figure out the best way to move forward based on your unique situation. Do you have a nest egg saved up, do you have financial support from your family, or do you need to start working immediately?
Go over your monthly expenses and determine how much you have, and how long you can live off of it without being hugely detrimental to your financial stability. There are a lot of great finance apps to help you outline your expenses. You can also do it on your own! The important part is that you are aware of exactly what you have and what you need to continue to live comfortably.
Once you determine your financial situation, you can figure out what the best option is. Do you need to find work as soon as possible, or can you take some time to rejuvenate, figure things out, and find the perfect job for you?
Revamp your resume
You’ve focused so much time and energy on graduating that your resume might have fallen by the wayside. Take this opportunity to make your resume great and articulate all that you have to offer. Gather information about past jobs, internships, class projects, and other information that highlights what you bring to the table. This will help you create the most effective document to meet your needs.
If you need to work ASAP, go to a temp agency
New research shows that the temporary employment industry employs more Americans than ever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the temporary help services industry now employs around 2.8 million Americans per week, an all-time high. While there seems to be a negative connotation with the words “temporary” and “contract,” these positions can open many doors for you. Contract and/or temporary work can help you in four main ways:
-It will give you current work to put on your resume
-It gives you immediate income while you’re searching for a long term position
-It lets you network with industry professionals
-It gives you the opportunity to show off your capabilities
If you excel at your temporary position, chances are that you will meet people who can a) point you in the right direction, b) know of a job that may interest you, or c) will work with you to keep you at the company but progress to an area that best suits your qualifications.
There is truly no downside to temporary work. When you’re a new graduate, temporary work gives you the opportunity to explore various employment options and networking opportunities.
If you don’t need to start working immediately, take some time to figure out your next career move
If you have the luxury of time, use it to figure out what you want next and strategically plan your next career move. Take a look at your transferable skills, figure out what jobs you’re qualified for, and do some soul searching to figure out what kind of job is really right for you. Whether or not you wanted to have a job lined up after graduation, this is your opportunity to take the time and plan your next career move so that you’re excited about it.
Take some time to process it, give yourself time to relax, and determine your next steps so you can further develop your career strategically in a way that will make you happy. You’ve got this!
Have you gone through graduation without a job? How did you handle it?