If you’ve just recently graduated from university or college, then chances are you’re in a little bit of a bind right now.
That post-uni/college struggle is super real. It can be difficult to land your dream job - or any job at all for that matter - and incredibly stressful as you go from one stage in life to the next. Trust, though: it's not impossible to navigate.
There are certain things you can do to ease the post-grad anxiety because let’s be honest: worrying is the root of all evil. As long as you keep applying and keep being productive, an opportunity will come your way - but you gotta keep at it.
In the immortal words of Drake, “Started from the bottom, now we’re here.” As long as you apply these super key points to your daily life, well, the stress will just melt away! (Hopefully!)
Two Drake references in one article? What is this, a crossover episode?
But seriously, knowing yourself is half the battle in this post-university world. Try keeping a journal or paying special attention to your interests (because honestly, you might not want to pursue a career within your degree - and that's okay!), and once you've narrowed your passions down to an industry? Boom. That's when you can strike.
It's also worth it to get to know yourself enough to realize what you realistically are and are not willing to sacrifice. The first few years after uni, you might not be in your dream position and you'll definitely need to do some grunt work. But knowing exactly what you're willing to budge on - and what you're not - will literally save you years of anxiety. Yay!
Work work work work on your LinkedIn profile.
To be frank, LinkedIn doesn't get enough credit. It's a social media, headhunting and job finding tool all rolled into one neat package, and if you know exactly how to use LinkedIn to your benefit then it'll legit just melt your stress away.
Updating your own LinkedIn profile is the first step in a long and beautiful relationship with LinkedIn, so make sure your profile picture is updated and appropriate, your summary is filled out and all your relevant experiences are posted and filled out (including volunteer positions).
Research what you want, and network like a fiend.
This is another way to use LinkedIn to your advantage, since you can search for jobs, industries and positions AND message people who work in the industry personally.
Plus, you could do some inception-level research and find professionals who have a career that you could see yourself doing in five or ten years and see how they got there. What companies did they work for? What kind of experience did they get? That kind of good stuff.
But you don't need to rely on social media to get your researching and networking cap on. Attending alumni events or events related to employment in Toronto, can actually be really helpful in both those regards!
Tune into the live-stream of Toronto's incredibly useful In The Know career event.
In The Know, hosted by Nestlé and a number of partners, is a super fun event going down at the Toronto Reference Library on Friday, November 24. The event aims to "spark inspiration and build your career toolbox", so it's going to be hugely helpful for anyone who's just graduated high school and is still starting out!
You can tune in to this event via their Facebook page's Live event at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM, when they'll have different keynote speakers giving key tips and tricks as to how to navigate life after university and jumpstart a career.
At 11:00, Roseline Filion - an Olympic medalist - will be talking about high-level competitions and overcoming obstacles. At 1, there'll be a networking panel focusing on the tools and strategies to network, led by leading experts who specialize in helping millennials succeed. Finally, at 3, Cher Jones will give a talk on developing and selling your personal brand. All interesting topics that are SUPER useful for people getting out there in the workforce for the very first time!
Talk to professionals in your dream industry.
This might fall under "networking", but it's a little bit more focused. Kind of like micro-networking.
Once you figure out the industry you want to go in, and once you've met some people, that's the time to strike. Ask to go for coffee with professionals in your chosen industry - or simply ask them for help or advice. People often underestimate how much other want to help, and don't forget, if you never ask the answer is always no!
Start reaching out to your own personal network.
Little known fact: your friends, family and classmates are a huge and valuable part of your job search that are often (and sadly) overlooked.
Reach out to them to see if there are any open opportunities where they work, or even ask how they got where they are in their career. Chances are, they're going to want to help you out, and their input is definitely going to be helpful in your job search.
Plus it might just take a whole lot off your shoulders to learn that a whole bunch of people you know struggled a bit in the beginning as well. Because, trust, everybody does!
Just keep swimming (in those resumes as you apply to employer after employer).
Sounds easy enough, right? But anyone who has ever searched for employment can tell you one thing for sure: applying for a full-time job is a full-time job. Apply to every position you feel you're qualified for and even some you don't. The worst they can do is say no.
Another helpful tip? Start applying for jobs early - like, before you even graduate. Employers often take some time to get back to you, and so sending out your CV earlier rather than later will ensure that you hit the ground running on your post-graduation life.
But the most important thing to remember here is this - don't sweat it. You might get one interview per 10 CVs you send out. You might not hear back from employers. Whatever the case is, no worries. If you keep at it, try your best and stay productive, opportunities will come a'knocking!
Next up? Apply for as many volunteer opportunities and internships as you can.
Straight-up, it might take a while to find employment at the beginning of your journey. But this is no reason to stress! Finding a job takes time, as we've covered here.
To occupy your time, keep your mind of the post-uni anxiety and help build your resume, the answer is very easy: find an internship, or a volunteer opportunity!
Sure, they might be unpaid. But you're getting paid in experience which is invaluable; and if you find an opportunity in the industry you want to go in to, bam, you've already got your foot in the door!
Send follow up emails, just to make sure prospective employers see your name.
Follow up emails to prospective employers usually show that you're very interested in the position and willing to do the responsible thing, AKA confirm they got your email. They might not always answer, but if they do, that's a huge weight off your shoulders one way or the other.
Plus it kind of makes sure they know your name. And in a sea of resumes, a familiar name is probably not a bad thing to have. Just make sure your email address isn't something like email@example.com.
ALWAYS look up job openings in your dream industry.
If and when you do find your first job, chances are it won't be your dream career just yet. Finding the job you truly want takes a whole lot of time and dedication; and it doesn't mean that just because you have a job, you stop looking for one.
Always stay hungry and always keep the search alive within the industry you really want to be in. And if you're already there, then don't settle! Getting your foot in the door in an entry-level position in your dream industry is great, but at a certain point you need to recognize when it's time to move up.
Even the act of simply applying for a job could be huge in relieving stress after university. After all, you tried your best - and if the position opens once, chances are it'll open again!
Don't put too much pressure on yourself.
Honestly, university life is tough. Life after university is tough. There are struggles everywhere, but the key here is not to be too hard on yourself.
You're out here trying your best, and that's all anyone can ask for. Once you accept that you're operating on all pistons and that's really all you can control, you'll see. All the post-university stress? It'll just up and float away!
No joke, life after uni can be a little stressful - especially if you're on the hunt for a job.
Thankfully, there are certain things you can do in order to help ease the stress. Applying for jobs (like crazy), networking and being just a touch easier on yourself are just a handful of ways you can help turn your post-uni experience from stressful AF to happy as a field of flowers.
Another big way for you to make sure you're doing all you can do? Attend events! Events are key for networking, plus they often host speakers and panels that can teach you a thing or two about how to navigate your new life as an actual, career-getting adult.
Just like Nestlé's Facebook Live event happening on November 24. You can tune in to the In The Know Event at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM for various keynote speakers, giving advice, tips and information on important factors in navigating life after university and finding successful careers!