So I guess I’ll make it official, I’m no longer unemployed. I received an offer on the 20th, and I start on the 7th. This means this week I may not be posting much due to moving to a new apartment as well as other family affairs.
What have I learned in the last 6 months?
First off, job hunting is a long mentally trying ordeal. Naturally there were times when I felt frustrated, but I never lost hope. The key thing most college graduates that are job hunting need to know is that we’re not competing exclusively with other college graduates for entry level positions, we’re also competing with the entry level workers who have been recently laid off or are looking for a pay raise by switching companies. So for those of you who are reading this and aren’t in college anymore, it’s probably too late to get an internship. What you can do instead is devote yourself to a project in your free time. Use that as a conversational driver in your interviews. Fully invest yourself in it and your passion will show when you’re in an interview. The x-factor in interviewing these days is being able to impress the team you’re interviewing with so that they envision themselves working with you and they can see what happens when you’re passionate about what you do.
Secondly, don’t be overly selective when applying to jobs. The key thing is applying to a job where you can do the work and in return the job stimulates you through the challenges of the task. I’ve met a lot of people in my life who hate their job. They say their job is boring, that it doesn’t challenge or interest them, and that they dislike the people they work with. When you’re applying and interviewing for jobs, take these things into account. A company’s culture and the people you surround yourself with 40 hours a week matters. If you end up hating your job, well that’s too bad because you’re stuck for at least a year to a year and a half. Any shorter period of time reflects poorly on you when future employers see it on your resume. People always tell others to do what they love, but the odds of you finding work regarding something you love is slim. If I did what I loved, then I’d be the first 5’9″ Asian in the NBA. But that’s not going to happen. Instead, people need to tell others to do what interests them. Suggesting this is more realistic than telling people to pursue what they love or dream for. After all, a dream is called a dream for a reason. It’s a far stretch. Don’t get me wrong, some dreams can be accomplished, but as a new college graduate, the odds of that are slim.
Lastly, stay confident and believe in yourself. If you graduated from school whether it’s trade school, college, or anything else, you have the skills necessary to do what you studied. After my interviews I would always ask myself how can I improve myself so that I could do better in the future. Some of the things I did paid off, some of it didn’t. In the end, I still spent a lot of my free time learning and reviewing things I felt were necessary to perform the jobs I was applying for. Keep that in mind and mention it in interviews. By doing this, your interviewer will know that they will be hiring a person who will constantly improve rather than just stay stagnant.
These three points are the best way to sum up my approach to job hunting. I also want to thank all of the people who gave me advice and encouragement. Hopefully those of you job hunting have people to support you as well.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment.