You took out thousands of dollars in student loans to get your degree. You graduated with high hopes and now — now you can’t find a job.
Don’t feel too bad. It’s not just you.
In today’s economy, snagging your dream job is going to be a lot harder than you might have anticipated. If you’ve been spinning your wheels and coming up empty-handed, it’s time to try something different.
As a person who’s had her fair share of crappy jobs, I can offer you a little perspective.
Here are some options for when you can’t find a job.
Take a Job That’ll Open a Door
About four years ago I decided to go back to school and get my accounting degree. (That was before I got divorced and completely switched gears.)
At the time I had done bookkeeping for a small department store for about six years. While I had plenty of experience handling the day-to-day operations of business finance, I knew my job wasn’t going to open up any new doors. When I heard about a local financial services office with a job opening, I immediately applied (and then made several phone calls checking on that resume)!
I soon got the job. There was just a small catch — they needed someone to work on the insurance side of the business rather than the accounting side. I took the job anyway. Since my goal was to get a job as an accountant, I knew that working in that office would open doors for me when I finally got my degree.
Moral of the story: You might not be able to immediately find your dream job, but you can find a job that will eventually lead to that dream job. (And you’ll get awesome work experience to boot!) Find a job that can open up future doors.
Do you have any working experience in your chosen field? If not, that can really count against you. Without some hands-on experience, you could look like a gamble to a potential employer.
Find some volunteer opportunities in your field and take them — a lot of them. Get some experience that you can add to your resume.
Get a Professionally Done Resume
If you’re not getting any interviews, your problem could be as simple as a less-than-stellar resume. If that’s the case, you need to make a change right now.
Hire someone to help you with your resume. A professional resume writer can help you highlight your areas of strength in the best possible way. Having a professional resume and cover letter is worth the money.
Create Your Own Job
My personal favorite option is to create your own job. If you’re cash-strapped, this is definitely the best option.
Since you have your degree, you’ve obviously got some expertise in that area. Figure out a way to offer freelance services or work on a contract basis for various companies.
Since many employers are downsizing right now, they’re more likely to hire you on a contract basis rather than as an employee.
Go out there, hustle, and create your own opportunities. Trust me, you can do it. (See how other college students created successful businesses.)
Switch It Up
If you keep doing what you always did you’ll always get what you always got. It’s time to switch things up.
Your dream job isn’t going to fall in your lap. You’re going to have to work hard for it. So go out, knock on some doors, and be proactive. It might be a long journey, but the sooner you start, the quicker you’ll get the job you want and deserve.
Would you add anything else to the list?