Finding jobs part 4

With the global economy is still slowly recovered, students who graduated in past few years but could not find jobs begin to feel desperate. As time passed, the time without jobs is getting longer, the chances of getting job become less likely, many graduates are feeling depressed and do not know what to do. This problem happens in every country, from the U.S., Europe, to Asia as the chances of finding jobs in some fields of study are getting worst for graduates as they have to compete with millions of experienced people “out of work” and looking for jobs.

So what do these graduated students do? Should they continue to wait for the economy to improve and companies will start hiring again? Should they abandon what they have studied in school and find any jobs even those have nothing to do with their education? Should they go back to school and enroll in another study areas that may offer better opportunity? Should they apply to post-graduated programs such as Master degree or even Doctorate degrees? Those are questions that many students are now asking.

Some students believe that waiting for the economy to improve would be a solution as long as they are still living with parents. Let's us look at a recent survey conducted in 2010: Imagine that you are a manager who want to hire a person for your company. You have reviewed hundreds of applications and find three persons that qualify for the job. All three have received the same college education so you are trying to decide which one you should hire. Of the three, one just graduate this year, one graduated last year, and one graduated two years ago. Which one would you choose? During the interview, the student who graduated last year told you that he is working temporarily in a restaurant. The student who graduated two years ago is currently living with his parents and still looking for job. According to the survey, most managers commented that they would hire the student who just graduate (68%) and some would hire the student who graduated last year but temporary work in a restaurant (31%) and less than 1% considered hiring the one who graduated two years ago, living with parents and wait for job opportunity to come.

Having no job can lead to negative feelings of embarrassment, rejection, lost confidence, and failure. Learning how to cope with this problem is very important, especially for recent graduates. First do NOT get panic or angry but realize this is a global situation and has nothing to do with you as an individual. You must accept what happened and look to the future. As college graduates, you must ask yourself, what would be the chance for you to find job that is related to your field of study? Is your field of study in high demand? Is there demand for your skill in the local market? If there is then you must update your resume, take additional classes to improve your skills and continue your job search. You may contact companies, search the internet, check the job opening posted on newspapers and let people know that you are ready for work. Looking for job is a “Full Time Job” so unless you spend at least 8 hours a day, actively searching for job, you do NOT look hard enough. Do not procrastinate. Do not stay home and sending resume to companies and expect them to call you. There are thousands of people who are waiting at those companies' doors for job opportunities and if you are not one of them, you are NOT doing enough.

If you could not find jobs, you will come across people who also have problem finding jobs too, which can cause more disappointment. Unemployment is always happening, you just did not notice until it happens to you, especially after you spent several years in school. You must ignore the fact that many people around you is also having problem of finding jobs and they are panic. You must focus on yourself and on your next move. You must make a choice NOW, else you will be dragged down into more depression. Get yourself up, bravely get out of depression mood and start a new plan.

If your field of study is NOT in high demand, you may want to think about another career. Maybe your option would be returning to school for additional trainings in fields of high demand. Some schools will take graduated students, place them in special trainings for about 12 to 16 moths and allow them to graduate with a second bachelor degree in another field of study. Of course, there is no guarantee for job but the chance will be much improved if you have a degree in high demand area. Hiring company will consider you as recent graduate, not someone who graduated few years ago. Regardless the outcome, you must maintain a positive attitude as things in life happens for a purpose. At this time, you may not know it but someday you will. Having a positive mental attitude will allow you to do better and go farther. Even if you did not get a job today, you may tomorrow.

By actively seeking for work, it will keep you emotionally charging instead of dwelling on negative feeling. Actively go to several companies looking for job will give you human interaction, new friends, new conversation, new information and new insight. During your job search, keep a notebook with you daily schedule to organize your contacts. You know the names of people that you have talked to and what they are saying. As long as you are continue to improve your job search, you also improve your skills and learn from the mistakes that you made. You will be prepared and looking forward to future challenge. Remember, even during a recession, company still have needs to be met. Ask yourself, “What are my skills and how can they be helpful to others?” This may mean switching into a related field that requires the same skills, or learning a new skills for another job. Who know that you may even start your own company.


  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University
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