This blog has been kindly contributed by Thryschia Marasigan, a Filipino Marketing graduate who is keen to continuously learn and strengthen relationships between brands and their target audiences. Connect with Thryschia on LinkedIn here.
How many times have you finally heard back from a job application, only to be greeted with the opening line, “I am sorry…” and it ruined the rest of your day? Been there, done that and it still hurts, no matter how many times it happens.
Trust me, as a fresh graduate eager to gain work experience after all those assignments and dissertation projects *shiver*, we want nothing more than to get out there and start a career. And this is hard to do when faced with yet another “unfortunately…”.
If it’s been months since your graduation and you still haven’t landed a graduate job, your motivation levels have likely dropped. Your initial excitement about job hunting has probably faded away now and this new burnt-out feeling starts to grow.
But, you’re not alone – this is normal when facing multiple rejections! We are only human and are entitled to feel our emotions. Job search depression is real and a shared experience between job seekers.
But what’s not normal is how many entry-level roles require 3+ years’ experience PLUS excellent knowledge of a software program PLUS a “competitive salary”. The expectations have skyrocketed. So how can we stay motivated to apply for the next job? How can we beat job search fatigue? How can we reframe and deal with negative feedback? What are the next steps to regain confidence? How can we land the next great job?
Here are my top three tips for us soldiers: A balanced routine, consume more industry-related content, and surround yourself with supportive people.
Create a balanced routine
It’s not as productive as you think to search, apply and wait every single day – as realistically this is just going to stress you out. You could instead try tailoring a schedule that fits you perfectly, and gives you a bit more routine.
One that I’ve followed before is using Mondays for finding job roles I’m interested in, dedicating Tuesdays to research, keeping Wednesdays for editing my CV and answering application questions, and finally Thursdays for cover letters. That way you have a long weekend stress and guilt free! Don’t feel like you need to send off 100+ applications each week to be productive. Try to prioritise 2-3 job roles that you are highly interested in.
In terms of where to find graduate/entry-level jobs, I recommend:
- Bright Network Grad Schemes – Includes a job search list with helpful filters such as sectors, employers, and locations. Moreover, you can filter their Application Deadline Tracker to the sectors you are interested in.
- Glassdoor – Provides an insight of the companies you would like to work with which includes their overall rating, honest staff reviews and available jobs filtered by job function, title, and location.
- LinkedIn – Other than their Job section, search keywords relevant to your desired career from your connections’ posts as some employers advertise vacant positions as LinkedIn Posts.
Consume more industry-related content
There are several benefits of consuming industry-related content for graduates such as the ease to start conversations on LinkedIn and cultivate ideas for your career journey! Let’s dive into more detail.
To stay up to date with current trends in the industry, scroll through your LinkedIn Feed for 10 to 15 minutes a day – if you’re connected with people in the industry you want to work in, you should be able to find lots of interesting and relevant things. There may be tips and tricks to help you build your knowledge and upskill. Sign up for company newsletters that you know you will want to read. Be proactive!
Follow your most-liked companies on their social media platforms and engage with their content whenever it pops up on your feed. Connect with professionals in your desired field and join relevant industry groups or online communities. Conversations and interactions within these groups will help you in interviews when asked about your interests and recent activities. This shows you have done your research and are prepared to discuss any relevant topics in confidence.
Surround yourself with supportive people
Back-to-back rejections can make you feel incredibly drained. However, you don’t have to face it alone. Remind yourself of the people who care about you, such as close friends, family members, colleagues, and past classmates. Try dropping them a quick message or ask when they have some free time to spare for a chat. Ask how they have been lately first before touching on your topic to show that you value them and their time. Remember that a conversation is always a two-way street and we support each other!
They can offer you emotional support, encouragement, and validation, especially if they have been in the same boat as you. People who care about you are the ones who can give the most relatable and constructive feedback, advice, and suggestions on how to move forward. It’s better to hear advice from people who really know you. Comfortably talking about your challenges can provide relief and a new perspective. It’s important to maintain these connections and cultivate a support system for both sides. One day you’ll laugh about these experiences and look back at how far you have come.
I know it’s difficult to process negative feedback but know that there are many resources and people out there willing to give a helping hand.
Show your resilience and remember to take small steps. Here’s one short blog that helped me clear my mind; How To Deal With Negative Feedback by The Grad Soc.