Graduates finding work: the long and winding road

Deep breath.

Seeking gainful employment? You could still be looking (whisper it) six months hence.

There, I’ve said it.

Shock, horror, step back in amazement.

That’s just on average.  It could be slightly less or – you’re ahead of me here aren’t you? – it might be more.

It’s only logical. Keenies applying in their final year for major grad schemes start in October, learn their fate around March. Same rules, same timescale. Just a different ball game.

The Rules

OK, limbo can be lonesome, but

–          set job hunting targets

–          stick to them

–          one focused, well-written CV or application is worth 20 that are half-hearted, half-baked, haphazard. All destined to be filed under “Delete” or “Shred”. Why bother?  Either it’s good to go or it’s got to go.

–          Every unsuccessful interview is one pace forward, not two steps back.  You’re learning each time. We discussed using feedback fruitfully a few blogs ago. (Do try to keep up.)

Inspirational anecdotes A and B

Ms X (not her real name) graduated 2012 to an uninspiring admin role, endless interviews, repeated rejections, numerous near misses. Only now has she got the gig she wanted. After twelve months in the twilight zone, seventh heaven beckons.

Straying into a hostelry, your careers correspondent was served a glass of fortified mineral water  by the alumna of a uni even more high profile than QM. She had just landed a plum post with a magazine, after bar tending for two years. Yes, you read that right.

The multiple morals?

–          you are not alone

–          stopgap jobs are an honest living and seen as such by recruiters

–          success often comes through baby steps rather than with a single bound

–          make like a metronome and keep the momentum going.  It’s a marathon not a sprint.

Gill Sharp
Senior Careers Consultant
QM Careers & Enterprise Centre

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