In an ideal world, we would all step out of the classroom and into the ideal career. After all, you’ve worked hard enough for it. Isn’t graduation the time when you can finally put all your fresh, exciting knowledge to good use?
You would hope so but, with unemployment rates for graduates currently higher than other applicants for the first time in 30 years, that’s just not happening. Instead, college leavers are scrambling for roles and taking up stopgap positions, all while their degrees, and the knowledge they gleaned from them, go stale.
This is terrible news, especially when you considered that fresh information might well fall off your radar if left unused. As such, if you do ever manage to land that dream job, you might find yourself entirely unable to embrace the task. But, there is a light at the end of this rather long unemployment tunnel, and it comes in the form of keeping your qualifications and knowledge as fresh as possible in the following ways.
# 1 – Start your job search before you graduate
Waiting until you’ve already left college to start applying for positions means that you’ll be fighting a losing battle from day one. Instead, jumpstart your career by considering how you can get ahead while you’re still studying. Networking or even applying on a provisional basis is a fantastic way to do this, ensuring that you have one foot in the door straight off the bat and perhaps even a position to walk directly into.
# 2 – Keep learning in some capacity
We often graduate and leave the classroom behind us, but this may well be why our education stagnates so quickly. After all, there’s no such thing as too much knowledge, and the more you study, the fresher you’ll be. Further educational efforts could even be the distinguisher that gets you the job in the first place! So, if you studied economics, consider something like an MBA as a sideline during your search. Or, if you’ve specialized in accounting, look out for more QuickBooks training and certification ideas that could give you a much-needed boost. Then, you’re more likely to be brimming with fresh, relevant information for a whole lot longer.
# 3 – Find ways to apply your knowledge to any situation
Often, your degree knowledge will apply to your workplace in some way, even if that job is just a stopgap. Consider, for example, that you get a job in a store after finishing an accounting degree. Your position itself may be stacking shelves, but you could still make suggestions about things like payment processes, pricing techniques, etc. This forward-thinking is essential because –
- It teaches you to start applying your knowledge in intuitive ways
- It proves your real-time value to future employers if those ideas are successful
The job market is undeniably tough for graduates right now and, if you aren’t careful, you could end up just another forgotten number. Make sure it doesn’t happen by getting proactive and securing your degree against much-dreaded stagnation in these ways.