Entering the adult world of jobs and responsibilities is scary. It’s overwhelming, and you’ve no idea where to begin. The most comforting thing to remember is that everyone’s been there, and it’s much easier to handle than you’re currently envisioning in your head. Everybody stumbles and feels their way around at first, but that’s all part of the learning curve.
Whether you’re studying at college and worrying about the future or you’ve just graduated and you’re wondering what on earth you’re supposed to do next, there’s no rush. It’s better to think carefully about the path you should take to the career of your dreams rather than simply grab the first thing which comes along. If that doesn’t help and you’ve still no idea where to begin, here are some tips that might help you nail that career of yours wherever it’s years in the future or something you want today.
Get all the experience you can.
There’s a horrible cycle in a lot of industries whereby people can only stand a chance of being hired if they have experience in that particular job role, but experience in that particular job role could only ever possibly be gained through being hired in the first place. In this brutal, competitive world of business, you’ve got to learn to dig deep and chase opportunities wherever they may be. Whilst you’re young and you have it all ahead of you, you should be chasing all manner of volunteering and work experience opportunities.
Working for free may not be an option for you in the future, but whilst you have no financial responsibilities and you’re struggling to get hired in jobs related to your dream industry, you should be taking up all the opportunities for a good dose of work experience that you can get. If you want to work in media, get a volunteering job in your local radio station; if you want to be a writer one day, apply for some administrative experience for your local newspaper. Whilst there may not be many jobs available for the inexperienced in your industry of choice, there are always roles available for a motivated, eager individual willing to work for free. That’s just the way the world works.
Your CV is crucial here. You’ve likely built up more experience than you realise over the years, and your qualifications are worth a whole lot to an employer who’s looking for fresh-faced graduates. This is all new to you, so you might want to start with a resume builder to help you put all your experience together in a coherent and employer-friendly format. There’s an art to painting your experience in a good light, even if you don’t think you have much. Helping family members when they were ill, volunteering at a local charity and working hard night after night on essay after essay to get your degree: these are all things which impress an employer. Don’t undersell yourself.
Don’t apply for any and every job.
As a young person who is panicking and just wants any job at all, it’s tempting to choose the first “okay” opportunity which comes along. Don’t do this. If you know which career you want to pursue, you need to work hard and pursue it. It may not happen at first, but nothing good in life every does. You need to dig deep or you might end up in a career you hate.