What do you do with a B.A. in English? That unsettling question was posed by the musical Avenue Q song. What do you do now that you’re close to earning this useless degree? That useless degree you just spent 30K on. Most of which you still need to pay back. Once you find a job….can you find a job with a useless degree?
Stop me if this sounds familiar:
“What made me decide to major in [insert your own useless degree here]? What was I thinking? Oh right I love it. Love crafting [insert activity that has to do with your major].” Then you remember that love doesn’t pay the bills. And you start up again with “Oh god, I’m not gonna land a job. I’ll be homeless living on the street. The student loan people will hunt me down.” About now is when the silence is filled by a few more ‘Oh Gods’ and the heavy breathing of an oncoming panic attack.
Are you panicked yet? Good. You should be. You decided to pursue a virtually useless degree and now you must pay the consequences! Oh come on. Don’t upchuck on your shoes.
Here’s a bit of good news. I’m here to tell you that your professors were not lying to you. You can find a job, but it will be an up-hill battle fraught with metaphorical tears, blood, and guts. And as long as you prepare, you might be lucky enough to land a job on your first interview. Here are three steps you should take to make finding a job easier.
Do you have dreams of a fruitful freelance career or a six figure income? That’s so cute! I’m sorry, but I have to drag you back to reality now. You’re a post-grad with minimal or no experience in your chosen field. Here are a few realistic steps you should take to ensure you will eventually land a starter-job in your career.
- Enthusiastically send in the resume you spent days perfecting to every entry-level job in your chosen career you can locate. Do this multiple times a day, every day until you locate a job.
- About 2 months later spend a few minutes mourning the death of your career, and then revamp your job search to opportunities outside your chosen profession. (Fast food is a last resort!)
- Continue working on expanding your personal experience in your chosen profession with personal projects and freelance gigs while stinking of temporary failure. (Hopefully failure does not smell like french fries.)
- Once you have saved up some money and earned some more experience, return to step one.
Social Media Will Save Your Life
You know all that time you spent on Facebook and Twitter while in class? Here’s some good news: 87% of businesses use social networks. The better news? Recruiters for businesses have revealed that 93% use LinkedIn, 66% use Facebook, and 54% use Twitter to announce jobs and locate new employees.
Here are some steps to prepare your social media accounts to be seen by professionals in your field.
- Clean out any slightly sketchy posts or pictures.
- Request that friends for the time being keep any comments on your posts pg-13.
- Begin to engage intelligently with others in your chosen profession.
- Search for hashtags like #writingjob or #helpwanted.
- Ask your own personal contacts if they know of any positions.
Do Extracurricular Activities Now!
Why are you reading this sentence? The rest of this essay is pure fluff. Your resume is horrifyingly bare. What were you thinking sitting in your delightful apartment for the last four years without volunteering, interning, joining groups, or working part-time? And no, joining a mmo raiding party does not constitute joining a social group.
While your education can constitute a skill, companies like to see that you have had some form of semi-formal activity that signifies you’re not too foreign to a group environment. And you need to do everything you can to outshine all of the other stellar post-grads scrambling for the same position as you.
The job search can be brutal. Fear not. As long as you’re realistic, persistent, use all the resources available to you, and properly prepare, you will land a job. Whether that job will be in your chosen profession…that may be too much to hope. Don’t worry too much though. Locating your dream job will come once you acquire a little more experience.