A few weeks ago I started thinking seriously about the future and how to best get myself into the job market. The thought of the endless application forms and cover letters sends shivers down my spine; looking for a job can be both arduous and demoralizing.
It’s a well-advertised fact that at the moment, the job search is not an enviable task. Reports of the flat-lining labor market don’t exactly inspire confidence in what is already daunting.
I have, however, worked out a few things to help make the search for my future career easier, both practically and emotionally.
One of the rather elementary, yet mindboggling tasks I have struggled with, is actually naming what it is I want to do. The first challenge is simply to decide in what field you are interested in working. (I’m still not even sure I know what it is I truly want.) The truth is maybe it isn’t so important to start off dreaming big, or to be one hundred percent sure of what you want your future to be. Therefore, I went about it the opposite way: I simple decided what I do NOT want to do.
With jobs so scarce, I have received varying advice about how picky to be. My personal opinion is that although you can’t expect to land the dream job straight away, I believe that you must have some standards when choosing what you will settle for. To me, being stuck in a job that gives you no satisfaction will only negatively impact on your future work ethic and self-esteem.
The second hindrance I face is to figure out what the job description I have created is termed on job search websites. With so many options to choose from and no real knowledge of what each job entails, how am I meant to know what to search for and what to apply for?
Endless trawling through business jargon and inflated job descriptions can be confusing and disheartening. To make it easier, I have written a standard cover letter and formatted my CV to showcase my specific skills, then the editing before applying is minimal and tailored to the specific job description and requirements.
Most job sites today let you set up an email service that sends you messages with all new jobs posted in your area of interest. I have found this function to be both a blessing and a curse. Being sent three emails a day from ten different jobs sites does start feeling like spam. Often it is the case that the jobs listed don’t even fit my specifications and I have spent many hours on wild goose chases. However, often even if the job listed in the email does not fit the bill, other more suitable links will come up during site browsing.
It is important to keep high spirits during the job hunt. I have found through a mix of humor and real life experiences, things just aren’t as bad as they seem: I have actually come to like the excitement of spotting that “golden opportunity”, fine tuning the application and just waiting for the job to come my way.
Sofie Copperman is a current JewliciousU intern and is studying for a BSc in Social Sciences at the University of London.