Graduating or looking for work during a global pandemic is just about one of the most daunting things you can take on. Yet so many of us are emerging from two years of rejected applications or unreliable casual work and are hoping and praying for some luck to be on our side.
The Graduate’s Guide’s first eBook Where to From Here: A Graduate’s Guide to Building a Career During a Pandemic was written for young jobseekers. It is loaded up with knowledge on the employment landscape, what employers are looking for and importantly, what young people can be doing right now to better their chances of becoming employed.
In the eBook, we touch on the importance of reflection. Living through 2020 and 2021 has been a tumultuous journey for many of us. Coming out of lockdowns, you may not desire to relive the past and reflect upon your experiences but it could be one of the most important things you do.
Reflecting on what we want after such a huge period of collective trauma and uncertainty is essential because there is a high chance some of our past desires may have changed. We shouldn’t just barrel towards the next thing because that’s what we’re supposed to do or because it was what we wanted at one point in time. We should take stock of our emotional state and reassess what we’ve done in the past, and what we want our future to look like.
The same can be said for our approach to job-hunting. If we take the time to sit and reflect upon our own processes, our experiences with employers, with writing applications or creating resumes, then we can move forward with a better understanding of what’s working and what isn’t.
Journalling can be a fantastic way to express your thoughts and reflect upon your emotions. The power of reading back what you have written is underrated. You’ll find true understanding reading your own words back and feel seen with your emotions laid bare.
If you’re new to journalling or work best with prompts, here are ten prompts that can help you get started:
1. What habits have helped or been successful in my job hunt so far?
2. What habits have not helped or been successful in my job hunt so far?
3. How much time am I willing to spend on applications every month?
4. When I close my eyes and picture my dream life, what do I see? Where do I work? Who am I with? What do I spend my time doing? Write down anything and everything that comes to mind.
5. What organisations are within my industry? Out of these organisations which am I interested in and why?
6. What organisations align with my beliefs? Is it important to me that I work for a business or organisation that I align with morally?
7. Do I like working in a team? Do I prefer to work alone?
8. How do I define success?
9. What is something I want to be able to do every day? (This could be a hobby, a lifestyle choice, exercise etc.)
10. What is your main motivation for wanting to work in your dream role? (e.g. income, impact or lifestyle?)
These prompts will help deep dive into your motivations, desires, and willingness to actively apply for jobs. They will also hopefully clarify what kind of roles you should be looking for, what goals are important to you and the lifestyle you want to achieve. Perhaps you’ll realise you’re on track after all and that will ease any nerves or discomfort you’ve been feeling. Or maybe you’ll find that you aren’t in the same place as you were before the pandemic (which is so okay and normal) and you’ll be inspired to pivot and redirect your job search towards your new goals and dreams.
Of course, after we reflect, it’s time to act. If you’re looking for advice or more insight into what other things you can start doing straight away to invigorate your job hunt, then our free eBook Where to From Here: A Graduate’s Guide to Building a Career During a Pandemic is a great resource. It offers great advice on defining your goals, creating, and upskilling key skills that all employers are looking for at the moment.
If you have a specific question for us, head to our Ask Anything page and someone from our team will get back to you with a specialised and personal response.